Count It All Joy

We’re called to be warriors for Christ in the midst of these times of tribulation, we’re going to have to get our hands dirty

 

By Rob Pue, Publisher – Wisconsin Christian News

 

There’s no question that we’re living in troubled times.  And every day I hear from people who are extremely discouraged, fearful, anxious, depressed and many have lost all hope.  These are not “worldly” people — these are Christians and they’re in despair as they see what is coming upon the world now.  They seek God but feel far from Him.  They pray but receive no answers.  They look for God’s blessings but all they find is adversity and hardship.

It’s not sinful or a lack of faith when these feelings and emotions seem to overtake you.  Even Jesus, on the eve of His crucifixion, cried out to His Father, “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless, not My will, but Thine, be done.”  Even after an angel came and ministered to Him, as He prayed even more earnestly, the Bible tells us His sweat was like “great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”  Our Savior did not doubt His Father or lose His faith, but He certainly was in turmoil as He knew what was coming.

1 Peter 4:12 & 13 tells us, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”

Jesus told His disciples that in this world they would have tribulation.  And so will we.  All who are true Christ-followers will have to endure tribulation and fiery trials.  But He also said we are to “be of good cheer” because He has overcome the world… and because we belong to Him, because we are His children, we also have overcome the world.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been at what I thought was the lowest possible point of my life.  All the times that, because of the circumstances I found myself in, I thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse, ever.  My life has been one of continuous “fiery trials” and tribulations.  Many times I’ve found myself at the point of despair, discouraged, fearful, anxious, deeply depressed and more times than I can count, hope has eluded me.  In some cases, these horrible situations passed rather quickly.  In others, the trials have lasted for months and even years.

But every time, they’ve eventually passed and afterwards, sometimes years afterwards, I’ve been able to look back at those situations and see how God was true to His promise: He did work everything together for good.  He did restore the things that were lost.  He did bring beauty out of ashes.  And every single time, I learned the valuable lesson of trusting God through the worst of situations because as I look back at those awful times, I can clearly see that He never left me and I was never forsaken by Him — quite the contrary — He was teaching me the most valuable of all lessons — to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

You see, friends, it’s only the doubting that causes anxiety, depression, discouragement, fear and despair.  When we know that our God is with us and His Holy Spirit is in us, in every situation, we can look for the lesson He’s teaching us with hearts of hope and joy, and we can be blessed with peace that passes all understanding.  When you truly know that God is with you, then honestly, who can be against you?  Is any trial, trouble our tribulation too big for God?  Do you truly believe that Jesus has overcome the world and that as His children, we have as well?  If so, then embrace the trials you must endure.  They’re for a purpose, and ultimately, God will work them all together for good.  Evil will not prevail against God’s people.

So, if you’re feeling like this is the lowest point in your life, and God is not opening doors or answering prayers or providing solutions and you’re wondering where His blessings are, just know that He is blessing you, right now, in the midst of great adversity.  The blessing is the teaching you’re receiving right now.  The blessing is the sanctification that this “wilderness experience” is building in you.  The blessing is the character cleansing and the faith building that’s happening right now, even as you live through awful, terrible dark days.

Romans 8:28, “We know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”

2 Corinthians 4: 8 & 9, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”

James 1: 2-4, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Of all people, I am keenly aware of what we’re facing in this world from the Globalist agenda.  The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and His anointed.  The heathen are raging and the people are imagining vain things.  Certainly there’s no shortage of things to be concerned about.

Today we’re on the brink of civil war and world war.  Our country is being invaded by foreign enemies and our own government is not only allowing it, but facilitating it.  There’s an all-out war on morality, goodness, righteousness and on God Himself.  The kings of the earth are conspiring together to depopulate the earth, murder millions and enslave the rest.  They’re manipulating the weather to bring about unnatural climate disasters, droughts, and famine.  The sorcery of pharmakea is killing and enslaving people.  Insanity and madness is rampant.  Sexual immorality and delusion is worse than any of us could ever have imagined.  Children are being openly groomed for sexual abuse and exploitation under taxpayer-funded government mandates, and sodomites have gone past the point of pride and have now turned to an agenda of violence.

