THE TRIAL: ENDURE IT
You can know it’s a trial because it may take a while. James 1:2-4 says, “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its perfect result that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing…Ask for wisdom in faith.”
The reason I can say it will probably take a while is because of that little word, ‘endurance.’ It’s a dead give-away because we can’t have endurance without some long troubles. It seems that trials are put upon us from the outside.
This scenario is from God to build our faith. Don’t try to fight the trial, just endure it. Don’t look for a way out of it. You’re not going over it or around it, you can’t beam out of it. Nope. You’re going THROUGH it! No matter what tone you take with a trial, the only way out is through. That being said, and while it will be hard (ergo the name “trial”), there is a great reward at the end of every test. We get contentment! As far as I can see, there is no temptation in contentment.
Count it all joy and ask for wisdom when you find yourself in Scenario #1. God will certainly give it to you and bring you safely through.
THE ATTACK: FIGHT IT
If it’s an attack, you must fight back! Jesus said, “Behold, I have given you the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” (Luke 10:19) (Also see, Ephesians 6) This scenario is from the devil and is meant to destroy our faith. DO NOT ENDURE THIS, rather FIGHT IT!
This attack will most likely come from within us. It will try to distract and disrupt our hearts and minds from believing God’s word on any and every subject. The enemy is all about stealing, killing and destroying our faith. This attack will usually happen during a trial to get us to question God’s intentions or His love for us. How we respond to the trial will determine whether we win or lose this attack. Believe God and win. Doubt God and lose. At this point, it’s as simple as rebuking the enemy out loud and declaring the truth of God’s Word. The devil only has as much power as we give to him. We don’t necessarily need wisdom at this point. We just need to get dressed in the full armor of God, take our authority and get out there and FIGHT!
When you’re in scenario #2 and you’re under attack, rebuke the enemy and walk away with the victory!
THE GIANT BULLY: RUN THEN STAND!
When your back’s against the wall, who you gonna call? The Lord of HOSTS! This attack comes from both the inside and the outside of us. It’s an enemy BLITZ!
This scenario is a little different from scenario #2 in that it might take a while mostly because we have been ENDURING it instead of running to the Lord for His help.
In the days of David and Goliath, the army of Israel was afraid of the giant and allowed him to bully them for 40 days. This could happen to us too if we continue listening to the enemy’s lies day after day. If we expect to see victory in this scenario, it won’t be by enduring or fighting, but by running. Note that we are not running FROM anything in fear, rather, we are running TO the Lord in FAITH. It’s going to take great faith (and humility) on our part to resist the urge to fight this battle in our own strength. When David came up against Goliath, he had no physical strength whatsoever. In fact, King Saul tried to equip David with his own armor. David knew, however, that the victory would not be won by his strength but by the Lord’s.
We will never be a match for this enemy on his own turf. So, we don’t try to train to fight this enemy: we don’t get equipped: we just run behind the Lord of Hosts because “this battle is NOT OURS, it’s the LORD’S!” (2 Chr. 20:15) We can’t lose when we let the Lord fight HIS battle-HIS way.
In this Giant Bully Scenario, RUN behind the LORD of HOSTS then “STAND STILL and see the salvation of your GOD!” (2 Chr. 20:17)
CONCLUSION: When it all comes down to it, as Christians, we need to: 1) STOP fighting the trial-instead, ENDURE it; 2) STOP enduring the attack-instead, FIGHT it; 3) STOP enduring and fighting (in our own strength) the Lord’s battles-instead RUN to the Lord of Hosts!
If we follow these three semi-simple scenarios of life, they could just set us free!
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