“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalms 30:5)

Allow me to pose a rhetorical question: Where does the trouble, pain and the trials of our life come from?  If you were to survey believers and non-believers alike each would have their own theories.  Some would tell you that suffering is the victims fault.  They will reason that the suffering person must have done something that displeased God.  Believers will confidently point to the just nature of God, which, in their minds, supports their rationale.

Others will insist that pain, trials, and all suffering simply happen by chance.  Their postulation is based on the ostensible sporadic dispersion of pain and suffering.  There are no common denominators, both sinners and the saved, the rich and the poor, white and black, all suffer.  Though all suffering has purpose, nothing is without purpose in God’s divine plan,  I have become convinced that no amount of research will deduce an irrefutable conclusion to discovering the where’s and why’s of suffering .

What we do have, however, is pragmatic and empirical evidence that how we receive and respond to the trials and vicissitudes of life have a direct bearing on our ability to endure.  One of the most influential truths in confronting one’s struggles is that your trials are temporary.  They are impermanent situations that will produce permanent advancement in this ethereal journey called Christianity.  In essence, trouble don’t last always.  The latter statement may not be grammatically adequate to the eyes of some of my academician readers, but I’m giving it to you the same way my mother gave it to me, so I humbly request your tolerance in the matter.

Physiologically, we are all the same, irregardless to race, religion, or economic background.  Yet, there are some who crumble under the pressure of life’s struggles and then there are those who, despite the difficulty of the moment, face their trials head on and overcome them triumphantly.  There is, however, a common denominator in both instances:  For the person who succumbs to the pressure of their struggles, the common thread is despair, the belief that there is no way out.  The person who perseveres has that one thing the latter person does not have -hope!

What is hope?  Merriam-Webster defines hope as thus: to desire with expectation of fulfillment, trust, reliance; desire accompanied by expectation; one that gives promise for the future.  Therefore, hope travels beyond the boundaries of wishful thinking.  Hope, according to Merriam-Webster, is desire conjoined with expectation; the word of focus being expectation.  One may desire what he wills, howbeit, expectation, by its very definition requires prospection, the foundation of that which we desire.  There must be something considered that influences hope.  Thus, hope is never empty desire, but desire married to reasonable expectation.  For the Christian warrior, this reasonable expectation, or faith as we call it, materializes within the fertile soil of trust, trust in God.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  (Heb. 11:1)

So, the very essence or nature of hope is faith.  Faith is not only the quintessence of hope, it is the sustainer.  We know that faith comes through the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  This means we are to engage the struggles of this life with the promises of God in mind.  We are to always have hope.

To some, hope is that illusive jewel that evades capture at all cost.  There are some who find hope to be an alien concept.  To them, hope is unattainable.  They live each day in the darkness of perpetual despair.  In the absence of hope, one is forced to turn to other coping mechanisms; illicit drug use, sexual deviancy, violent paroxysms and other destructive behaviors.  The absence of hope is despair, and despair chokes the life out of its victims.

I mentioned that hope can be quite illusive to some, for the spirit filled believer, this should not be the case.  Since we walk by faith, the very substance of hope (Heb. 11:1), we should be able to count it all joy as commanded by James (James 1:2), and glory in tribulations (Romans 5:3) as exhorted by Paul.

We are able to count it all joy because we trust and lean on Jesus and not our finite perspicacity of His ultimate plan (Prov. 3:5).  We are able to glory in our tribulations because God has promised to work all things for the good (Rom. 8:28).

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight in glory.” (2 Cor. 4:17)

Paul says that our afflictions are momentary, not only that, they are also working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  What you are going through is temporary.  The heartache and pain you feel will pass.  That vehement sense of sorrow and that immobilizing sense of loneliness will be replaced with joy unspeakable.  This, in itself, should produce a double investment of hope; the hope resting in the knowledge that my afflictions produce eternal blessings and reward, as well as the hope that comes in knowing that “Trouble Don’t Last Always”.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

The Word of God guarantees that there will be struggles, adversity, and disappointments.  This insures us that problems will arise in the life of every believer.  The direct source of this pain and difficulty becomes irrelevant in the scope of its reality.  Knowing its origin will not eradicate its existence.  We must not become so engrossed in the task of locating the place of blame that we fail to properly respond to the situation itself. So many of us spend enormous amounts of time and energy placing blame, hoping it will release us of the burden of the moment.  The primary focus must be on how we respond to these hardships.  As followers of Christ, we have a responsibility to face the difficulty with an inexorable faith in our God to bring us through.

