Then one of the elders addressed me: “These in white robes,” he asked, “who are they, and where have they come from?” “Sir,” I answered, “you know.” So he replied, “These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:13-14 BSB
Good Morning! We have received the gift of another day. Great is God’s faithfulness. He is always proving that His love is unconditional and has no boundaries. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV
Yes, the year 2020 has brought the most challenges that many of us have ever endured. Even so, God has allowed the distractions that would prevent us from receiving our reward of Eternal life to be removed. When feeling overwhelmed, make Jesus’ great sacrifice personal, verbalize: “Jesus died for me.” Have you considered the suffering that Jesus went through for the redemption of our sins? Great athletes do not achieve their abilities overnight. They have the mindset that they are willing to overcome every obstacle in their journey to receive the reward of being the best.
The Apostle Paul, who endured stoning, beaten with whips, ship-wrecked, bitten by a poisonous snake, and imprisoned with heavy chains, still used every opportunity to rejoice and praise God. How did Paul get through his severe trials and suffering? He possessed the only mindset that all who believe in God should have: Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 3:3-5 ESV
Peter, Jesus’ disciple, proclaims:
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:7 NLT
James defines suffering as joy:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.… James 1:2-4 BSB
Without trials, we would fall into the abyss of self-reliance. It is our faith in God that keeps us spiritually grounded. We live a purpose-driven life to serve God! To receive our reward of Eternal life in the New Heaven and New Earth, we must be holy and acceptable to God. Not judging ourselves by our standards, but possessing and reflecting the character of Jesus Christ.
I am very thankful that my trials have a purpose, to get rid of the debris from sin. When I compare myself to Galatians 5:22-23 and Hebrews 12:14, I realize that God is giving me time to change. Please know that we are never alone in our spiritual transformation. It is the teamwork of Human Effort + Divine Intervention that produces victorious outcomes. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
God is giving us time to confess, repent, and Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14. Even so, live with the urgency that Jesus is coming soon!
Beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and its works will be laid bare.…2 Peter 3:8-10 BSB
Believers in the Most-High God, we have our greatest hope in Jesus Christ. Know that our present lives, which have trials and sorrows, is merely part of our earthly journey. But this is not how the story ends! “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” Revelation 22:12
God, we thank you for loving us. Your grace and mercies flow freely to us day-after-day. We ask you to forgive us for desiring an easier path to travel as we strive for holiness. We know that your plans are perfect. Please give us your strength today as we begin to view life through spiritual eyes. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.