Consider the challenge a toddler face during his first attempt at walking in life.
The task may seem almost impossible to him. In fact, the thought alone may scare him.
He collapses onto the hard floor with each step he takes. Sometimes, he could sustain minor injuries, sharp pain on the leg or buttocks. To him, surely, it must be difficult to survive in life…
Alas, if he permanently gives up at that first trial, he may never be able to walk like other children. Thankfully, however, he has his parents or any older person to guide him all the way through this first hurdle he must overcome to survive in life.
Now, consider the joy and ecstasy he experiences when he finally succeeds in walking unaided…
Challenges, Realities of Life
This is the reality in life. Man is not designed by God to be relaxed in his comfort zone. In the first three chapters of the book of Genesis, before God created the first human, Adam, He made every necessity of life available. Talk of food, shelter, comfort, a serene, beautiful environment, peace of mind and unrestrained fellowship with Him etc., they were all in place before his arrival.
But despite this ease, God still set work before him to do. Man must work and face some challenges, minor or major, before he can live his dream life.
Challenge to overcome Challenges
As a young Christian professional, you must have a strong mindset that blocks any challenge that comes your way and poses a threat to your spiritual or secular growth.
Revelation chapter two verse ten encourages you to, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of your into prison, that they may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life”.
Great glory awaits anyone who endured trials, temptations and persecution on earth and successfully made it to heaven. Why should you give up that great glory on the premise of the tribulation that merely lasts for a short time (ten days)?
An African proverb says, “A patient man will eat ripe fruit”. The best time to enjoy life is after patiently enduring hardship or labour. Remember, a gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.
Every pregnant woman looks forward to the delivery of her baby. But did you know that the time of labour is always very difficult? Meanwhile, the joy of bringing forth another person is a grand compensation for the temporal labour pain she experiences.
As she lay on the bed at the delivery room, pushing hard as she could, the pain she experiences propels her to exert more effort to conquer her present predicament. And most times, she does conquer.
Christianity, Not a Ticket to Easy Life
A lot of people often see Christianity as a ticket to the easy life. This is a huge misconception. Being a Christian means having faith in God, through Christ and not in yourself or any other person. More importantly, it is knowing that you will make it through trials and tribulations because you have God, in your corner.
Considerations of the Essence of Life Challenges
Perhaps a quick consideration of why Christians experience tribulations would help you understand why you need to endure…
1. Trials will help your perseverance (James 1:12). You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised you.
2. Sometimes, we suffer because of our own mistakes (Hosea 4:6) . When you follow the wrong voice and suffering comes, don;t blame God for it.
3. God is making you humble or could be a way to discipline you (Hebrews 12:5-11; Proverbs 3:11-13). So be patient and pass through that refining process.
4. Trials may also come so that you can depend on God and build your faith in Him alone (2 Corinthians 12:9,10).
5. God could be protecting you from a bigger problem that you don’t see coming (Psalm 121:5-8).
6. So that you can share in the suffering of Christ (1 Peter 4:12-16)
7. And ultimately, trials give us a greater reward in heaven (2 Corinthians 4;16-18).
Comfort for the Challenged
For any individual passing through any form of tribulation and wishes to overcome it or looking for succour, here are some scriptural admonition and promises for you.
– For those tempted, James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him”.
– For those suffering, the grace of God covers you. “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (1 Peter 5:10).
– Those in tribulation should “[Rejoice] in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing in constant prayer” (Romans 12:12)
– God did not abandon those who are weighed down by temptation. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “…God is faithful, who will bot suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to bear it”.
– For the oppressed, “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14:14).
– Let the restless and anxious “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6)
– If you are confused, I encourage you to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto [your] own understanding. In all [your] ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct [your] paths” (Proverbs 3:5,6).
– If you are weak physically or spiritually, say “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
– “God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” if you lack anything (Philippians 4:19).
– Why should you be fearful when “The Lord is [your] light and [your] salvation”? Declare that “The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).
– Hear God’s promise of those in trouble: “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him” (Psalm 91:15).
Now, as I give my parting thought, have this at the back of your mind: Trials take our minds off things of the world and put them back on the Lord. So when tribulations come, stop saying, “I’m going to pray” and actually do it.
Let this be a start to a new prayer life you never had. Stop thinking you can do things on your own and trust in God. Tell God, “I can’t do it without you. I need you my Lord. Please stand in the gap for me”.
Then you must stand strong and have faith God can bring you through it even if it seems impossible.
Now, don’t be afraid… let the tribulations come and conquer them one by one in Jesus’ Name.