If there’s anything we need to rehearse in our minds over and over again, it is this:
God loves you and He has your best interests at heart.
The oft quoted Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God knows the thoughts that He thinks towards us. He says they are thoughts of peace and not evil.
We have to come to the point where we know in the very core of our hearts that God wants the best for us.
3 John 2 tells us that God wants us to prosper and be in good health, even as our souls prospers.
If we are able to reach the point where our minds come into agreement with the truth of unconditional God’s love for us that is already in our spirits, we would be able to respond appropriately when challenging situations arise.
Consider what Paul said to the Phillipians: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice’ (Phillipians 4:4).
We would find it easy to rejoice in the Lord if, and only if, we have settled the matter of God’s unconditional love for us in our hearts!
Now, despite the fact that as believers, we have settled the matter of God’s love in our hearts, we would still have some ‘passing through’ moments that creates in us more questions than answers.
The reasons are not too far-fetched:
First of all, we still live in a fractured, sin-affected world under the bondage of corruption (Romans 8:22). This is where we live in, despite not being citizens of the world (John 14:16).
Secondly, we live among people in the world who by their actions give the devil and his demons the right of way in their lives. This is consistent with Romans 6:16,
‘Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey’
People are yielding themselves to the devil on a consistent basis, and as a result, they become devil-controlled and would never promote the course of God’s kingdom. Rather, they antagonize God’s perfect plan.
But in spite of all these, we can still thank God, because He causes us to always triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14). The devil tries to take his best shot at us, using the sin-corrupted world and the actions of devil-controlled people. Yet, God is able to turn these situations into something beneficial for us.
Matthew 5:10-12 makes us understand that despite the fact that the devil would inspire people to persecute believers, it would still end in the great inheritance of the kingdom of Heaven…starting from this side of eternity!
The Pharisees in Acts 5:40-42 were evidently not led by the Spirit of God. As there’s no equilibrium in the realm of the spirit, if you’re not Spirit-led, you’re devil-led! So, these Pharisees yielded themselves as tools to the devil for the persecution of the apostles. Yet, the disciples chose to maintain the correct perspective, choosing to see themselves walk in the great reward of the kingdom of heaven. They chose to revel in the love of God, and as a result, they found more strength to go on the offensive for the kingdom.
Friend, God doesn’t tempt with evil (James 1:13), but when temptations and trials do arise, God is able to use it to build patience in us. Patience is simply faith sustained over a longer period of time. And the good news is that when patience has had its perfect work, there’s no limit to what we can believe God for by faith (James 1:2-4).
Once we are convinced in our hearts by our consciences and by the Holy Spirit (Romans 9:1) that whatever sufferings, trials or temptations that we are going through at the moment is not caused by a door we’ve opened through sin (John 5:14) or because we’ve stepped out of God’s grace and Perfect Will in disobedience (2 Corinthiains 2:10-11), then we can rest in God’s love that whatever we’re passing through at the moment would end in joy unspeakable.
With the right mindset, we can rejoice in the Lord always and taunt the devil; telling him that, if he had known the great work that God was using that particular situation to do in your life, he wouldn’t have brought up the challenge in the first place!
God is the master of doing good (Psalms 85:12) and whatever circumstance we may find ourselves in, would always be turned around for our good. With this at the back of our minds, we can boldly say, ‘All things work together for good to them that love God…’