As Christians, we are liable to face many challenges and persecution from people of the world. Especially in situations that require patience, it can be hard waiting when you see others cutting corners and getting it quick. No one likes to be stigmatised but at one point or the other, we would be stigmatised for our faith. These things are not just things that you can adapt to, so can we as believers remain in Christ even in the face of troubles and trials? How can we remain faithful even when it’s very hard to?
Trust. It would take trust to be able to stay in Christ even when the situations around you tell you not to. Job in the bible was afflicted in many ways so much so that his wife told him to curse God and die. I mean, this was a man who God Himself declared to be upright and just, why then should he have to go through such turmoil? It was enough to get him to rebel or come to a negative conclusion about God however, he didn’t because he trusted God. At that time, the Holy Spirit wasn’t on earth as He is now. So, enjoying His comfort as we enjoy today, was somewhat far-fetched. But Job trusted God. In his lifetime of serving the Lord, he had come to realise that God always had a reason behind His actions. Though he expressed his agony and even cursed the day he was born, he was still certain that God always knows best. In addition, he trusted God to restore him to his original state. However, the thing about God is that He is always set to surpass our expectations as long as we believe He can. When we learn to trust God for who He is and what His word says, we would find it easier to stay in Him even when things aren’t going right. Our trust in God will serve as a comfort that even when we’re passing through fire, we are confident that He is with us because He has said and we believe it. [Job 13:15; 19:25, Job 1:7-8; 2:9, Job3:1-29, Job 5:8-9; 17-18, Isaiah 43:2, Ephesians 3:20]
Most of the time, when we are in distress or going through fire we feel we have to do it all on our own. We try to get through our challenges on our own strength and by our own ability and that’s why we wear out easily, that is why we feel tired of the whole “spirituality-thing” after a little while of endurance. God knew exactly what He was doing when He made His grace available to us. To stay in Christ even through the pain and pressure, you would need to depend on His grace. Paul the Apostle was imprisoned and at the certain time, he had been praying for God to remove a certain challenge he was facing, from his life but God told him His grace is sufficient for him. God’s strength was truly made manifest in him through his weakness. When you’re going through troubled waters and it seems like God is not coming to the rescue, understand that He simply doesn’t want you to escape from that challenge, He wants you to come out of it stronger but how are you going to do that by your own strength and power? You need to depend on God’s grace because it is sufficient for you! When we begin to rely wholly on God’s grace to get us through our tough times, staying in Him especially in those trying times would definitely not be as difficult in relation to doing it all by your own might and power. [2 Corinthians 12:7-10AMP]
If the we as believers did not need the Holy Spirit, there would have been no need for Jesus to ask the Father to give us “another Helper”. Part of what the Holy Spirit does for us as believers is to keep us in Christ. Jesus told the disciples (us) when He was ascending to heaven that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth and will teach us all we need to know. That is, should we be confused and loosing confidence in our faith, He will teach us things through the word of God that will guide us into confidence in God. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” Philippians 2:13 KJV. Remaining gingered for the Lord, remaining set on fire for Him and having the confidence to withstand external pressures like trials and tough times is made easy when we let the Holy Spirit help us. He makes the things of God matter more to us rather than the things of this world. The Holy Spirit in us causes our fleshy desires and feelings such as frustration, impatience, shame and sadness to become less prominent and He enhances His fruits in us only if we can yield to His leading. [John 14:16; John 16:13; Philippians 2:13AMP; Galatians 5:22-25]
Staying in Christ especially in these recent days has proved to be quite tough but when we choose to trust God, depend on His grace and let the Holy Spirit help us, it becomes so easy that it turns to our only way of life. Most especially, to those who run this race of life and remain faithful and become overcomers, a crown of life would be given to them all. Let your encouragement through the trials and persecution come from the word of God, spend more time learning what God has to say about your situation by staying in His presence through active studying of the word and praying.
“Because lawlessness is increased, the love of most people will grow cold. But the one who endures and bears up to the end will be saved”. Matthew 24:12-13AMP