"Show me your wounds". As children of God, many of us come to Christ with an expectation of an easy, charmed existence. We recite the sinners prayer with Ron Kenoly's voice in the background singing: Righteousness, peace, joy in the Holy ghost... don’t you wanna be a part of the Kingdom? In reality, how many of you have had no troubles since you turned control of your life over to the Lord or became born – again? Something is not adding up. That’s because signing up to the kingdom is not some sponsored luxury island vacation, it’s a military call up! Jesus said: "In this world you will have tribulation...” He did not say: “You might have a few problems”. Tribulation means great trouble and suffering, not a few headaches. He also said: “The world will hate you as it first hated me” This is no joke. Having second thoughts? You are not alone. At a time when many fell away from Him, Jesus asked His disciples: “Will you also leave?” They answered: “Where would we go?”. They did not say: “Master, why would you say that?” They said: “Where would we go?” This means they must have considered it. Take a moment to consider this question. It’s not a sin. Is it too hard? What are my options? Weigh the pros and cons. Perhaps someone sold you the easy life ticket and you boarded the train to discover a different deal. Consider your options: “Where would you go?”.
In truth, we each need to get to the point where we are convinced (not by human persuasion) but beyond logic or any shadow of doubt that this is the train you want to be on. Why? At war, you get wounded! Make no mistake about it. There is no getting away from it. That is the mindset that will go the distance otherwise you will jump off the bus only to discover too late that you were actually on the only bus that guaranteed you will get to your destination. When we are at war, we could be hit by enemy fire, by shrapnel that was not directed at you - just debris flying around, or you could be hit by friendly fire. Brace yourself, here it comes! In this battle, some of us do not expect to ever be hit, after all we have put on the whole armor of God (sandals of the good news, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, armed with the sword of the spirit: the word of God that is sharper than any two-edged sword) but when the enemy fights, have you noticed that he tends to fight dirty? He could come at you from behind, the only part that is not protected, the place you least expect: the areas in which you make your boast, your marriage, your home, the things that are most precious to you are not off limits. Did you think the enemy would say: “Her baby is still in the stomach, or just a few weeks old. Oh the little cutie, let’s not attack?” No! If the enemy gets a wind of the destiny of that child, the attack could start while your child is in your stomach. Or maybe you are finally pregnant after waiting for many years for the fruit of the womb? If the enemy believes he can get you through your much anticipated unborn bundle of joy, he will try but we thank the Lord who always raises a standard against the enemy!!!
So, what if you got wounded I spite of all your preparation and cautious expectations? What if you even got wounded by friendly fire or shrapnel? What if you became an unsuspecting casualty of fire meant for someone else? Or your own weapon malfunctioned and hurt you? Do we quit, jump off the board, take the next exit? “I’m outa here?” like some people would say? Are we expecting such an easy ride in our homes and marriages that once we see trouble, we start to mentally pack our bags? Like the disciples, consider the question: “ Where would we go?” MAKE NO MISTAKE: we are in a battle, beloved. Expect to take a hit but consider the fact that Jesus assured us that He has taken away the power of the world to do us fatal damage “I have overcome the world”, he says (John 16:33). Sometimes, it’s our loved ones who hurt us. As a matter of fact, some of us are strong when it comes to outsiders hitting us (enemy fire, if you will). It’s the upset from our loved ones that we find hard to deal with. We internalise the disappointment, the betrayal, the hurt as if it is beyond the blood of Jesus. I have news for you: No sin is unforgivable! (The Bible says except for blasphemy, but there any many arguments around what that means). What I am trying to say to you is this: If you can be forgiven of all your sins, you should not hold anyone else’s sin as unforgivable. Remember, the standard is: “Forgive me as I forgive” (The Lord taught us Himself in the Lord’s prayer).
So beloved, in this battle you should expect to be hit. That is the mindset of a good soldier. Expect to be hit by enemy fire, expect to be hit by friendly fire. Has your husband hurt you ? Is your business in trouble because a sister or brother you trusted betrayed your trust? Take it in your stride. Take it as an opportunity to build character. Remember those nine virtues we always talk about, which we call the fruit of the spirit? Patience, kindness, gentleness, self control, goodness, faithfulness, peace, love and joy are talking about Christian character. It is impossible to acquire those virtues by reading about them. We cultivate them through experience. (Amplified Bible) Romans 5:3-4 says: “[Let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation."
Do we believe Jesus when we says to us in John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” Be assured that no trouble comes that He did not see coming or has not permitted. Go through it patiently so that it can accomplish the work it was allowed to do in your life: helping you acquire the next virtue of Christ-like character that you need. Beloved, there is a reason Jesus asked each of us to deny him/herself, take up our cross and follow him. We will have challenges in our life, in our marriages, in our education or career pursuits, indeed in anything worth having. You will get wounded as any good soldier is invariably going to experience but tend your wounds and continue your journey. Do not relent, do not stop, forget about ditching the bus. You are on the right bus: do not desire a new marriage, your husband is the right man. (He might need to be governed by a new spirit, but he is the right man). Be encouraged: (Amplified Bible) 2 Corinthians 4:8-: “We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair; We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted [to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed”
Your wounds are evidence of perseverance and your war scars are signs that you are building character. Do not give up now. You are on your way. After you have been tried, you will come forth as gold becoming so blessed that others will be blessed by you.
Last Updated on Monday, 25 July 2016 18:31
Written by tBB