Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mount Zion; they will not be defeated but will endure forever. Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, both now and forever. The wicked will not rule the land of the godly, for then the godly might be tempted to do wrong. O Lord, do good to those who are good, whose hearts are in tune with you. But banish those who turn to crooked ways, O Lord. Take them away with those who do evil. May Israel have peace!
“This too shall pass…” has become the motto of many people when facing times of hardship and trouble. I thought it was a scriptural verse but discovered that this adage is not found anywhere in the Word of God although some attribute it to King Solomon. This makes sense as it sounds like something he might have said. Although it is not scripturally-based, it is sound advice. We live in perpetual motion. Our life has purpose and is set forth to find it and fulfill it. This drive comes from the passion that keeps our heart beating each day. God put eternity in our heart so that we would have the desire to find our purpose and pursue it. Ultimately, our divine purpose is to discover the Love of God, meet the Son of God, step into righteousness and be totally transformed. Sounds easy enough until words like “testing”, “trials”, and “hardship” become part of our life. We assumed that a life living for the Lord would be different but we never read the book. Misinformed and soon misguided, Christians miss the mark of true faith because they do not know what they believe. Case in point, did you think “this too shall pass” was from the Word of God, too?
Those who trust the Lord are secure. They will not be defeated. They will endure forever. The Lord surrounds His People. These are true statements. We must trust the Lord. “This too shall pass…” offers encouragement indeed, but the Truth of the matter it is the one who endures to the end who will be saved. (Matthew 24) The trial will end. The test will be over. This hardship will not last. But it will soon give way to something else, in the end all that matters is do you trust Him? Those who do will live forever, but what if I don’t know how to get through today?
Matthew 24:12-14 (NLT)
Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.
Sin will be rampant everywhere. It is. Love of many will grow cold. It has. The one who endures to the end will be saved. It’s not over yet. Yes, this world will one day pass away but in the meantime as it slowly decays physically, morally and spiritually – God’s Plan is working and the Good News is spreading throughout human desperation and dire need of a better life and the need to be released from this oppressive state. The problem is that we are so caught up in getting over it that we fail to walk through it most of the time. Rather than crying out for God to release us from our present situation, why not invite the Lord to change us in it? We want His Hand not His Heart. But trials and tests will change all that as we are transformed within them. Do you trust the Lord enough to walk through the fire rather than jumping over it all the time? We can miss the Lord avoiding trouble or trying to find the easy way out. For example, the three Hebrew boys who were cast into the fire. It could have been avoided. They could have pretended to bow down with their body but still loved God with their heart. Surely God could see that in the midst of their hardship and understand. Or was the point to spread the Good News that the Lord will free us in the fire while He walks with us in it. When we read Matthew 24:12 THROUGH 14 – it is a different picture than by reading a single verse. Our life is in a transformation process that requires endurance and the world we live in is of no use or moral support so we must totally rely on Jesus. God it. But it doesn’t stop there. This is not a personal act of endurance but an advanced directive on our life to fulfill the Great Commission that does not get put on hold because you are going through something. In fact, it is the time that the fire is turned up the contents of our heart boils. Whatever is in our heart spills over the top when subject to great pressure. This is the purest form of evangelism that changes hearts and lives the most. When faced with the unthinkable and all we can think of is Christ.
Psalm 138:7-8 (NKJV)
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, Lord, endures forever; do not forsake the works of Your hands.
I found these verses somewhere around our son’s third cancer relapse. I couldn’t understand why we kept finding ourselves in this position when I believed that God is our healer. I trust that God’s Plan for him is to live. We believe. Yet, over and over again one step forward and two steps backward. I needed God to show me that He was God and in control. He did. He also gave me the promise that He will perfect that which concerns me. Cancer concerned me. There are still some days that I must remind myself who destroys all sickness and disease. I love Romans 8:28 which promises that God’s Goodness can and will come from every detail of our life. These two truths combined offer hope when most would say it is hopeless. When I walk through trouble, the Lord revives me. Would I seek Him to meet my needs if there was no trouble? Hmm. He stretches out His Hand against my enemies sweeping me to safety with His Right Hand. Will He be able to do this if I am fighting my own battles? Hmm. The Lord perfects that which concerns me…but how can He if I am doing it my way instead? Hmm. God’s Mercy endures forever and for all the times I have stopped to go hmm.
Psalm 136:1-9 (NLT)
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights— His faithful love endures forever. The sun to rule the day, His faithful love endures forever. And the moon and stars to rule the night. His faithful love endures forever.
Sometimes I forget just how big God is – that is usually on the days when I resign myself to simply getting by rather than expecting God to show up and show out on my behalf. If I can just make it through this day alive – must become I am more than a conqueror! It’s tough sometimes especially in times of struggle when holding on to faith and staying strong in hope seems too much to bear. We must remember that God is always in control which mean that He is working for you in the midst of the chaos. Why? His Faithful Love endures forever. Beyond the hardship, disappointment and pain is a Great Big God who love us with all His Heart working out every detail for our good and perfecting all that concerns us.
I Corinthians 10:12-13 (NLT)
If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
You know that you asked for it, right? I mean you do understand that to be closer to the Lord means that we must be transformed day by day. God is faithful. If you ask to be more like Jesus, He will work to make it so. The test will be passable. The trial will be endurable. Will you endure to the end is the question? Do you really want to know the heart of God or are you just trying to get what is in His Hand? Earthly blessing and its prosperity will all pass away. Those who endure to the end passionately pursing God’s Heart will live forever. “We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.” (2 Corinthians 6:3-6) Endurance without transformation is futile and worthless. This too shall pass is no good unless it gives way to a deeper and more transparent relationship with Christ. Human effort and energy can carry us just so far. It becomes glorious when our strength is gone and weakness takes over. Will you allow Him to come that close and take you that far?
I Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
A sweet friend reached out to me the other day to tell me that she had been praying for me the last few days and that I was heavy on her heart. She felt the Holy Spirit leading her to tell me. I am glad that He did and she was faithful. It has been a rough week. She had no idea but was faithfully interceding for me. I told her of the image in my head as I endured the trials going on around me. I feel as though I am crouched low to the ground in a defensive posture with my leg folded and knees tucked underneath me. My arms cover my head as I attempt to defend myself in this vulnerable position. I can feel the Hand of God covering me. He has surrounded me with His Angels who are engaged in a battle that is fierce. I can feel the heat of the intensity yet nothing is touching me, but I am tired of the oppressive position and want to move. Her word to me was to stay right where I am until the battle is over. To just hang on. This is when I must continually recite the Word of God as a reminder. His Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures every circumstance so my love for Him must never give up, never lose faith, always be hopeful and endure to the end even when the end is not in sight. I must hold my position.
Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
It is my goal today to remember that I am being transformed into what is good, pleasing and perfect because it is God’s Will for my life. Like Esther, He created me for such a time as this even though my conditions are uncomfortable and seemingly unfavorable. (Esther 4:13-14) Not only am I called to endure but I was created to make it through this life to be with God forever. My goal is total and complete transformation as I am being molded and shaped into the Masterpiece that He has designed me to be and every variable of my life is incorporated in His Perfect Plan if I just will give Him the room to move in me and through me. I do this by enduring which is nothing more than holding my position until My Help comes. This too shall pass but I don’t want it to unless I am changed in the process which will make it worth it every single time!
I Corinthians 15:54-58 (NLT)
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.