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Your Trial is Your Victory

Updated: Feb 3

June 5, 2022- Every human being on this earth has faced challenging times at some point in their lives. Whether it is a death in the family, sickness, poverty, escaping persecution, abuse, food shortages, inflation, war or more, we have all faced times when we cannot take much more. When these times occur in our lives we are down on our knees, and while we may expect our friends and family to help us through these situations, they cannot be there for us all day, every day. Is anyone out there who can be with you at the lowest point in your life? Is hope lost?

Dearly beloved, I am here to bring you good news and I am telling you that not only is there hope in these times, but there is someone by your side constantly. If you are going through something tragic right now, hang in there and keep reading this article because there is a promise on you! Before getting into the promise, I must explain Saul of Tarsus first who became an apostle of Jesus Christ. If you already know who Saul is, you can jump straight to “Paul Explains Abraham’s Faith and God’s Promise.”

Saul of Tarsus

Saul of Tarsus lived in the first century BC through the first century AD. Tarsus was in the region of Cilicia, though this is now modern-day Turkey. Saul was a Jew and spoke Greek. Saul was a rabbi and a member of a religious group known as the Pharisees. He began persecuting early Christians dragging men and women from their homes in Jerusalem and committing them to prison (Acts 8:3).

Eventually, Saul requested letters from the high priest in Jerusalem to be sent into Damascus. The letters would give him arresting authority of the early Christians and he would bring back adults bounded to Jerusalem (Acts 9:1-2). Early Christians would come to know his name and the persecution of Christians caused them to be scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria. The apostles however, remained in Jerusalem, and Saul departed to Damascus.

On his way to Damascus, a bright light shone from heaven, and Jesus Christ called to him from heaven, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:3).

Saul fell to the ground and asks Jesus who he is. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” (Acts 9:5). Jesus instructs him to go to Damascus where Jesus would provide further instruction. (Acts 9:6)

The men that travelled with Saul were speechless, because they heard Jesus’s voice, but did not see anyone (Acts 9:7). When Saul arose, he was blind. The men took him by the hand and led him to Damascus. Saul remained blind for three days and did not eat or drink during that time.

Jesus Christ them speaks to His disciple, Ananias telling him to go to Saul. Ananias had heard of him and did not want to go. Jesus tells Ananias, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” (Acts 9:15-16).

Ananias goes to Saul telling him that Jesus sent him to restore Saul’s eyesight and to fill Saul with the Holy Spirit. Saul’s eyesight was restored immediately, and he was baptized. Receiving food, Saul regained his strength, and spent some time with the disciples in Damascus. This is the start of Saul's ministry. When he reached the island of Cyprus, his name is changed to Paul (Acts 13:9).

Sun light breaking over a grass field in the summertime
Photo Credit: Wix Media

Paul Explains Abraham’s Faith and God’s Promise

Paul’s ministry spread across the Roman Empire in the lands abutting the Mediterranean Sea. As the Christian church and movement grew, there was an order from Claudius Caesar Augustus (the fourth Roman emperor) commanding that the Jews depart from Rome (Acts 18:2). A few years later, this order was lifted, and the Jews returned to Rome, but the church became divided among Jesus believing Jews, and Gentile Christians. Paul writes the letter we now know as the book of Romans to unify the church by explaining Jewish law, and what Jesus did to fulfill the law.

In Romans 4:3, Paul speaks about Abraham, specifically that “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6 and Acts 4:3). Abraham’s faith in God, brought on this promise from God:

Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

(Genesis 12:1-3)

Paul explains to us that this promise extends to three groups of people (see Romans 4:10-12):

  1. Direct descendants of Abraham (flesh descendants)

  2. Direct descendants of Abraham believing in Jesus Christ (flesh and faith descendants)

  3. Gentiles believing in Jesus Christ (faith descendants)

The conclusion to Romans 4 is that “It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses and was raised because of our justifications.” Paul further explains this in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Hope During Times of Trouble

When Jesus died on the cross, He forewarned His disciples of difficult times to come, which are still occurring to this day:

Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Matthew 24:4-14

The Holy Bible speaks to trials and tribulations in the New Testament, and Jesus Christ gives us hope in Luke 22:28-29:

But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Why? Because God promised Abraham that he would have descendants and would make him a great nation. In Genesis 22:18, God said that because Abraham obeyed His voice, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” God also promised salvation to come from the Jews in the form of a savior, Jesus Christ our Messiah, and that salvation would extend from the Jews to the Gentiles in Isaiah 56.

Therefore, if you are reading this article, know that you are not alone, that Jesus Christ loves you and that salvation extends to you either as a flesh descendant or a faith descendant by God’s promise to Abraham. You may be going through challenging times now, but God will not give you more than you can manage (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Our hope is in Jesus Christ, and we need to praise the Lord during our challenging times. Look at what Paul says in Romans 5:1-4:

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Again, James 1:2 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James explains that those that endures temptation “will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love you.” (James 1:12).

Friend, you are not alone! Know that God is with you, and you will get through these challenging times, because God is about to do something amazing in your life, for Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God’s thoughts toward you are “of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” The book of Jeremiah goes on to say, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Hallelujah!

Accepting Jesus

Do you want to accept Jesus in your life today? Then say this prayer:

God, I confess that Jesus came in the flesh and blood, paid the price for my sins, died on the cross, rose on the third day, ascended to the heavens, and sent the Holy Spirit to help me understand Your ways. For that, I accept Jesus Christ as my savior and Lord, and I welcome the Holy Spirit in my life. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen!

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