One quick warning; in our understanding of temporary struggles we must not be guilty of “my time thinking”.  Our hope must not exist solely in the belief of immediate extraction by God from the problem.  We operate by God’s time table and should never postulate that he has to respond by ours.  If we only hope for an instantaneous resolution, our faith may be shaken by delay.  We can, however, take solace that in His own time, God will deliver. -”Trouble Don’t Last Always.”

We must also focus our hope on that eternal reward for our faithfulness.

I was once told that the strongest qualities of a Christian shine brightest in the fierce winds of adversity.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  (1 Peter 1:6,7)

You will never realize what’s inside until you are tested.  Testing, through struggles, unveils the genuineness of your faith.  Testing brings the mature Christian to a point of focus; on God and purpose.  The most indestructible mineral and the hardest surface known to man is a diamond.  A diamond is created when a lump of coal is placed under immense pressure.  In the same way, the pressures of life’s many struggles and vicissitudes develops character, integrity, and fortitude, that jewel we know as the Christian soldier.  The question then arises: Can we prosper in the midst of adversity?  The answer is: We must!

Adversity is the fertile soil in which the seed of prosperity must be planted and cultivated.  Satan would have you believe that your trials are meant to destroy you.  He will tell you that God has forgotten about you.  God has promised, however, never to leave nor forsake you.  Psalms 34:19 says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous,  but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”  Proverbs 24:16 informs us that the righteous man can fall and rise again, meaning that even when our storm is of our own doing, we can still rise and recover.

The promises of God’s Word should produce a transcending peace that consumes all anxiety, stress, and fear.

We should be able to walk in the strength of knowledge that our trials are temporary -Trouble Don’t Last Always!

We must process a non-oscillating faith in God to deliver.  Satan will use our wavering faith as an orifice to come in and totally dismantle our hope.  So, when the lone winds of suffering creep into your paradise -count it all joy.  Put on the whole armor of God and prepare to take a stand.  Rev. 2:10 says -”Do not fear any of those things you are about to suffer.  Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into the prison, that you may be tested and you will have tribulation ten days.  Be faithful until death, and I will give you a crown of life.”  Let us fist take notice of the word “indeed”; indeed implies without question that trials will come.  Secondly, the term “ten days”; which should not be interpreted literally, but is symbolic of a relatively short period -Trouble Don’t Last Always!  We are to be faithful, even until death.  This sounds like a directive of no surrender; no retreat.  We are to focus our hope on that crown of life and press toward the mark.

The story of Job is brought to remembrance.  There are not too many that have suffered to the extent of my man Job.  I’m sure that while he tarried under the pernicious attacks of Satan, he wondered when or if it would ever end, but through an unrelenting and unwavering faith, he found that, trouble don’t last always!

I can envision David, surrounded and outnumbered, crying out to God, don’t hide your face from me.  Though the odds are stacked against him, he stands in faith, knowing, trouble don’t last always!

As I take mental flight, I can see Mary and Martha weeping because of the untimely death of their brother, Lazarus.  I can imagine the overwhelming grief and vehement sense of helplessness. However, I see Jesus standing at the opening of the tomb and speaking the words: Lazarus, come forth!  At their darkest hour, Mary and Martha learned trouble don’t last always!

I can even see Joseph, traded into slavery by his brothers, living as a slave and then as a prisoner, but Joseph remained steadfast, a bedrock of faith.  In time, he was promoted to the second highest post in all the land of Egypt.  After the death of his father, Jacob, he addressed his brothers with courage and forgiveness.  He said to them, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.”  He was ultimately saying, I’ve been through the storm and rain, but I made it.  You see, trouble don’t last always!

Understand this; the aforementioned faith warriors understood something about this faith walk.  They had an experiential and erudite understanding that in order to obtain the prize, you must travel through the storm.  In apprehension of the prize, they experienced the reality that trouble don’t last always!

From this very thing we extract hope.  A hope that assures us that weeping endures for a night (temporary) but joy comes in the morning. -Trouble Don’t Last Always!

We rest in a hope that is anchored in the fact that our light and momentary afflictions are weighing for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  It is an domitable hope that is sustained and substantiated in the fact that God works all things for the good.

So, as each of you face the vicissitudes and struggles of this life, anchor yourself in the same hope as the faith warriors of times past.  Focus on the outstretch hands of God.  Tell yourself that this trial is just a testing of my faith.  You look at yourself in the mirror and say, trouble don’t last always!

Feeling lonely?  Trouble don’t last always!

Feeling overwhelmed?  Trouble don’t last always!

Facing an uphill struggle?  Trouble don’t last always!

God’s grace is sufficient for you.  Trust and believe.  Live each day to the fullest.  Live a life grounded in hope and the efficacious power of passionate and effectual prayer.  Fulfill your destiny!

God bless

Bishop Rick Wallace

Author: The Invisible Father

Advertisements