Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Enduring the Unendurable

Over the past couple of months, I have had to endure more issues that have arisen from complications of the medication that I had to take. There have been times when I just felt that the side effects from the medication were worse than the illness. I found myself weeping and praying that this cup be taken away and that it not be pressed to my lips. The contents of that cup have been bitter and full of tears. 

Like Job, I have dealt with more than my fair share of life’s trials and troubles. Even with the problems that I have had to endure, I still know that my Redeemer lives and that one day I will stand before Him and be judged. My prayer is that I have the strength to continue to serve even when I feel that I cannot go on. 

Some days are better than others, but there are times when the side effects become more pronounced and harsher than what I have experienced before. It is during those times that I feel that I cannot live beyond that day. I bow my head and ask God for the strength to endure and make it just a little farther down the path of righteousness. I pray for perseverance and ask Him to guide my steps for that day.

James, in chapter one of the book that bears his name, wrote, “12 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.

There are times when I cannot even see the next moment. I feel that I cannot even make it through the present moment. I look to God and I behold His love for me. It gives me the boost I need to take the next step and to seek the next and the ones that follow. It is hard at times to do so, but I realize that I am not alone and that He is with me. Because of His son, Jesus, I have that blessed assurance that He loves me more than I can imagine. He loved me so much that He sent His son to be my atonement sacrifice once and for all time. When I accepted Jesus as my savior and the Lord of my life, I became a child of the most high God who demonstrates His love for me daily by blessing me with so much.

Even during the worst of times, I realize that God continues to reign and that He loves and cares for me. As His child, I praise and worship Him daily and continue to have faith in Him. There are times when my faith is shaken, but I have not given up on Him. Yes, my faith is challenged, but I remain His child and I know that He will provide me with whatever I need to get through the moments.

Many think that I am foolish for believing and some have even asked why I have not given up on my faith in God. Many have said, “Where is your God? He has allowed this to happen to you yet you still refuse to stop believing in Him.”

I turn to them and quote the words from Deuteronomy 7, “9 Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.

It is easy to remain faithful when things are good and there are no problems. The term that I remember when referring to those who remain faithful to God when things are going well is “fair weather Christians.” Think about the term. When all is good and going well, it is so easy to remain faithful. The real test of faith comes when you are faced with the unendurable. It is the moment when all may seem lost. That moment is the true test of our faith. Can you persevere and remain faithful? 

James writes in chapter 1, “2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

To endure the unendurable gives you the opportunity to grow your faith and realize that God is working through you. He is working to perfect and complete you so that you are truly lacking in nothing. Your faith is strong and you are strengthened by those trying moments. Your testimony is a story to share in order to build up those around you. 

When I have an opportunity to share my story, I thank God for the trial and how He is perfecting me through the ordeal. There were moments when I felt that I could not go on. I felt that I was stuck in the mud and mire of despair. It was during those moments that I felt closer to Him and I felt His hand upon me. He lifted me up and planted my feet on the solid rock.

In Psalm 40, we read the words of the Psalmist, “1 I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. 3 He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.

As I tell my story to others, many have said the exact same thing, “God was with you every moment and it was His love that healed you.”

I truly believe that He was and continues to be there for me. As I continue to endure the side effects of the medication and face the uncertainty of the future, I realize that I cannot go it alone or endure it on my own. I need God’s victorious right hand to lift me up and give me that victory over this world. The only way for me to overcome this world is to put my faith in His son, Christ Jesus, and realize that God gave me the gift of life and the opportunity to share my story with those around me. I have learned to humble myself before Him and realize that He is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. 

There is an old adage about doctors and God. God heals and the doctor takes the fee. God continues to heal me every day of my life. When the side effects attack and ravage my body, I know that He will see me through each moment and give me what I need.

As you go through your own trials and troubles, always remember that your faith is perfected and made complete when you undergo the trials of fire. It is only through the refiner’s fire that we come out pure. The impurities of our old, sinful life are burned away and we are made pure, complete and perfected. Always remember that you can endure the unendurable as long as you remain obedient and faithful to Him. As long as you do that, you can stand firm in His grace and His grace is always sufficient.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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