“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
The Christian life is one of adversity. The Bible tells us that this is of a necessity and is the result of living a Godly life (2 Timothy 3:12). Jesus said that the World hates us because it hates Him (John 15:18-23). As so this is our portion in this World as we identity with Christ, showing forth His Life in us.
But we need not to despair when we are facing mountain-sized obstacles and trials of faith brought on by the World. We have the assurance that Christ has already overcome the World (John 16:33) and that He causes us to be triumphant (2 Corinthians 2:14). Our text gives us comfort and a word of encouragement to “let go and let God” do what He has promised to do – care for us.
This message may be stated in the form of a mathematical equation:
Trials plus Christ equals Assurance
Taking each of these factors as a point for discussion, we can get a better understanding of our relationship with Christ as He has promised to bear our burdens. We can come to see that the battle belongs to Him, and that He will make us to be victorious in our Christian life.
Today, we will look at the first part of this equation…
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12)
The first thing we need to know about trials, testings, persecutions, problems, and other adversities, is that such are an inevitable part of life for the Child of God. As Christ Jesus is hated by the world, those “in” Him are hated as well. This gives us the indication that living a Godly life brings persecution.
Sadly, much of our hardships come as chastisement (Hebrews 12:5-6). This we bring on ourselves when we err and need correction. However, true persecution is that which we undergo when we have obeyed the Word of God. The experience of persecution is the experience of Christ’s suffering (Philippians 3:10). As He has identified with us in His death, burial, and resurrection; we are to identify with Him in our suffering for Him (2 Timothy 2:12).
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
A second thing to look at when we are examining the nature of our trials is that there is a beneficial aspect to them. At first thought, this may be a hard thing to accept. When we’re faced with growing problems, we naturally feel that no good could come of them. But we know that Faith is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9); and He has Sovereign control over our lives. So He equips us to endure every trial of faith, working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).
James tells us that the trials of faith work (or produce) patience in us. Perhaps the hardest lesson to learn, patience is lacking in many of our lives. We want answers to our prayers and we want them now. Our problems cause us worry, stress, and despair; because they are long in duration and we don’t see a solution. But we are to allow patience to be built up in us, so that we may learn contentment, to wait upon the Lord.
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)