Last night, I watched a documentary of three young girls–ages 10, 7, and 5 traveling several miles down a massive river in a leaky dugout canoe to journey to school. The perseverance of the children is beyond anything that I have ever witnessed. What is inside us that causes the human mind to go against all odds? Truly our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 1 Corinthians 6:19
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7.
God has imparted–given us the resilience to withstand many obstacles. But many have chosen to travel on the path of self-pity, anger, and resentment when they face hardships. Suffering is a part of God’s Divine plan to lead us into the daily spiritual journey of Sanctification. Every day, the Holy Spirit gives us restorative strength, stability, and guidance to overcome today’s troubles. Do Not Worry or Be Anxious: And which of you, by being anxious, can add a single hour to his span of life? (Matthew 6:27 ESV).
Job–Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” Job 1:8. Although we do not know the timespan of Job’s suffering, we are aware of the extreme intensity of his suffering. Still, Job proclaimed, “Though He slay me, yet, will I trust in Him: But I will maintain mine own ways before Him. He also shall be my salvation, For a hypocrite could not come before Him.” Job 13:15-16
Apostle Paul–Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea. 2 Corinthians 11:25. The Apostle was unjustly imprisoned on false charges–for preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles and starting the Early Churches. Yet, 4-6 of his books were written in prison.
Our Savior–Jesus Christ
We often forget the suffering that Jesus endured, which is beyond our finite comprehension. In his humanness, Jesus prayed, “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39.
As commandment-keeping disciples, we should consider it a privilege to suffer for Jesus. God has never required us to live a life of suffering. The Apostle Peter tells us that “after you have suffered for a little while,” we will receive spiritual restoration and the strength that is needed to run the race. Our enemy, Satan, will never give up. Be aware that he devises plots and schemes to discourage us. God is monitoring the fiery darts that our archenemy hurls against us and will not allow us to be crushed. James tells us to change our mindset to suffering hardships. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance… . James 1:2-3
Resist him, standing firm in your faith and in the knowledge that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore you, secure you, strengthen you, and establish you. To Him be the power forever and ever. Amen.… 1 Peter 5:9-11
Fortifying ourselves daily with prayer and studying the scriptures provides the foundation to build our faith and trust in God. We will receive knowledge along with wisdom and discernment from the anointing of the Holy Spirit to persevere in all trials, sorrows, and hardships. And like Job, we will proclaim, “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.” Job 19:25. Hallelujah! Amen!
Prayer: God, many times we complain and become discouraged, but today we thank you for our sufferings. We pray for understanding and strength as you transform us into soldiers of faith. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. © 2022 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers, and Woman, You Are Loved by God Ministries