Red Alert! Red Alert! A warning goes out, your heart skips a beat, and you hold your loved ones closer. You’ve rushed about doing what you can, now you just hold on, waiting for whatever turmoil it may be to pass. Trouble Strikes.
When the weather forecast issues and alert for a storm, hurricane, tornado, or even extreme fire danger, we take heed. Things are tied down, shutters are closed up, emergency preparedness is in effect and we brace ourselves for the outcome. Unfortunately there are some who ignore the warnings and are caught off guard, often facing the tragedy unprepared. In some cases, even the prepared face devastating loss. When I was a young girl, I remember a hurricane warning and the scramble to get everything taken came of before the brunt of the storm hit. After the things in the yard were tied down, the windows covered, I recall being inside the living room and looking outside. I think the power went out because I remember the darkness. Then watching the strength of the wind blowing the trees outside, the pounding of the rain on the roof, and the sound of thunder amidst the howls of the storm. Yet, I remember going to sleep, or at least waking up the next day. We made it through that storm with minor damage, and things went back to normal. We were prepared.
Some say the only two certain things in life are death and taxes. While this may be so, death is the only thing certain. For a Christian, we do not live without hope, we know that death has been overcome already. For those who believe that Jesus Christ died to take your punishment and give you life, death is not the most dreaded thing. But what about the other trials in our lives? If you knew they were coming, how would you prepare for it?
Ephesians 6:11-18 (NASB) “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”
James also writes, “Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.” James 5:13 (NASB)
We ought to ready ourselves for the battles ahead in life and Scripture gives us practical tools. While the suffering in life may cause us to feel like we have been beaten, we are not defenseless. We have our defenses through salvation, truth, faith, peace and righteousness; and we have the ability to unite ourselves with God’s plan by offering up our voices in prayer to Him. Prayer is the balm that heals, it is the bridge of communication with our Heavenly Father, who hears and sees us. While it may not feel like much, and the suffering may go on, the prayer that we offer in these times allows us to align our will with the will of God. In prayer, we acknowledge our dependance upon God, we draw closer to Him, and we also are able to remember the Hope that he has set before us. It is in all of those things that we can be victorious in this world.
My struggles and pain are not like yours. Each person will face suffering in a new way that will be personal, but our struggle is not just for this world, we fight for a cause eternal, that will be enduring. Our Lord has defeated death, He has conquered, and we can prepare ourselves for the trouble we face by following in His steps.
1 Peter 2:20 NASB “For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.”
While we may not get a direct warning or alert that trouble is coming, we can prepare daily by the renewing of our minds and by living our lives in the pattern Christ gave us. I urge you, and myself, to daily be equipped by the Word of God. To pray and commit our ways to God, and to be ready with His truth, righteousness, and peace, and hold on to the hope of Salvation.
If you missed Part 1 follow the link here: Trouble Part 1
Part 3 will follow.