(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: In All Things Persevere)
IS EVERY STRUGGLE THE DEVIL?
As believers in Christ, the Bible encourages us to persevere.
To persevere is “to never give up, continue, carry on, keep going, be persistent, be determined, press on, stand firm, go the distance, stay the course—even in the face of suffering.” In fact, a believer may suffer as a result of persecution. II Timothy 3:12 (New International Version) says,
“….Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…”
As the verse states, Christians will be persecuted just as Jesus was persecuted, by Satan, his demons, and those who choose to walk in darkness, rather than in the light of God. However, I want to make something very clear. Not every hardship is from the devil. He doesn’t have that much power!
IS YOUR STRUGGLE PERSECUTION OR A CONSEQUENCE OF BAD BEHAVIOR?
Perhaps a struggle you are facing is the result of bad behavior on your part.
Colossians 3:25 (New Living Translation) says,
“But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.”
Let’s consider King David of Israel who, at a young age, was chosen by God and anointed by Samuel to be the next king (I Samuel 16). In II Samuel 11, late one afternoon while walking on the rooftop, King David noticed a woman nearby taking a bath. He was immediately drawn to her. When he inquired about her identity, his servants informed him that she was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, one of David’s soldiers. Although he now knew she was married, with lust in his heart, David still summoned her. As a result of their adulterous act, Bathsheba became pregnant.
When David learned of the pregnancy, he did everything in his power to cover up his wrongdoing. First, he had Uriah removed from the battlefield and sent home in hopes that he would sleep with his wife and, in turn, think he was the father of the unborn child. However, Uriah was a man of integrity and devoted soldier who remained abstinent during battle. Feeling he had no other choice, King David then ordered Uriah to be placed on the frontlines in battle, where he knew Uriah would more than likely be killed. Once Uriah was out of the picture, King David married Bathsheba thinking he was now in the clear. However, God wasn’t going to let David get away with what he did simply because he was king!
After Bathsheba gave birth to their son, the Lord sent the prophet Nathan to confront David about his sin. He prophesied that because of his sin, his household would suffer death. In that moment, David didn’t run away or hide. Instead, he owned up to what he had done and repented. In Psalms 51:1-12 (NLT), David prayed:
“1 Have mercy on me, O God,
because of Your unfailing love.
Because of Your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
2 Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
3 For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
4 Against You, and You alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in Your sight.
You will be proved right in what You say,
and Your judgment against me is just.
5 For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
6 But You desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.
7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Oh, give me back my joy again;
You have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
9 Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from Your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
and make me willing to obey You…..”
Although David sincerely repented of his sins and God forgave him, he still had to suffer the consequences. David didn’t die, but their infant son did.
Like King David, if you have done something you know was wrong, confess to God, repent, and persevere through the consequences.
You persevere by learning from your mistakes, moving forward, and making better choices. As Gospel singer Martha Munizzi sings, “Your latter will be greater than your past.” David and Bathsheba may have lost their first son, but God blessed them with Solomon, who later became king of Israel and the one to fulfill his father’s dream of building the temple in Jerusalem.
IS YOUR STRUGGLE PERSECUTION OR A TEST FROM GOD?
Your current struggle may be a test from God. O yes! God takes us through tests every now and then. However, I don’t think the test is as much for God as it is for us. A test is designed to measure your growth, to see how far you’ve come and how far you still need to go. For example, in Genesis 22, God tested Abraham when He instructed him to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac. This particular commandment had to be very trying for Abraham considering how many years he had waited to receive his promised heir. Nevertheless, Abraham obeyed the voice of God and, in turn, passed the test! In verse 12, an angel of the Lord stopped Abraham just when he was about to sacrifice Isaac and said,
“…now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from Me even your son, your only son.”
Abraham proved his faith, faithfulness and obedience to God! Consequently, God also informed him that He would bless him with innumerable descendants and that they would all be greatly blessed. Like Abraham, God wants to give us more, but we have to be ready to receive. So, whenever God takes you through a test, recognize that it’s designed to make you better, stronger and wiser. Therefore, persevere through it! Greater is coming!
IS YOUR STRUGGLE PERSECUTION OR JUST A PART OF LIFE?
Are you familiar with the phrase “Stuff happens?” The phrase is an acknowledgement that life here on earth is not perfect and unpredictable events will occur. For instance, consider that everything seems to be going well for you financially. Your bills are paid on time every month. You’re able to keep groceries in the refrigerator, gas in the tank, clothes on your back and shoes on your feet. You even have some money left over in the bank. Life is wonderful! Unfortunately, one day your car breaks down, your furnace goes out, and the dentist informs you that your child needs braces. The costs of what you need is more than what your salary will cover. Now, you’re frustrated, confused and scared.
However, in the midst of this overwhelming situation, you must persevere! I Peter 5:7 (NLT) says,
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.”
You may have family and friends who truly care about you and are willing to help you any way they can. Nonetheless, no one cares about you more than God, the Creator, the one who owns everything! Therefore, He should always be the first one you consult when you find yourself in a tough situation. He will provide you with what you need. You just have to trust Him totally.
DON’T LET IT DESTROY YOU!
Whatever challenges you may be facing for whatever reasons, as Philippians 4:13 states, know that through Christ, you can do all things! What you’re going through right now doesn’t have to kill you, unless you let it. YES! Unless YOU let it! So, don’t let it destroy you! Rather stand tall in God! For instance, even though Job had lost everything, in Job 23:10 (King James Version) he declared,
“But [God] knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.
Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Please pray the following prayer:
Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!
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