". . . Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work which I have called them." Acts 13:2
Regardless of status: rich, poor, young, old, one thing is for sure, we will all face adversity. Yet, believers continue to be shocked when they face times of trouble. We've been lulled into a state of false security by the message of Cultural Christianity, "Accept Christ and everything will be fine." It sounds good, but it's not true.
Everyday in our city Christians are battling tough times. Debilitating disease, agonizing addictions, tear-jerking family drama, heart-sickening circumstances. Knowing Christ doesn't insulate us from heartbreak.
Jesus spoke of life in this world with brutal honesty, "In this world you will have trouble."
No matter how faithful or loyal we've been, regardless of how many ministries and missions we've participated in, there will be difficulty and trials. Friends will forsake us, families will fail us. In this life, hurt is habitual. In reality, commitment to Christ places us in the crosshairs of more problems. It's true there are easier and safer ways to live this life, but not as rewarding.
If Paul and Barnabas had sought safety over sacrifice, they wouldn't have faced so many sorrows and would not have been used by God in such a mighty way. There is no success without struggle, no overcoming without opposition, no achievement without adversity.
How we view our struggles determines our staying power. Supernatural opposition is unavoidable. Spiritual conflict is no fantasy, it’s more than a topic for theologians. Hard times happened to God’s best and most faithful servants. It happens today. Everyday the battle is on. We step in the ring, into a bare knuckles fight between light and dark, we come face-to-face with heart-thumping confrontation of good and evil. We fight on with the assurance that our Lord and King has overcome the world.
Does the shock of trials reveal any offense you have against God?