Something Strange is Happening to me:
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12).
When I first became a Christian, I was taught that once you give your life to Jesus, you will never have any problems anymore. You can be “on top and rising.” all the time, they said. So when I experienced troubles and trials, I thought something strange was happening to me. What’s going on? Didn’t I pray the prayer of faith, and the confession of protection? I guess I must not have enough faith, or there must be sin in my life. However, thank God for the above Scripture that I discovered while reading my Bible. What an encouraging word the Lord gives us here. “Don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.” I also discovered that even Jesus Himself said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). Now there’s a promise you won’t find in your “Bible Promises Book.” And yet, Jesus declared that in the world, you WILL have tribulation. Life is hard. Difficult times will come. And once we accept that fact, it will be so much easier to enjoy life.
Some people would say, “If Christians still have to face problems in the world, then why should I become a Christian?” Well, it’s true that Christians still go through hard times, but here’s the difference – when we go through trials or tribulations, we have someone to turn to, to help us in those difficult situations. Psalm 121:1-2 says, “I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth.” Psalm 34:19 says, “The righteous face many troubles, but the Lord rescues them from each and every one.” It’s amazing to me how there are Christians who think that they will never have problems in their life, when the Scripture clearly says that the righteous will face many troubles. But thank God for the second part of that verse. Even though we will have many troubles, the Lord will rescue us from them all.
Here’s an interesting thing for you to think about. The Bible often describes the Christian life in terms of victory, overcoming and conquering. “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?…No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (Romans 8:35-37). Some people have taken this to mean that our lives will be completely perfect and free from trouble. However, victory speaks of success in a contest or struggle involving the defeat of an opponent or the overcoming of an obstacle. What does that mean? You can’t have “victory in Jesus” unless you have an opponent to defeat or an obstacle to overcome. So remember – trouble WILL come, but you don‘t have to let it OVERCOME you.
The next time you’re facing a difficult situation in your life, don’t run away from God, but run TO God. “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.” (Psalm 46:1-2). We have a promise from God that says, “When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:2). God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain – but, He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way. May that truth encourage you today!
Pastor Chris Jordan