After all we went through, I realized this truth – trials make us tough and strong. But Abba also taught me this: “Don’t relax after a victory, Retah – because that is the time most people let their guard down, and then they can easily stumble and fall.” This is what happened to Noah.
Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent(Gen.9:20-21)
Noah in his obedience built the arc; the flood came and he and his family victoriously survived it through the grace of God, yet he let his guard down and relaxed. He thought his job was over and done and that he could just sit back.... but God warns us to always be vigilant and watchful, and not to let our guard down – because if we are not careful, we can easily stumble and fall.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:10-11)
And in 1 Corinthians it is written: Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours.
Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things. They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness] that cannot wither.
Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary.
But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit] (1 Cor. 9:24-27).
This is the race we are running – the race of life. In it we will face many marathons, so after finishing one we should always be ready and prepared for the next one. Our lives are a fight for victory that leads us into eternal life in Christ. After one battle we can’t just sit back and relax... we need to prepare for the next battle that lies ahead. We need to train and improve our skills, and keep our swords held high. We need to eat and drink from God every day, and be ready for the next opportunity to overcome – in and out of season.
Start rejoicing in the middle of your trials, because we have a word of promise from Jesus that He will never leave us nor forsake us – and that is a reason to celebrate! Rejoice because of your faith in Him! As you proceed through your trial trusting God and praising Him, these trials will purify your faith and mature your character. You will know, that you know, that you know, that God is faithful and God is good.
Even more than that - your trials will take you into a higher level of glory, because trials work patience and endurance and maturity in your life.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us (Rom. 5:1-5).
Patience is the quality in us that enables us to endure to the end – and that can only be cultivated in us through trials... by waiting on the Lord and putting all our hope in Him.
There is nothing that can humble us and mature us like the school of suffering. All your experiences will come together in the end and result in a heart filled with hope.
These trails that we endure should not be despised, because the end and result of the trial makes us strong. The people transformed by these trials will be the ones you see operating mightily in the Kingdom of God.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised (Heb. 10:36).
This week was so busy, and I am packing to go and minister away from home this weekend. But I do it all with a calm heart – a heart filled with peace and love.
Ps 37:5 “I submit my ways to Jehovah, I trust in Him – and He will act!”
Retah and family