Weather Report From Heaven: Sunny and bright, with an abundance of light and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture- “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.” 2 Corinthians 1:8
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?”- Hebrews 12:7
“Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.”- Revelation 3:10
Insight: We live in times of noise and distraction where if we are not careful, it is so easy to get swept away into the anti-God vortex we are currently living in, that as Christians we can feel lost in the world. Almost all media today is set up against God and filled with a demonic spirit of human pride. For these times, we must depend on Scriptural Truth more than ever as the antidote to the false messaging of the media, and we must know how to practically apply the lessons from the Bible in order to not only survive but to thrive in these times.
Recently, I have gone through a grueling physical and spiritual battle in dealing with a wicked combination of the Covid Virus in combination with some type of flu that left me reeling. It has been a 16 day journey of suffering, and to be honest there have been a few times when I wondered if I was going to ever pull out from under the weight of the battle my body, mind and soul were involved in. I have never been so physically exhausted, so mentally drained and so spiritually depleted as I have been in fighting this flu since December 27th until today. One thing I realized early on was that this battle was going to be unlike anything I have encountered before in intensity and strength, and I was going to rely on the Lord more than I have previously in order to come out victorious on the other side. There was a sinister component to this flu, and I could feel it as part of the battle I was engaged in. There were a few moments when the struggle seemed so overwhelming that I think I was crying out “Lord,I can’t take this any more, not one more day, hour or second. My body was in such anguish and my soul was under a heavy pressure that I can’t accurately describe.
Have you ever come to such a place in your life around any issue that just seems too great for you to bear? Recently, there are so many issues that have throttled all of our senses of normalcy and left us reeling, from the fear of the virus, to the breakdown in our education delivery systems, to the societal anarchy and chaos, and crime waves sweeping through many American Cities. Do you feel like sometimes God is invisible when you feel like you need Him most? If so, I have a newfound appreciation and understanding for how you must feel and it is scary. However, now I must also say that as I begin to emerge on the other side of my physical and spiritual ordeal, I can honestly see how God uses these times of intense pain to grow our faith by stretching us beyond what we think we can endure. I actually had nowhere else to turn in the real height of my despair than to turn to God and plead with Him to help me endure. I really felt like I had no other choice but to trust Him, and if not I wasn’t going to make it through on my own strength. That is what real despair looks like, and the Apostle Paul faced numerous times in his faith journey where everything else he thought he could depend on had been stripped away or removed, and all that was left was the Lord. During these times, his faith probably grew stronger than he ever thought possible and God’s strength literally carried him through until his next task was completed. He was shipwrecked, abandoned, persecuted, falsely accused, imprisoned, starved, and left for dead on many occasions, but he kept trusting in God, focusing on Him alone, and this somehow allowed him to continue on in spite of all odds being against him. Sometimes, God needs to bring us to the end of ourselves so he can show us His power to sustain us and grow our faith in ways we could never achieve in our own power or strength. In such times, it is scary and it can be the most uncomfortable we have ever felt in our lives, but we will learn we can trust Him to get us safely to the other side when the waves of life are crashing overhead. We have no other option but to endure and to grow, or to perish.
Prayer: Father God, help us to find You when the circumstances of life seem to overwhelming us, and we are in great despair. Let us know we can trust You more than we ever thought possible. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray. Amen!