JESUS TOLD HIS disciples in John 16:33 that in this world, they would experience some challenges. He went on to say, “But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
TROUBLE SHOULD NEVER BE AN INDICATOR OF WHETHER YOU ARE IN GOD’S WILL. Sometimes the devil sends trouble to move you out of the place God has called you to. The Apostle Paul is a great example of this.
In Acts 23:11 (ESV), the Lord told Paul, “As you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.” Immediately after Paul received this word from God, he ended up in prison. Paul’s circumstances seemed to counter the promise he received.
Two years later, Paul gave his testimony to Festus and King Agrippa. (See Acts chapter 26.) It seemed that what God said to Paul in chapter 23 would finally happen—he would go to Rome and appear before Caesar.
However, the ship Paul was sailing in was caught in a violent storm. Eventually, everyone on board lost all hope of survival (Acts 27:20). The ship eventually ran aground off the island of Malta, and everyone made it safely to land. However, while gathering firewood, Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake.
Finally in Acts 28:16, Paul arrived in Rome. It took five chapters, a few years, and much adversity before what God had promised came to pass.
Sometimes the challenges you face are not about you. They are about the supply you carry.
It’s interesting that some of Paul’s greatest impact on the Body of Christ came on the other side of that trip to Rome. He faced challenges because he was carrying a supply inside him that we need even today.
SOMETIMES THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE ARE NOT ABOUT YOU. THEY ARE ABOUT THE SUPPLY YOU CARRY. And if you will get to the other side of the adversity you face, you will impact your generation and even the following one.
The next time you read Paul’s prayer in Ephesians chapter 1, remember the hardship he endured before he penned those words. He prayed, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Eph. 1:17–18 NKJV).
I’m glad Paul didn’t give up before he wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4 NKJV). Or “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27 ESV).
What are you carrying inside of you? Know that there is some kind of influence on the other side of the pressure you’re facing today.
If the Apostle Paul faced challenges, you will too. And like Paul, anytime you face pressure, you’re going to need a promise. That promise is designed to sustain you and help you reach your destiny so the influence inside you will be released. So whenever you are challenged, release your faith in the promise of God through your words and actions.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:13, “having done all to stand, stand.” He certainly knew what he was talking about. After being in prison, going through a violent storm, being shipwrecked, and getting bitten by a snake, he kept standing on God’s Word.
No matter what you are going through, don’t let the pressure move you from your position. God’s promise is greater, and it will get you to the other side.
[Editor’s Note: Gary Hennenfent is an instructor at Rhema USA.]
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