I’ve been wanting to write on this topic for a while, especially in these times when America’s future is uncertain and morality and true faith are a breath of fresh air. When times (personal or external) are tough and you feel like one thing after another is causing you heavy burden, the most precious thing we have to hold close is faith!
Now, I know that may sound much easier said than done, but when trying times burden my heart (making anxiety even worse with my OCD), I still know the Lord loves me and my future is in His all-powerful Hands. Before I came to know the Lord through His Word and a personal relationship with Him, faith was hard because without a relationship with God or a grasp of His character, faith is baseless. I’ve had a relationship with the Lord for a few years now, but only made this relationship connection a few months ago, and ever since then trusting in God has given me peace where I would not truly have it!
Isaiah 26:3 (NLT):
“You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in You,
all whose thoughts are fixed on You!”
But Psalm 34:19 and John 16:33, respectively, told us trials would happen… “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers them from them all.” (ESV) and “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV)
What is most important is how we react (who we lean on and trust in) when these trials come! But when we do come out unscathed on the other side (Daniel 3:28-29 (visual)) and, eventually meet the Lord when He either calls us home or calls His church home, our faith will be tested by the fire and glorifies the Lord Jesus to the world (1 Peter 1:7).
The Apostle Paul also tells us to be “…joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”—Romans 12:12 (NIV) and that we should “3 rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”—Romans 5:3-5 (ESV, visual)
In his last letter and when he knows he’s about to die, Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:8 (NLT) what awaits those who endure to the end in victory… “And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of His return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to His appearing.”
One of my favorite lines about faith came back in 2013 when “The Bible Series” aired. In the first episode, right before God calls Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, the narrator says, “After years of struggle, Abraham has learned that to be chosen by God is a blessing—and a test. He must prove his faith—again, and again.” (The Bible Series (2013),”Beginnings, Part 1,” 34:26 time marker)
If you needed any more reason to have faith in trials, there is a reward. In Revelation 3, Jesus has nothing to correct or discipline with the church in Philadelphia, but commends the church that they’ve “kept His command to endure patiently” and promises to “keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth” (3:10), which is most likely the Great Tribulation, or “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7).
The Apostle John, also called the “Beloved Disciple” (John 20:2), had “patient endurance” (Revelation 1:9) and was given the privilege of seeing and writing what God had concealed for ages. I truly believe that enduring patiently (trusting God and having faith) is the other side of the reward coin God promises!