“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”
Are you weary? One of the devil’s primary goals is to make Christians weary. If he can wear out your flesh–with severe temptations and troubles–as well as wear out the parts of your mind which are not yet renewed–through stresses and frustrations–he can then get you to make choices based on fear or sin rather than relying on your Creator as well as your own true identity. The gist to that run-on sentence is this: our enemy wants us to give up on trusting God and he doesn’t want us to know who we truly are.
Thankfully, we only think we want to give up on God, but deep down we don’t. Such a thought is coming from our old mindsets and is not the truth. Because we’ve been born into God’s family–and this is permanent–we have a natural bend to trust God at all times. When we don’t, we have forgotten who we are (see 2 Peter 1:9).
However, Satan’s desire is to force you into saying, “This Christian stuff doesn’t work, so I’m just going to ____________ because I don’t see God doing anything.” He wants you to become destroyed mentally, physically, socially, economically, and emotionally, all by trying to convince you that you should not do what God wants you to do–or what your true self wants to do. His intent is to wear you down, and wear you out!
BUT WE ARE NOT WITHOUT HOPE! Christian, God wants to use your difficult situations to work out what’s already in you–HIM!
Imagine if Michael Jordan with all of his amazing basketball skills never played one minute in the NBA. That talent on the inside of him would be wasted! So just how did his spectacular abilities come out of him! By facing the world’s greatest competitors! It was when he battled the Bad Boys of the Pistons–the Champions–he was beat to a pulp! But no matter how many times he was defeated by them, that defeat didn’t change the greatness on the inside of him! Instead, it brought it out!
When Mike went up against Magic and the Lakers, Charles Barkley and the Suns, Shawn Kemp and the Glove, Stockton and Malone, it was in these upper-echelon levels of competition that the best–which was inside him–was brought out of him! The cream always rises to the top! But if MJ never faced these extremely strong nemeses, that greatness would have never come to complete fruition!
It was through his supreme difficulties a legend was made! This is why James said:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
GOD ALLOWS DIFFICULTIES TO PULL THE BEST OUT OF YOU! YOU AREN’T SITTING ON THE BENCH ANY LONGER OR WATCHING FROM THE CROWD! You are ready! Christ is in you in full–this very moment! You have all you need to persevere, so let’s gooooooooooooo!
Here are some other key verses for your strength when you think you can’t keep going:
- “We are more than conquerors through Him (Jesus) who loved us!” (Romans 8:37)
- “Rejoice in the Lord always. I say again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)
- “Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer, petition, and thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
- “Do not become weary in doing good, because at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up!” (Galatians 6:9)
The key words are: IF WE DON’T GIVE UP!…If we don’t give up…If…we don’t give up.
My friend, don’t give up! Results will come, so you must begin to enjoy the journey! Try to remember that the greatest return you can ever get from doing things God’s way is forming a deeper level of trust in Him. Once the foundation of that trust is built, then major changes happen–in your mind! God is not so much concerned about removing your difficult circumstances (or removing difficult people) as He is in changing your level of trust in Him. He wants that foundation firm! And the solidifying component of that foundation is poured in by allowing Jesus to live through you–at all times!
So today, my friends, know this: Imagine if Michael Jordan never played in the NBA. Instead, he decided to bag groceries at the local supermarket for the rest of his life. Just imagine that. There would have been such greatness on the inside of him, but it never would have been worked out of him for all of us to enjoy. This is exactly what happens when we don’t allow Jesus to work through us during life’s most difficult challenges–when we quit doing what is natural as holy people. Yes, greatness is within us! It’s Jesus combined with us! But we gotta let Him come out of us by seeing every single challenge the enemy sends our way as an opportunity to grow in Christ! We must work out the greatness that has already been worked in! To this, all of us saints were called!
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, thank you for the revelation of understanding the strength we get from your grace. Because of such grace, we need not question you in the hard times just as much as we need not question you in the easy times. You are loving, sovereign, perfect, and good! And best of all, you live IN us! Help us all to realize this TRUTH more and more each day! And help us to understand that you work THROUGH US to change the world for the better! We love you, and we feel honored to be used by you. Amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 1. Get your copy here!