How can I endure in my faith during hard times?
By Dr. Charles Stanley
You are God’s masterpiece, and He has given you His Word as a testimony to the love and joy He has for you. Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The LORD your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”
God rejoices over you and is transforming your life to reflect His goodness to others. He has an awesome plan for your life. You are not yet what you will be when you step into the eternal presence of God (1 Cor. 13:12; 1 John 3:2). Until that time, God is patiently molding and shaping you into the image of His Son. Therefore, you never have a reason to give up (Gal. 6:9). You are not alone! Jesus is with you, cheering you on to victory. He is at your side to strengthen and encourage you. When you fix your eyes on Him and not on your circumstances, you will begin to see life differently. Instead of thinking negatively, the Holy Spirit will teach you to think about the things of God—pure thoughts that honor Jesus Christ.
God also makes it clear that He loves you with an everlasting love and has pledged to never leave or forsake you (Deut. 31:6, 8; John 14:18; Heb. 13:5). He walks with you through disappointment, and when you confess your sins, “He is faithful and righteous to forgive [your] sins and to cleanse [you] from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). He has seen the finished portrait! While on your own you can do nothing, He knows that through Christ you can and will succeed (Phil. 1:6; 4:13). This does not mean that you won’t suffer or feel pain. Jesus endured both, and yet He did not give up. He knew that in order to complete His mission He would have to endure until the end, and He wanted more than anything else to accomplish the Father’s will.
How could He possibly bear the weight of all our sins and still remain victorious? Because He had an eternal perspective (Heb. 12:2). Long before it happened, Jesus saw the Resurrection as a completed fact (Matt. 20:18, 19)—that after three days, He would rise from the grave to walk in victory over sin and death (1 Cor. 15:55–57). You can walk in confidence and triumph because Jesus is your example and His Spirit lives in you. Like colors on an artist’s palette, God can work through every situation in your life—even the one you are facing right now—to bring you closer to Himself (Jer. 29:11–13; Rom. 8:28).
Adapted from "The Charles F. Stanley’s Life Principles Bible," 2008.
Do you want to give up on your marriage, job, children, financial situation, or other personal struggle? We often feel tempted to quit when we’re in the middle of such difficult circumstances, but giving up is not consistent with who we are as followers of Jesus Christ. In this message, Dr. Stanley shares how the apostle Paul is a perfect example of someone who never gave up in spite of persistent difficulty and hardship. (Watch The Courage to Keep Going.)
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