…exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-6 (NAS)
“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12, NAS).”
Definition of Exult: to rejoice greatly; be jubilant or triumphant
Definition of Black hole: a region of space having a gravitational field so intense that no matter or radiation can escape
There is no one exempt from having what I loving call black hole experiences. Black holes of life can be in conjunction with money, family, friends, enemies, death, illness, addictions; international, national, state, county, city and neighborhood governmental issues and countless other issues. All too often these black hole experiences cause one to miss God, deny God, turn away from God, or on the contrary, cause someone to dive right into the very heart of God. The latter, which is God’s intention, are people who have sought and experienced the hand of God in the worst of the worst times of life. Because the world’s system is under Satan’s corrupt management, these black holes come in different forms in different stages throughout life.
The only genuine resolve anyone can have during these times is surrendering to the Creator of Heaven and Earth. In such surrender, God is readily able and willing to turn what Satan meant for evil into good. The only requirement for God to turn evil to good is to love Him. Of course, to truly love Him you will believe, submit, repent, be baptized in the Spirit and obey the Spirit of God. Simple enough, eh? Yet, in this simply stated command of God to love Him, we miss it time and time and time again; hence, many are decimated or nearly so under the weight of earthly conundrums.
God instructs His bride to “exult in tribulation” as stated in Romans but this does not mean that we are to conjure tribulations for the sake of tribulations, extend trials to appear humble or godly, revel in them as though we are godlier because of them, milk them for sympathy or attention, or reject times of solitude and calm. The way to rejoice greatly in suffering is to trust with absolute faith that, as we walk in accordance to the will of God, the Lord will be honored and glorified when He shows Himself mightier than the situation. With His glory manifesting, you will also benefit; it’s a guarantee. Yeshua (restorer) promises to turn everything Satan means against you for evil into good if you love Him.
The “love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” section that is reiterated throughout the whole of the Bible is not optional; such love for God causes obedience through love instead of law. In order for His promises to be perpetually active in your life, you must purpose to love Him; this is not the same as living according to staunch law as your motivation to do what is right. Both Romans and James above notate this fact: reciprocating God’s love is key. The entirety of the Word of God and this book center around love: God first loving us and, in return, through reciprocated love toward God, we are to surrender ourselves as dead so as to receive His life of eternal love. In such submission, Jesus becomes our life and He will always be obedient to the Father and at peace just as He was in the boat during the terrible storm.
We are to rejoice in trials (not enjoy) by fully trusting God and, in that unwavering faith, God will be glorified and your trial will turn into something far greater than what you knew prior. Trials are to build endurance, perseverance and hope in the King and His kingdom, yet most just want God to get us out ASAP never considering the Kingdom ramifications of getting out too quickly as the lesson is not yet or not fully learned. The Lord will allow some “thorns in your side” to remain throughout your lifetime and others but for a brief period. Either way, all trials are supposed to be teaching tools so as to lead you into deeper levels of humility and refine you so that Holy Spirit becomes your only resource versus any self-reliance. I know people on both ends of the proverbial spectrum:
- Those in Christ who think that all life is to be filled with tragedy and trials because they think it makes them “closer to God.”
- Those who reject all suffering; they won’t even speak the Scriptures pertaining to suffering because everything should be “fixed” the moment they bind it away in the name of Jesus.
From everything I’ve read in the Word, seen and experienced, neither is correct. There must be balance in everything as there is a season for everything. Seek God’s heart, wisdom, revelation, and understanding of how to properly apply His Word and you’ll find balance. Most assuredly, it takes the entirety of this brief life to come into perfect balance.
As for the former, it leaves one missing the blessing of true peace because, in the calm, they’re panicked that they must be in sin since no trial is present, therefore they seek one. True peace is not about circumstances, but trusting God no matter the circumstances.
With the latter, it leaves one missing deeper levels of humility because trials do indeed humble a person. When these folks have one, they always look only for the “why me” or “what have I done wrong?” They tend to drive themselves to madness when things don’t “fix” promptly. It perpetuates either pride in assuming, “it must be Satan attacking me because I’m in the right,” or condemnation because, “I must be doing something wrong.”
Both groups lead people to fall away from the Lord or to stay constantly frustrated since no one wants perpetual trials and no one in this fallen world can live up to never having a trial. Rejoice, ladies and gentlemen of God, rejoice in the Lord, our Sovereign! In your black hole experiences, it is definitely prudent to seek God’s face to reveal the “why” of it. If you are in sin, stop, repent, and go and sin no more. If it’s demonic, take authority over the demon(s) in the name of Jesus. If it’s a thorn in your side that God will not remove, come to terms with it, allow God to utilize it for the good of the Kingdom of Heaven, and be at peace instead of angry at God. He always has a better plan. No matter the root of your testing, until God reveals it, rest and trust Him knowing that the grace of God is upon the obedient and those who love Him. God is faithful always.
Chapter 1, Navigating the Black Holes of Life
by Alexys V. Wolf