“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:3-4
Sometimes we will face hard-times. Endure it through Christ. Too many Christians are living a lie. What are the lies?
- If you’re a Christian, you are not supposed to be sad.
- If you’re a Christian, you should never doubt.
- Instead take every concern to God in prayer.
- Pray for your weaknesses.
- If you’re a real believer, you wouldn’t feel down.
- Sometimes things are not going well–don’t feel like you have to put up a front.
- When you need prayer, ask for it.
- Then become a listener, not a gossiper.
- A listener should be someone you can trust.
- Only a trustworthy person can keep confidences.
- Nobody is flawless. Everybody has weaknesses.
- God holds the same standard for everybody.
- Get free today. The people you are trying to impress have no power to put you in Heaven or Hell
- Another myth is that Christians don’t get depressed.
- When this happened to David, David encouraged himself in the Lord.
- YOU BETTER KNOW HOW TO ENCOURAGE YOURSELF.
- You can be down, but don’t stay down.
- What is endurance? Endurance means you have learned how to last.
- Endurance means to suffer patiently and to tolerate.
- Have you ever had to tolerate certain people? Even people you love?
- To tolerate, you must have tolerance.
- Sometimes you have to endure a difficult process.
- For instance, consider a car wash. There are several steps to get the car clean.
- Sometimes we want to be a strong Christian without going through a process.
- The key is WHEN YOU GO THROUGH IT, DON’T GIVE UP.
- Don’t let the enemy distract you with discouragement.
- Sometimes you did not do something wrong, you did something right that caused the enemy to attack or accuse you.
- One area of endurance is PAIN. Sometimes we have to learn how to endure pain.
- Most people want to avoid pain. In life nobody wants to go through pain.
- But in this life, we will experience some pain.
- It can come through sickness, family loss, a break-up, broken marriage, friendships break up, etc.
- Some friends don’t want to see you do well. They try to find fault.
- There is pain from without and pain from within.
- 2 Timothy 2:11-13 – This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
- Some pain can be profitable. This applies to childbirth. No baby comes without the pain of delivery.
- When Job went through his ordeal, he was tested because he was righteous. He lost everything, but got double back for his trouble.
- Some parents want to rescue their children from every painful situation.
- If you rescue your child every time they face difficulty, you set them up to be weak or spoiled.
- We can’t shield our children from everything.
- But when you go through a test you may be surprised at how strong you are in the Lord.
- See a painful time as a time to get close to the Lord, and have a memory with the Lord that no one can take away from you.
- Discipline from the Lord comes to strengthen you, not destroy you. The pain has a purpose.
- Sometimes we have pain when we have unanswered prayer.
- God knows what’s best. God sees the bigger picture and He knows what to do to produce the best result.
- God doesn’t want us to be proud, so He gives us balance.
2 Corinthians 12:7-11 New King James Version – The Thorn in the Flesh
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 11 I have become a fool in boasting; you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles, though I am nothing.
PAIN CAN ALSO BRING A CHANGE. WE DON’T ASK FOR IT BUT WE SHOULD LEARN FROM IT.
The Lord rewards faithful endurance.
- THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT YOUR PAIN CAN BRING SOME GAIN.
- After you learn, you can help somebody else.
1 Peter 5:10-12 New King James Version
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.