Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith,
and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
strengthening the disciples by encouraging them to continue in the faith and by telling them,
“It is necessary to pass through many troubles on our way into the kingdom of God.”
Acts 14:22 NIV
"I'm so glad that the Lord saved me!" , the old gospel refrain says. And it is so true! But as we mature in the things of God we surely realize that, while we are the most blessed of people, we still experience hardships in life. Yes, Christians, too, suffer! And you know what? It is necessary...It is a necessity to go through hardships and tribulations. What?!? And Why? Why do we suffer? One reason is because it develops Godly character. Our character is refined through suffering. You know that even Jesus Christ Himself,
Though He was God’s Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered.
Obedience speaks to Godly character. Abba Father is very concerned with our character because that one who is dependent upon and obedient to Him is also a son, and on his way "into the kingdom of God." I am not minimizing the pain: suffering does not feel good! But, it does serve a purpose and one would be remiss in not "Establishing and strengthening the souls and the hearts of the disciples, urging and warning and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith." Remain true in the faith, Beloved! The blessing is we are entering into the kingdom of God. The suffering, whether it be loneliness ,unfulfilled promises, solitude, rejection, or humiliation strips us to a place of longing only for the Lord. In the suffering HE is the only solution. We must learn to accept the pain of suffering. To try to avoid it only prolongs the process. We have all heard it is a test to be passed. I do not know about you, but I do not like "make-up test." One must surrender to,even embrace the hardships, and let it do a work in the inner man. Walk it out. As one man of God wrote, "The only way "out", is "through." In understanding that fact, a rest in God comes. And a rest from leaning to our own understanding and our own works. Utter and complete dependence on God is a result of suffering. One can only acknowledge and testify, "He knows what is best for me. He is preparing, equipping, and training me. I am a son who will operate, minister, and live out of the Kingdom." Suffering is the price to pay in order to enter into the kingdom of God. Count the cost! "There is a cost for the anointing" is not just some churchy saying. Press into God..be patient in tribulation. It cannot separate us from God and, in fact, is to push us closer, even right on into the kingdom! And is not the kingdom of God what it is all about? Not us or our own little fiefdoms. The Body of Christ's desire and need to see kingdom level, greater works of signs and wonders, miracles on Biblical proportions, is a good thing. Jesus is our Head and our exemplar. As the Head goes, so goes the body. If He suffered, and He did, then we will suffer, too. The servant is not greater than his Master. "No pain, no gain" is applicable for THIS body,too. To think otherwise is folly! Be not deceived, if we expect to manifest the kingdom, we are going to go through some hardships. Plain and simple. Ah!, but we will also reign with Him! I want to encourage you to remember,though,that God is with you! You are never alone! What a blessing! Purpose to stay in the center of His perfect will so that the destiny of His plans and purposes for your life come to pass. Abba Father wants to release the power of the kingdom through you and me! I pray, as it is written in the Book of Acts, that your hearts and souls be established and strengthened in the faith. Are you suffering tribulations though you are an obedient disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ? Rejoice! The Kingdom is near! It is nearer than you realize so soldier on and stay the course. It is the Biblical strategy we all have to follow if we are to experience the kingdom of God in our lives NOW!
The love of God ,the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and the communion of the Holy ghost be with you. Amen