This is part 4 of a 5 part series on enduring through suffering by building resilience.
Part 1 – Enduring Well: Four Ways to Build Resilience
Part 2 – Enduring Well: Identity in Christ
Part 3 – Enduring Well: True Perspective
Part 5 – Enduring Well: Responsibility
The lie says, “This bad thing will never change and will only get worse.” This is unbelief and fear which, left unchecked, will destroy us. In contrast, the truth says, “God can do all things. There is nothing too hard for Him!”
Again, we must turn our inward gaze directly toward God and His ability and faithfulness.
For the Lord your God is the One who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. (Deut. 20:4)
…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matt. 28:20)
Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet He did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Heb. 4:14-16)
…God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Heb. 13:5-6)
for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4)
Jesus showed us a very dramatic example of what it means to trust God. In the early chapters of John’s Gospel, we read about the severe enmity of the Jewish leaders against Him. Many times it is said that they wanted, and even tried, to kill Him!
So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute Him. (John 5:16)
For this reason they tried all the more to kill Him; not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. (John 5:18)
After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill Him. (John 7:1)
At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? (John 7:25)
At this they tried to seize Him, but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. (John 7:30)
The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about Him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest Him. (John 7:32)
Some wanted to seize Him, but no one laid a hand on Him. (John 7:44)
… Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come. (John 8:20)
As it is, you are looking for a way to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God… (John 8:40)
At this, they picked up stones to stone Him, but Jesus hid Himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. (John 8:59)
His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. (John 9:22)
Again His Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone Him, (John 10:31)
Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp. (John 10:39)
“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” (John 11:8)
Jesus faced extreme opposition! He lived in the midst of continual adversity. If not for His deep trust in His Father to protect Him He would have been overcome with fear. Then in John 11, after hearing about Lazarus’ sickness, Jesus decided to go back to Judea, into the very middle of the persecution:
So when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days, and then He said to His disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” (John 11:6-7)
His disciples were horrified:
“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone You, and yet You are going back?” (John 11:8)
Look at Jesus’ response in verses 9-10:
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” (John 11:9-10)
Using an analogy of walking in the daylight and so not stumbling, Jesus said, “I’m walking in union with My Father, doing His will. The Father will protect Me. I won’t stumble. I won’t be destroyed.” This was His faith in God. He knew that as He was living in fellowship with the Father, He would be protected.
This is your same hope. Trust God! Walk with Him and believe that He will take you through every adversity. He will not let you stumble. He will not let you be destroyed.
One of the greatest statements of faith in the entire Bible is found in the Book of Daniel when Daniel’s three friends were given the choice of either worshipping the idol or being thrown into the fire. Their response demonstrated their great faith:
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. (Daniel 3:17-18)
God will deliver you! But, even if nothing ever does change in this life, we will still walk into eternal glory and that truth will give us great courage! Truly, when you walk with God you cannot lose!