A devotion by Cheryl Zelenka http://facingtrials.com
Weariness comes with fighting battles. Life is full of conflict. Spiritual warfare is a reality. Not all of our discomfort is the result of demon harassment, but with spiritual eyes we should be able to acknowledge the reality of a spiritual realm. We are not merely wrestling against flesh and blood. There is an unseen world that lives among us and it is full of principalities and powers of darkness.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.“Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)
Hardships, loss, change, illness, and the testing of our faith are not meant to break us beyond repair. That is not, and never will be, God’s intent! He loves us beyond measure and wants to reshape us by removing our flaws and sin. Adversity is one vehicle He uses to bring about our transformation.
God lovingly chips away at our old self and replaces our weak areas with His strength. If viewed in a positive light, trials are blessings. Through the sanctification process we are reconstructed into better living examples of Christ. We gain knowledge, wisdom, and a deeper love for mankind.
Jesus was a bruised reed but He was never broken completely (Isaiah 42:3). Our heavenly Father permitted His trial and suffering for our sakes and for our salvation. There was an incredible victory at the cross! The resurrection of Jesus put an end to death and triumphed over sin. In all His glory, Jesus Christ bears the wounds that bring about our healing.
“A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out. In faithfulness He will bring forth justice” Isaiah 42:3 (NIV)
Times of sorrow teach us lessons of perseverance. We need perseverance to run the race God has placed before us. We were designed to accomplish and complete works for His glory but endurance is required. An uncompromising faith will carry us far in our spiritual journey but it come at a cost.
If you have ever grown vegetables from seed, you know there is a process for getting seedlings ready for the hardships of outdoor living. Wise gardeners start their seeds indoors four to six weeks BEFORE the weather is suitable for outdoor living. Mother Nature is very unpredictable! If she gets caught up in her own spring-cleaning and runs behind schedule, she might send Jack Frost to dance around newly planted vegetables as late as May.
Frost kills tender shoots; so smart gardeners introduce their seedlings slowly to harsh and cooler climates. Our Master Gardener does the same for us. Your most recent yet previous trial is what He used to prepare you for the struggle you are now experiencing! By seeing you through your last trial He has equipped you for your present battle.
Another thing gardeners do is set young plants outside on windy days. The wind strengthens the stalk of a plant and helps to make it hardier. When it comes time to flower and bear fruit, you can see how this tactic would be beneficial. The struggle in the wind is really a blessing in the long run.
Do you feel like a smoldering wick that has already been blown out? If you have faith in the power of God and believe His Son died for your sins, your wick is simply smoldering and there is still hope. You can reignite your candle! His grace is limitless.
God’s plan for His Son was a physically, emotionally, and spiritually demanding task. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed to His Father asking that if there were another way to fulfill His plan, His cup would be taken from Him. Since there was no other way to fulfill God’s purpose, Jesus obediently faced His accusers.
As you consider what Jesus did for mankind, it may encourage you to take another step down your path. Indeed, the lessons you learn from pain will always make you stronger. “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Is. 40:29)
God knows this life is full of trouble and that we will become weary. He calls out to us in Matthew 11:28 to come into His arms and allow Him to give us rest. We can gain this rest by letting go of our worries. He will take care of every detail. Will you cast aside every anxiety in your heart or will you hold on to it with your own strength? The choice is yours.
““Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
“Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:3 (NIV)
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