Where do you stand during tough times?
The world has changed completely since the COVID-19. As uncertainty looms before us, we need to search our hearts about our relationship with God during this time. Are we upset with God? Are we offended and angry that God allowed these things to happen? Are you an overcomer ready to face whatever comes or whiners who always complain? Our attitude towards God is going to decide and define a lot of things for us and this will also impact the rest of our lives. We need to be alert and watchful.
Can you endure?
In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus spoke about four kinds of seeds. Those that fell on the path, on rocky ground, on thorny plants and on good ground.
Jesus explained this Parable saying, “The ones sown upon stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word, at once receive and accept and welcome it with joy; And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.” (Mark 4:16-17)
“And the ones sown among the thorns are others who hear the Word; Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.” (Mark 4:18-19) Are we among those caught in the distractions of the world? Have we made money, fame and wealth our idols?
We need to be watchful that our hearts are not offended and resentful towards God due to our feeling of entitlement or our longing for things that we made into idols in the past season. Jesus said, “I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) During trials we need to remember that we cannot make it without Jesus. Fears, worries, doubts and despair is the portion of those who do not trust in God.
Benefits for the Overcomer
God promises good and blessings in great measure for those who obey the Word. Jesus said, “And those sown on the good (well-adapted) soil are the ones who hear the Word and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit – some thirty times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some [even] a hundred times as much.” (Mark 4:20)
During these times of uncertainty, our greatest need is to have peace of mind. Psalms 119:165 says, “Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble.“
God has promised in Isaiah 28:16, “He who believes (trusts in, relies on, and adheres to Him) will not be ashamed or give way or hasten away [in sudden panic].”
What is God asking us to do at this time? He reassures us saying, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7 NIV)
God is calling us to be strong and endure hardships with the right attitude during this season. Philippians 3:14 asks us to press on. “I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.”
If we live a good life and keep our faith in God, we will reap the benefits and receive rewards from Him. “But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].” (Hebrews 11:6)
We need to keep our eyes on God. 1 Corinthians 9:24 says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours.” No one else can run life’s race for us. Let us run well so we win.
Let us live well so we can say, “I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)
BY HENRIETTA DECRUZ