Many are enduring homelessness, poverty, drug abuse and extreme mental illness, even as the Great Healer, Jesus Christ, is forbidden to even be spoken of in many places.  True Christ-followers are being persecuted like never before in America today.  If you haven’t yet experienced such persecution, then I’d examine your heart to see if you really are in the faith, or just a “Christian” in name only — which, by the way, equates to taking the Lord’s name in vain.

And meanwhile, with very few courageous Christ-following shepherds, the people have lost their moral compass and only a small remnant even know who God is anymore, much less teach and train up their children in the way they should go.

I understand the future looks bleak.  I also understand there are many just enduring all this in quiet despair, waiting for the rapture to take them out of this world.  That’s a very poor choice to make, and I believe, even a sinful one.  We’ve been called to occupy until He returns.  Not bury our talents or hide our lights under a bushel.  We’re called to be warriors for Christ in the midst of these times of tribulation, and that involves more than just leaving Bible tracts on the table in a restaurant or in a restroom stall at the gas station.  If we’re serious about our faith, we’re going to have to get our hands dirty, and when we do, we’re going to face persecution.  As I said, if you’re not already experiencing such persecution, I’d advise that you examine your heart to see if you’re a true believer or if you’ve been deceived by “easy believism.”  Remember 2 Timothy 3:12, “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

Have you been transformed by the renewing of your mind, or have you been conforming to this world, trying to fly under the radar, a “closet Christian” that avoids confrontation and controversy at all costs?

The world is growing more and more dark by the day.  Wickedness abounds.  Even God’s faithful can be fearful and deeply discouraged at times.  My advice is to know and understand what’s happening — don’t tune out the news, because we need to know what the enemy is up to.  But at the same time, don’t submit to fear.

There are many who search the daily headlines and seem to thrive on bad news.  They seem to get some sort of “thrill” out of the latest thing the Globalist devils are planning and doing.  Yeah, it’s good for us to know what’s happening.  But don’t focus on it with an attitude of defeat.  Set your hearts and minds on the things of God.  Build your spirit up in faith and know that one day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…and that the plans of those who hate us will blow back upon them and they themselves will be crushed by the very things they intended for us.

In Isaiah 35:4, we have this: “Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”

As I see the plans of the Globalist Luciferians for this world, it’s very clear that God’s true remnant people are their mortal enemies and they absolutely intend us great harm.  Many of us will lose our freedom and all our earthly posessions, and many of us will lose our lives in the days ahead as the evil ones continue in their attempt to rebuild Babylon.

I would urge you to remember all those strong men and women of faith in Scripture and understand these are not simply Bible stories.  These are historical accounts of God’s chosen enduring great persecution.  Let us learn from biblical history.  And look back at your own life, to the times you thought you were at your absolute lowest point and things couldn’t possibly get any worse — and remember how God was teaching you, training you up and sanctifying you, and how, in retrospect, you can now see how He worked all those horrible things together for good…because you love Him and are called according to His purpose.

There’s no reason to be afraid.  We have nothing to fear.  Nothing can separate us from the love of God.  “Neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus said, “In this world, you will have tribulation, but take heart. I have overcome the world.”  And in Christ, so have you.  So, keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.  Set your heart and mind on the things of His kingdom, even as we endure this present darkness.  Use your talents wisely.  Invest them for your King as you use what He’s given you to stand as a fortress of truth in a world of deception.

I pray that God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven.  He accomplishes His will through people — but the souls of His children must be tested, our characters cleansed and it’s through hardship and persecution that we grow closer to Him in sanctification.  Let us be about our Father’s business — boldly and courageously, with hearts filled with hope and faith, rather than fear and dread, so that after we have stood firm through it all, He will say to us, “well done, thy good and faithful servant. Enter in, to the joy of thy Lord.”

 

© 2023 Rob Pue

WISCONSIN CHRISTIAN NEWS

225780 Rib Mountain Dr. # 229 • Wausau, WI 54401

(715) 486-8066

Wisconsin Christian News

 

Audio versions and transcripts of this message are available when you call me at Wisconsin Christian News, (715) 486-8066. Or email Rob@WisconsinChristianNews.com. Ask for message number 399.

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Categories: BIBLE STUDY, END TIMES / PROPHECY, FAITH FOR TODAY, OUTREACH, SPIRITUAL WARFARE, THE WORD OF GOD FOR TODAY

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Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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