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Overcoming In Your Hour Of Trial

Overcoming In Your Hour Of Trial

      Life is difficult at times, especially for a Christian. In the early days of the church, Acts 8:1 tells us of the hardships they had to endure, and why. And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.   Even in this day, we shouldn’t be surprised at this as we have read in 2Timothy 3:12 that all who strive to serve God in accordance with His Word will have “hours of trial”, or as the passage reads, “persecution”. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
      Persecution can be meted out in various ways. In Hebrews 11:36-37 we read of some, because of their faith in God and belief in His Promises, strove to serve Him despite the persecutions heaped upon them. Some even died following God, and in so doing, overcame. And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
      Trials and tribulations are a part of life.   In Job 14:1, perhaps the first book of the Bible that was penned, this was stated. Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. Truth is, all people, saints and sinners are faced with the “issues” of life.   But as has been pointed out a number of times over many years: “It's not what happens to us that defines us. It's what we choose to do with what happens to us that defines us.”   We are “defined” when we deal with the “afflictions” which we face as we live in this world.   Of course, the way in which we are “defined” is up to us and our response to God’s Word.       God created man with the ability to choose.   However, every choice we make, comes with consequences. 

     But how do we know how to overcome when we face the difficulties that make up our “hour of trial”?   Romans 12:21 gives us the inspired recipe for success. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. This was not new instruction, as the Spirit had the Psalmist pen the Words we read in Psalm 34:11-14 that say much the same thing to Israel. Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. 14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
     Because this is taught from the Old and the New Testaments, we should understand that this is a “principle eternal” from God.   Even from the early days of mankind this was expected of all.   Cain, the first son of Adam and Eve, was told this by the Lord Himself in Genesis 4:7. Cain’s sacrifice wasn’t accepted by God, and Cain was upset. The Lord stated: If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. We also know how Cain reacted. Sin indeed was at the door, as Cain rose up against, and killed his brother. He did not overcome, but yielded to his own anger. Cain thought the physical consequences of his sin were near intolerable. The “spiritual” consequences of any sin, which is not repented of are eternal.  

     The Spirit, through the pen of Paul, directed the brethren in Rome to do well by yielding to God in Romans 6:13. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Then as explained in Romans 6:16, we have the power to choose whom we shall yield to and serve, and what is the outcome of our choice. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 
     Yielding is a choice, as is obedience, and this is the key to being able to overcome as the “hour of trial” comes upon us.   Where does choice begin?  Where does choice originate? It begins in the mind. In 2Corinthians10:4-5 the Spirit had Paul tell the brethren what they, as well as what we need to know so every child of God can overcome, if they will control their minds.   (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
       This is also how we can overcome temptation.   1Cornthians 10:13 shows that all are tempted. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. The Lord Himself used God’s Word in overcoming temptation in Matthew 4:4,7 & 10. He said: “It is written
      Want to be able to “overcome in your hour of trial”? Follow the Word of God. Begin by obeying the gospel, and then continue to make “choices” based on His Word, and prepare yourself for eternal life. In doing this, you can definitely overcome in your hour of trial.  

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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