The Struggles of Life Can Be Overcome By the Hope That Is Found In Christ

By: Ryan Atkins 0 Comments   7/6/2011

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering...” Galatians 5:22

Last Wednesday evening I received a phone call from a friend whose two year old son was being sent to the ER due to complications breathing.

This incident led me down the path of how difficult life truly can be, as my heart was weeping for my friend who a mere few months ago was sending a similar message in regards to his daughter.

My heart broke, as my friend once again needed to dive into the depths of his being to hold onto hope as another of his children were fighting for their lives.

Thankfully both children are now home and are doing well. My friend, was like so many who have been in dire predicaments, needing strength to rely upon the fruit of longsuffering, to overcome the pains of this life, to hang unto hope as his children fought for their lives.

No matter who you are, we all will be forced to face difficulty or tragedy at some point in our lives. Some will live through stories that are so gut-wrenching that you swear, they came directly from a movie script, however those are the realities of living on earth following the fall of man.

You see sickness and death entered the world through sin, and sin was brought into the world by man.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin” – Romans 5:12

For many years I overlooked verses in the Bible, such as the above Galatians verse. Growing up fatherless, being picked on, dealing with multiple friends dying during my teenage years, created a desire within me to no longer experience pain.

Sadly I allowed how others spoke of the Kingdom message (meaning we can have the fullness of Heaven here on earth, which meant no pain) to distort my thinking.

I was susceptible to these views of the Gospel of Christ because a longing within my soul desired no more pain. I wanted to know I wouldn’t have to work harder than others to receive the same results, which often happened within high school, I desired to know my friends and family members would not be sick or die, I desired the perfect job, with a large income, I desired to know longer have to deal with rejection.

However, pain and loneliness remained. Difficulty continued as it will for all, until the Lord restores things and removes sin from the world.

Sometimes we use the blessings God has given us such as health, wealth, social status as barometers of how well we’re truly doing.

In some ways those gauges work, yet what happens when you’re doing everything right, you’re obeying the Word of God, yet sickness happens, no job, bad grades despite studying, outward success cannot be the only gauge of whether or not we’re living by Kingdom principles.

To be a Christian is to understand the power of longsuffering and to live by Kingdom principles when we’re not getting our way.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. ” James 1:2-4

Far too often in humanity, we question God, or allow mistrust to arise within our hearts towards God, when a difficulty or tragedy happens, yet Peter and Paul were both thrown into jail, Paul was fed to a lion, all but one of the Apostles were martyred, yet their hope came from the eternity that God had promised them.

During this stage of my life I am learning to move past disappointment and to trust God through tribulation because that is where real eternal growth comes from.

I know trusting God, when all you know have abandoned you or it appears you will never receive the break that appears to be normal to others, can be a daunting task when it seems all we know as individuals is pain. Yet, I choose to believe that something greater lasts beyond this time on earth.

My true hope does not come from what I can see, but what I cannot see, it’s the secret hope within me, and it’s the hope that leads me to forgive those who many say you could never forgive.

It’s the hope that leads me to turn the other cheek instead of performing revenge on one who wronged me. I am not perfect in any of these areas, yet I have made a conscious effort to have my hope filled from God, even when tragedy and difficulty comes upon me.

When tragedy and difficulty reveals itself, we must trust God and let patience have its perfect work so that we can “count it all joy” just as Paul did.  We must hold out to the promises that God has revealed through His Word.

If faith is the substance of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1) and the greater the trial the greater the demand on faith, then we need to increase our faith.  Faith comes by hearing the message of Christ (Romans 10:17). 

So when facing a trial, dive into the scriptures so that your faith will be greater then the demand of your circumstances.

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