I will be with him in trouble;
Nothing is more difficult as a pastor and leader than watching people go through difficult and trying times of life. I really wish that we did not, but we do. Life is not fair and this world which we live in is a fallen world. The "law of sin and death" permeates the world and its presence is felt by all of us. Some times more than at other times. There are literally times when trouble follows trouble, one after another. It can be hard to catch a breath of relief, if at all.
The word trouble means distress, anguish, tribulation or a straight. While we do not find God telling us that we will not go through such times, we do have the promise that He will be with us while we go through it. That is a comforting thought. God is aware of what is happening and with me in my situation.
There are some things that I want to share with you that I believe are important to know and do when going through difficult times that can help.
and having done all, to stand.
The first thing that I ask myself when I face a difficult time is, have I done everything I can do to stand? This is an incredibly important question to ask. Our position can determine how well we endure. It also is key to how well things turn out when it's over. I have failed many tests in my life. In fact, I don't believe I have perfectly handled any test in my life but I have learned how important it is to check your position going into battle. The devil wants geography and I should not yield any of mine to him.
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
This verse speaks about our position ahead of doing battle. If I am to stand against the schemes of the enemy and see him flee I need to be hidden in Christ, clothed with humility. I ask my self, am I in complete surrender to the Lord and His Word? Do I willingly allow compromise in my life? Am I moving in obedience to Him in every area I am aware of? This may seem elementary but it is vital. Our enemy loves to use everything he can to gain ground on us. Sadly many times we give him place by our lifestyle, habits, conversations, complacency among other things. We should make it a strong point to examine the possibility of any open doors that give the devil permission in our lives.
and pray for one another, that you may be healed.
It is also important to remember that the scriptures tell us that when one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; (1 Cor. 12:26). It is very easy to forget what others are going through when we are going through things too. This easily distracts from praying one for another. This can be equally true when times are well with us. God has called us to prayer. Praying one for another is a key to victory. I have found that many times my answer came when I stopped thinking/praying only about myself and started praying for others who were going through difficult times. On that note, one of the areas I pray over when I pray for those under my care as a pastor/leader is what Jesus told us He prayed over Peter.
But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.
This is fascinating. Jesus tells Peter that his faith would be tried and that he would be tempted to give up. Jesus prayed and received and answered that Peter would get through it. Not only that, he would grow into one who would be a strength and an encourager to his brethren. Wow! This tell me that things we go through don't have to be for nothing. This time of trial and testing can become an opportunity to come into a stronger anointing that will minister to others.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
So, here is what we know.
- We all go through difficult and trying times. No one is exempt.
- We must examine our position as we go through difficulty.
- God is with us while we go through it.
- We should pray for others who are going through trying times. Not just pray for ourselves.
- God will comfort us.
- That comfort enables us to minister to others in their trials.
Blessed (happy,to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor's] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.