ISAIAH 41:10 (NIV)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
When we are broken, for the glory of Christ, we share not only in His sufferings but in rewards as well. We grow into a deeper comprehension of His incredible sacrifice for us, by dying a torturous death on the cross. We appreciate all the more His devotion and unconditional love. Hopefully, when we suffer a trial it draws us even closer into His loving embrace.
We are assured that our Savior will strengthen us and help us through whatever battle we must face. He promises to uphold us in His very hand!! With the provision of spiritual armor, there should never be any doubt in our making it through obstacles. In fact Philippians 4:13 tells us that we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.
So what are the rewards gained by enduring storms? Well, for one thing your relationship and intimacy with Christ will mature. With the maturing process that comes with trials of many kinds, we gain perseverance. This process helps to complete us here and equips us for our heavenly work in the future.
We also gain a wisdom that can be used to comfort others who are going through trials similar to our own. We must learn to take our broken pieces and request God’s assistance to reassemble them in a way that is pleasing to Him. Asking for wisdom to apply our new knowledge and deeper faith should also be a prayer request.
So let’s review. Trials will come; there is no getting out of them. We are promised to have the provision of God’s strength to persevere and make it through the trouble. He tells us, in fact commands us, to not be dismayed when they come and to be unafraid. He will see us through and uphold us in His hand but faith is required on our part.
In addition to the promise of seeing us through life’s circumstances, we share in the rewards that come with suffering for His name. We gain wisdom, perseverance, a deeper faith and reliance on Him. We mature and don’t remain “Baby Christians” dependent only on milk. Rather, we can eat solid foods including the Bread of Life. We grow in our faith and trust, every time we see the Lord faithfully bringing us through personal trials and working in the lives of those around us.
Indeed, perhaps strength doesn’t reside in never being broken, but rather in the courage we exert to rise from the ashes of our broken lives. It is by willfully choosing to use the strength God offers to heal our broken places that we find encouragement and a deeper relationship with our Father.
JAMES 1:2-5 (NIV) 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. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
PSALM 22:24 (NIV) For He has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
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