It Will be Worth it!
To those who overcome in the midst of adversity, He will give increased authority (Rev. 2:26). You have
indeed been tried by the fires of hell, yet you have remained steadfast. As you thrust yourself into the bosom of your Father, you walk away having learned the secrets of His heart. You are no longer as easily beguiled or
overwrought by the enemy, but you see now with the eyes of heaven. You are made sober in spirit, yet gentle as a dove.
God Never Said It Would Be Easy!
Have you been attacked by the enemy? Have you
been hit so hard that you've wanted to die? Has someone torn your heart out and trampled on it? Have you been betrayed, lied about or robbed? God never said this life would be easy, He only said that a life lived for
Him would be worth the battle!
Every battle worth fighting is difficult. It was not easy for Jesus to die for the sins of the world. It was not easy for the early Christians to die for their faith or for the pilgrims
to come to America to find religious freedom. What they faced was not easy for them, but it was worth it! And we thank God for them.
These people knew that they were not fighting their battles for themselves alone,
but for those their lives would affect. The forefathers of the United States had a dream of a great nation, and they fought and died for their dream. God had a dream of making us a part of His family: Jesus died to bring
that dream to life. It was extremely difficult, but we were worth it to Him.
Never Give Up!
It is always easier to give up - to leave your ministry, church or family - but it is often the easy road that
leads to destruction. The seemingly shortest or easiest path is usually a mistake. Hold your ground, stay on course and you will have a great victory...if you do not give up.
At times, when I have gone to the Lord
with my pains or complaints, He will speak this short simple phrase to me: "Did you think it would be easy?" The Lord has given us a great destiny to fulfill, but He never promised that it would be easy. In fact,
He told us it would be difficult. He said, "In this world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
Sometimes in the midst of the trial we are facing we get discouraged and disheartened. It is easy to think we have had more than our share of attacks. But in those times we need to be reminded that God knows of our difficulties and He is not panicked. He knew it wouldn't be easy for us, but He knew that if we did not give up, we would win. And the victory that we would enjoy would be well worth the fight.
There will always be someone who thinks they could do your job better than you. They feel as though they are more anointed than you and it seems there is no end to their criticisms. Of course the enemy tries his very best to convince you that they are right in their opinions, but they are NOT! You must hold your ground! If you give up your position in the body of Christ, the place you've held is then left unprotected and others will suffer.
God has you where you are for a reason; someone has to hold that position. You do not know how many lives that you are affecting just by being where you are. What you are doing is important. It is important for your own personal well-being as a child of God, and to others. Your battle is not for you alone, but for the kingdom of heaven. Your fight of faith is for the Lover of your soul, and that others may know of Him and love Him too.
After the prophet Elijah had the prophets of Baal killed with a sword (1 Kings 18:40), King Ahab told his wife Jezebel what Elijah had done. "Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah
saying, 'So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time'" (1 Kings 19:2).
After hearing her threat, Elijah was afraid and ran
for his life into the wilderness. He was filled with hopelessness and despair (1 Kings 19:3-4). After one of the greatest victories of his life, he felt like a failure. He felt overwhelmed by the evil of his day and
hopeless to overcome it.
The enemy can at times come in like a flood and tear apart our faith, leaving us discouraged and feeling hopeless to fight it. We may lose sight of our vision because of the pain we feel,
just as Elijah lost sight of all that God had done through him. He lost his focus and was not able to see the true picture of what God was doing through him and he felt like a failure.
Elijah lived his life in
obedience to God, doing great things for Him. Yet he wanted to die because of the despair he felt. Maybe Elijah did not do all that he wanted to do for God, but he did do what God wanted him to do. He needed to be reminded of the truth of his situation to shake off the hopelessness he felt. And so do we.
I have felt much like Elijah. I have experienced the sting of the enemy and felt the hopelessness he can bring. But somehow, with God by my side, I made it through that time. Step by carefully placed step I walked together with God out of Satan's death trap. I found myself being carried by God through my fiery trial, and what I thought would be the end of me was really only the beginning of more of Him.
When you feel like you will go crazy, but don't; when you know that Satan wanted you dead, but you're not; when you want to give up, but continue on, that is when you begin to know God as He truly is. You know He is holding you, and carrying you through.
When I read in 1 Kings 19:4-7 of how the angel of the Lord brought Elijah bread and water from heaven while he rested under the juniper tree, I see the power of our loving Father to restore us. After the touch of the Lord, Elijah was sustained for the next forty days as he journeyed to the mountain of the Lord, where he met with God (vs. 8-9).
Elijah continued to remind God of his trouble, but God responded by telling him to return to his position of authority (1 Kings 19:15). We see in God's instructions to Elijah to anoint Hazael as king over Aram, Jehu as king over Israel and Elisha as his successor not only His plan of victory over evil (1 King 19:17), but an increase in authority given to Elijah to carry out His plan. God did not pity Elijah, but restored him and sent him back to fulfill the plans that He had for him.
We Will Be Victorious
Indeed, you have been treated unjustly; they have lied about you and cursed you. Jesus said they would speak evil against us (Matthew 10:17-28). He told us that we would be persecuted because
of Him. But He also said we would receive a rich reward for every lie, curse or unjust act we have faced for His sake (Matthew 5:11-12). Yes, He did warn us of what we would face, but He also said it would be worth it.
It is worth it because we will be victorious! Someday we will all be together with our Lord and we will see our enemy for what he truly is. We will wonder then how it was even possible for him to cause us trouble.
We will marvel at what a forlorn creature he is, the rejected of heaven. (Is. 14:19; Luke 10:18).
In 1 Peter 5:8, Satan is described as a roaring lion. He is indeed a roaring lion and with his roar he unleashes
accusation, intimidation and deception, because he knows that if we are able, even for a moment, to see him as he really is, we will no longer fear him.
Our enemy is defeated! He is a toothless lion who makes a lot
of noise! Jesus is our victor and it is He who has removed the sting of death from our enemy (Luke 10:18-20), taking out his teeth. He has given us His victory and there is now more power in even the youngest
babe in Christ than there is in Satan's whole demon lair. "Greater is HE who is in you, than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
Do not listen to the lies of the enemy. He will try to intimidate you,
but he has no real power over those who are in Christ. Do not listen to the voices of intimidation, manipulation and condemnation, because your heavenly Father loves you and He is fighting for you.
Beloved, it will be worth it!