PRESSING ON AND AHEAD
Pr. Edward Mwesigwa Baligonzaki Atwooki Ssalongo
There are times in our life when we get to the point that we say l can’t take it anymore, I quit, and I have had enough”. Maybe you or someone you know is at this point. Perhaps they have…
- been diagnosed with a serious disease
- discovered their mate is having an affair
- unpaid debts/loans children that have been chased out of school
- a church that is being chased out of its location
- church elders that are up in arms with the pastor
- been going through painful personal challenges(social-economic, domestic, spiritual etc
In times like these, our mind tells us things like, “You have got to trust God”, but deep down in our heart we are saying “Yes I have heard all about that but it is not working for me”. We might be going through these motions and emotions and appear to be okay to everyone else but on the inside we are giving up and drifting further away from God. Does this sound familiar????
In the early church, Christians were suffering horrible persecutions. At some point they wanted to give up and stop trusting God. So the spirit of God spoke to the writer of Hebrews to encourage them and give them a perspective in the midst of their suffering. We can apply the same truth to our lives today, no matter what we are going through:
Hebrews 10 (NLT)
32 Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering.
35 So do not throwaway this confident trusting the Lord Remember the great reward it brings you!
36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will then you will receive all that he has promised.
Most of us miss the greatest things in life or entire world because we quit inwardly. We don’t realize that God has a great plan and a great reward for us in this life and the one in future. That is why we have to keep pressing on and ahead, no matter what!!!!!
We can have “patient endurance” even when we are going through the most difficult season in our lives. But to do this, we must get a basic understanding of adversity. What do we learn of the children of Issachar? They knew the times and seasons and also exactly what to do in that particular time.
Three things to know about adversity:
- People who are righteous and walking closely with God still experience adversity in this world.
No one is exempt. But the Good news is the Lord promises to deliver us as his children out of and through our afflictions when we believe and trust in him.
The righteous person may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all.
2 Corinthians: 4:17-18
17For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen for the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
- God wants to transform our lives through adversity. Why..??? It produces character.
A PERSON TRIED, TESTED CAN THEREFORE BE TRUSTED (3Ts)
There will always be difficult things that we must overcome in every season and God to use every single one of them to develop our character. Remember it is just a season
The Apostle Paul, a man who knew suffering wrote about it in his letter to Christians: Romans: 5:3-5 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. s And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
We should give glory in our persecutions and sufferings because we know when we keep pressing ahead that’s when the love of God keeps getting poured in our hearts. People who have suffered much and didn’t give up either outwardly or inwardly have certain richness and strength about them. They are a spiritual force to reckon with.
As we endure, God changes us. We become more loving, kind, patient more like Christ. And that should give us hope. We don’t have to try hard to be Christians or else we become religious!!! Our transformation is the work of the Holy Spirit who molds and shapes us through our trials.
3. We should take heart and remember that our suffering and trials are temporary. 1 Peter 5:10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, end he will place you on a firm foundation.
The things that are seen are temporal and at some point we need to believe that now isn’t all there is and there is a far bigger eternal picture. God wants us to live in the now, in light of the forever.
2 Corinthians 4:18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
Keep pressing ahead. Let’s only build a biblical framework that will teach us how to think about adversity and pain.
You can also look at Nehemiah and learn how he responds to adversity and refuses to give up.
Christine Cain: “Sometimes when you are in a dark place, you think you have been buried, but actually you have been planted.”
My prayer is that we will become Christians who keep pressing on and ahead no matter what!!!