The Lord is good, a strong Refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him (Nahum 1:7).
Our spiritual journey is uniquely developed according to our strengths and weaknesses as determined by God. What exactly does that mean? God is aware that we have unique life experiences, so He allows only the struggles that produce a character that reflects the character of Jesus Christ. God does not crush us as some would have us believe. We are not grapes going through a winepress! God is a loving Father who tells us, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
The characteristics of being Confident, Cautious/Careful, Carefree, or Careless are the mindsets and lifestyles that we have embraced. Those who are confident consider the cautious/careful cowardly. The carefree and careless consider the confident as rigid. And the cautious/careful consider everyone else as risk-takers. Yet whichever category we fit in when we face Adversity, the amount of courage we possess matters the most.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Courage is not a stand-alone characteristic. It requires faith and trust, either in oneself or God.
When the stormy hardships produce havoc, many think that their intellect, strategic planning abilities, prior experience, or people who always come to the rescue can resolve any challenge they face. Our demeanor changes once we apply all of our human efforts and tap out the resources of our family and friends, but the storm remains.
Two responses: Either we turn to God immediately and ask for the strength to go through the stormy trials, or we become overwhelmed, discouraged, or angry. The “Why me? or Why now?” questions that no human being can answer, God provides the answers in His Holy Scriptures.
“More than that, 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 5:3-5).
Trials and sorrows change and build the character required for eternal life!
When it is evident that our mindsets and lifestyles demonstrate faith and trust in ourselves, God will allow trials and hardships to bring us back to Him. Eventually, we acknowledge that we have reached our limits and, in humility, confess, repent, and ask for Divine help. Unfortunately, some believers only have a superficial relationship with Jesus Christ. They become bitter, angry, or depressed, quickly blaming God for tough times. And willingly join the unbelievers because they do not desire to endure hardships.
If we only persevere, God has promised us a glorious future. Even in our earthly lives, the storms do not last forever! God always lets us know that He is here.
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (James 1:16-17).
Know that God never expected us to live without His Divine Intervention. We were created to stay connected to God through prayer and study of the Scriptures. Imagine receiving spiritual nourishment from God through our spiritual umbilical cord 24/7. That is the access we have to our Father God, who desires for us to be overcomers.
Yet victory requires faith, trust, courage, strength, and endurance. God’s resources of love, compassion, and power are abundant. God will never fail us! His promises are Yes, to which we respond, Amen.
Bible Reading: James 1
Prayer: God, for too long, we have relied on our abilities. And for this sin, we ask for forgiveness. We need You and ask for the strength and endurance to overcome. We ask this prayer in Jesus’ name, Amen.