“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:31-32). These two verses, spoken by the Apostle Paul to the Roman church and, by extension, us, should serve as an encouragement during the hardships we face. When God is for us, it means that we have met the requirements laid out by His Word to be considered an adopted child and heir of the fortune that is everlasting life. When we walk in obedience, we have the power of God at our disposal – how comforting is that?
Less comforting, maybe, is the fact that we will meet those trials and tribulations more often than we think. Sadly, some churches falsely spew a delusion that we are freed from the devil’s attacks once we have put Christ on in baptism. I had an individual quote, out of context, I might add, a portion of the Lord’s prayer to substantiate that claim. Matt. 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” It would read better as “deliver us from the temptations of the evil one,” but more of that another time. Suffice to say that the person’s interpretation was too literal for the context – the ever-present danger of a cursory reading of the scriptures.
There should be no doubt in the mind of any Christian that temptation, trials, and hardships will hound us during the marathon of a life lived in obedience to God. In fact, we are promised that in John 15:18-20, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” The same is also promised in 2 Tim. 3:12, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” But we need not fear the challenges we are guaranteed to face because we have the power of the Creator in our corner. Furthermore, we are told another hugely comforting thing in Phil. 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Even when the trial’s outcome is tribulation in the form of disease or grief, we have the power to hold onto the faith that gives us the courage to persevere. That faith, unwavering in its loyalty, provides us with the knowledge that even during those hardships, we are not being defeated but are growing. Rom. 5:3-5, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” What the world sees as utter despair and defeat, we see as the opportunity to grow in the promise of a hope of a better forever.
Our time on earth may be wrought with suffering and pain, either in the short or long term, but either way, we have a goal that drives us through those times and gloriously into a future where tears, pain, and suffering are no more. 2 Cor. 4:16-18, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” We see that the world is incapable of seeing – Godly hope. So, man cannot defeat us, hardships cannot drive us to our knees, and devil is powerless to destroy our hope. We are, therefore, undefeatable, like a superhero, but only more powerful since we have the unlimited power of God in our corner.