Personal Challenge #12: Persevering under Trial
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. […] Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:2-5; 12
In what areas do you find yourself facing temptation? Identify the common schemes of the devil you encounter in your life.
– Is it to compromise/disobey God?
– Is to compromise by turning to something other than God first in times of trouble?
– Is it to settle for something you know is not from your Father?
– Is it to give up waiting for God?
– Is it to doubt the character of God and His care for you?
“So that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11b
Are you struggling with standing up against temptation?
The next time you are faced with a choice to compromise, remember that each choice counts. Each choice to obey adds muscle. And it’s as simple as going to the Word of God for a verse, and standing firm on it. Keep standing on it. Reading the scripture, out loud if you need to, and BELIEVING the truth. “Shut up devil, this is the TRUTH! This is the TRUTH!” And he will flee.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Accept his temptations, and he will ensnare you.
Have those times of temptations progressed into times of training and strengthening?
– If so, what have you learned through those times?
– How has your muscle/resolve to stand firm been strengthened?
– What have you learned regarding the reasons to resist temptation, and the ability that you have to resist temptation?
– How has your relationship with God (your trust and reliance on Him) developed? Do you see His hand in your life, molding and developing your character?
Do you have any time of temptation where you learned something and would like to share?
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:10-17
God, You have not left us defenseless. No, the opposite is true. I used to lie down and just take the arrows from the enemy: lies about myself, lies about You, lies about my life. But You have provided us with a shield of faith. Your truth as a belt around our waist, Your approval as our breastplate. Salvation as our helmet. And Your word as a sword from Your spirit. And You tell us to put on shoes so that we are ready to spread the Good News that brings peace!!
As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is flawless.
He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.
For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength
And makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
He enables me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
My arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You give me Your shield of victory,
And Your right hand sustains me;
You stoop down to make me great,
You broaden the path beneath me,
So that my ankles do not turn.
Standing firm looks like trusting God and putting on His armour. It looks like running to Him. It looks like crying out to Him. It looks like waiting for Him.
Before, I didn’t know when I’d fall again, now I stand firm in strength from God, in the face of disappointment and temptation. I used to need to know I was valued from others, now I know everyday how valued I am. I used to have turmoil inside as I continuously did things deep down in my heart I didn’t want to do. Now I have such peace.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
So that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Col 1:10-14
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. Titus 2:11-14
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