We all envision our lives going a certain way. We have so much hope that our lives will be great. But rarely does it go that way.
In John 16:33, Jesus says: “In this world you WILL have trouble.” But He doesn’t stop there. He goes on to say “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Troubles in this life – even the worst imaginable type – are inevitable. Jesus promised that we would have troubles. When in the midst of our troubles, we have a choice how we will respond to them.
We can choose to give up, accept defeat, and quit OR we can choose to persevere.
The apostle Paul, writer of the much of the New Testament of the Bible, calls us to REJOICE “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” (Romans 5:3-5).
Paul knew suffering was inevitable. He didn’t say our sufferings would be enjoyable. He didn’t call us to rejoice in them because it’s fun to experience pain. It’s NOT! Paul just viewed suffering differently than most of us do. Instead of viewing suffering as defeat, he saw sufferings as SETBACKS that would SET UP Jesus to orchestrate a comeback and prove that He has overcome the world.
Think about it…if we didn’t have trouble or suffering, would we even see our need for Jesus?
Troubles and suffering are the most powerful thing to make us turn to Him.
When we experience something difficult, it makes us realize that we need God. Persevering is how we follow His LEADERSHIP and turn to Him daily, and also it’s when we experience Him overcoming.
Troubles and suffering are the most powerful witness to give hope to others.
When defeat seems inevitable, when our circumstances seem impossible, but we choose to persevere and we make it through the fire, it fills others with hope that Jesus can overcome.
Those who persevere learn to follow Jesus and walk WITH Him. Through their sufferings, Jesus transforms their character. Through it, their hope that once seemed lost is rekindled. Through persevering, a comeback is born after defeat seemed inevitable.
Guys, we don’t get to choose if we suffer…we WILL! But we do get to choose if we suffer without Jesus by giving up or WITH Jesus by persevering.
What will YOU choose?
- Do you want to experience Jesus orchestrate a comeback in your life?
- Will you choose to view sufferings like Paul did – opportunities for Jesus to orchestrate a comeback and prove that He has overcome the world?
- Will you turn to Jesus…from your sin? In your troubles? With your life?
- Will you choose to let your sufferings defeat you? OR Will you choose to persevere and allow Him to use your sufferings to bring hope to others?
It's ain't over. Don't give up!
By choosing to persevere, our troubles will not necessarily go away. But I believe that when we do, we will one day be able to say the same thing that Paul did with absolute confidence… For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Walter Alecio is walking, living, breathing proof of what God can do in and through us when we choose to persevere. He has walked through some of the worst imaginable trials in life, yet through it all, he has seen and experienced the powerful truth that NOTHING can separate him from the love of Christ. Check out his incredible comeback story here!