2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NIV)
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
I will not complain. I will not whine. I refuse to moan and groan. I hate being sick. It is a sign of fleshly weakness. When I feel it coming on, I fight it body, mind and spirit. On the rare occasions, it overtakes me. I feel defeated. I like to go and do. In fact, too much sometimes which is probably what landed me in this predicament in the first place. It is not a convenient time for a sore throat, stuffy sinus, yucky congestion or the overall feeling of fatigue. Yes, I am well aware that I am only human though I choose to operate on a supernatural level. Light and momentary. I know that my physical makeup has the ability to fight sickness and disease is doing its job I must just wait the recommended seven to ten days to let it finish its work. I should drink lots of fluid to remain hydrated. I should get plenty of rest even though the schedule this week may not allow it. It’s funny how when we encounter a setback in life it can sometimes feel permanent. This ailment is not fatal. I am not even running a fever. Yet, it is keeping me from functioning at optimum levels so my mind wraps itself around the problem rather than waiting on the cure. I am healed in the Name of Jesus. He designed every cell in my body to fight off these kinds of things. I must only wait for it to pass calling it temporary as it goes.
Temporary setbacks, trials and problems occur in life. Choose to take a single step by faith in Jesus Christ and get ready for more than your fair share. The enemy pays close attention to the righteous. He wants us to believe that the things we go through in life will not come to pass but remain a relevant factor. This is a lie. If you are sick, you will be healed. If you have a problem, it will be solved. If you need change, He will change you…seldom the situation. Therefore, we must fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what we cannot see is eternal.
Hebrews 11:13-16 (NIV)
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
Why are things so difficult sometimes…most of the time? This world is not our home. We are foreigners in this land. Our heart and mind are set on the Kingdom of God which is completely contradictory to the ways of the earth. This makes us traitors in the world which contains us. Desiring more than this with vast determination to take as many as will go with us, the king of the earth and prince of darkness is not amused. He has one goal to steal from you, kill you and destroy you. The only thing keeping him from doing so is the Blood of Jesus that covers you. He cannot touch you because you are under the direct protection of the King of King and Lord of Lords. However, the only thing worse than a traitor in my opinion is the one who plays both sides. In fact, Revelation 3:16 labels such people as “lukewarm” and vomit in the mouth of God. You may not ever experience great comfort, overflowing wealth, or great change in the natural. This world will never embrace or applaud you for your great faith not like those who indulge in its depravity. However, those who choose to live by faith despite overwhelming odds and difficult circumstances will be welcomed into Eternity. There is no pain or sorrow there. Sickness and disease are not welcome. This is what we are after. We are journeying to our Father’s House. The Lord invites those in who refuse to turn back or return to their old life no matter how comfortable and inviting it seems.
John 15:18-19 (NIV)
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
“Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.” (I John 3:13) Let me tell you a secret I learned a while ago, people are not the problem. Sin is. The world will hate you as you strive to separate yourself from sin. Your circle of friends will grow smaller and smaller as you begin to reconcile your life to Jesus Christ. People hold no power in our life except that which we give them. They do not really hate you. They are at odds with the Jesus inside of you. They do not know Him except the feeling of conviction and shame that comes from experiencing a closeness to Him without being able to reach the Lord. When we put ALL of our expectation of others in Jesus, suddenly we find that we are set free and can love them unconditionally. We have removed all conditions and put them in Christ so now we can love them no matter how they may treat us. Why? We are made whole in His Love, lacking nothing. Only Jesus is capable of perfect love. This is important to know and live by. No one not even your mom, dad, spouse or best friend is above letting you down. Don’t be mad at them, they are only human. But God who loves you more than anyone ever possibly could will make good on every promise and detail of our life so others do not have to. Now we can love them and welcome them with open arms and love them to Jesus expecting nothing in return.
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NIV)
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Growing up, I was very impatient. It “was” one of my greatest weaknesses in life. Countless times I refused to wait and rushed things. I can think of countless examples of looking back now and seeing that things could have been different if I was more patient. Patience is not a human quality. We can try to learn to be patient, but the Holy Spirit is truly the perfecter of it. The fruit of the Spirit is capitalized by our ability to learn patience and self-control which are unpopular to our flesh which wants it all and right now.
Parenting will try and test your patience. It requires growing beyond selfishness and self-seeking ways to care for children. Three children in four years is a real challenge and then we added a fourth and fifth years later. Our daughter was a very difficult baby. I believe that God purposely made her last because I needed the patience and experience born of the four before her to prepare me. There were days I still wasn’t sure that was enough. I remember at rocking her in the darkness as she would scream and writhe in my arms, while I prayed over her. I prayed for me. I prayed that our relationship would be close despite this opposition. I felt trapped in the chair afraid to move once she fell asleep. Patience. In the trial of colic, my patience grew.
Life is a test. We will be hard pressed…but not crushed. We will be perplexed…but not driven to despair. We will be persecuted…but NEVER abandoned. We will be struck down…but will be able to get up as destruction is not possible. If we ever could grab hold of the idea that whatever comes our way in this life is only temporary, we will never be held back again. The Power living in us is the LIVING BREATHING GOD. Jesus overcame the world. We win in every situation. We walk in victory even if it looks like every odd is stacked against us. Though our youngest child definitely grew my patience, it was not until our son was diagnosed with cancer that supernatural growth was possible. When what I hoped for could not be found in this world, that I entered the Realm of Hope. Our son would go on to be diagnosed four more times with the dreaded disease. Each time, his chance of survival according to the world would plummet. He has been in remission for over a year now. God is glorified as those who watch him walk in victory still marvel at what the Lord has done. To experience a supernatural life, we cannot give up in the midst of hardship but persevere to the end. Those are the ones who Jesus said would be saved. I believe Him.
Romans 7:18-20 (NIV)
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Probably the largest factor in our fight to claim victory and walk triumphantly in Christ, the prevailing sinful nature fighting for its survival. We want to do what is right but when faced with constant opposition claiming territory over the enemy makes our flesh fight harder. We know what we are supposed to do and want to do it, but man is it hard sometimes. It is our sinful nature that is seeking survival and fighting us daily. It tells us that this is it. Live life because you only live once. Yeah…not true. Your soul lives forever. Long after your flesh is gone, your soul lives somewhere. To live for today without thinking of forever is a death sentence.
Feed your spirit. Every single day. Feast on the Word. Be watered in His Presence. Pray. Become rooted and grounded in the Source of Life so that when famine or drought come in the natural, it will not affect you anymore. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Just as we must modify diet and exercise to improve our health and physical being, we must intentionally feed and workout our spirit to maximize our supernatural potential given to us as a Promise acquired by faith and found in hope. Hang on, this is only a temporary setback. Maturity allows us to see past today into the future.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
We are surrounded by witnesses. Some cheering us on but even more telling us to quit. We must throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us. Nothing in your life is permanent outside of Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday, today and forever. Give it some time, wait on the Lord, and He will do exactly as He promised. If you have fallen, get up. The enemy hates when we do that. If you feel hopeless, bury yourself in His Presence. Hope never leads to disappointment – it will always take you to someplace better than you are. Perseverance will ALWAYS be a part of God’s Process so stop complaining and get used to it. The more you do the more patience that will be produced. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Only Jesus. Not your partner, kids, family, or friends. They all have opinions but only the Lord knows the beginning to the end. He is the One who will tell you the right choice and direction. Focus on the joy of what is coming. Do not grow weary. Rest when your body and spirit say rest. They know you best. And finally above all things never lose heart. Life is tough. The trials and tests are tough. Change is imminent no matter who you are. We live from glory to glory if we choose to continue to run the race of faith.
Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.