Phases & Stages
We have discussed “The Amazement Phase,” “The Reality Phase,” and started, “The Hardship Phase.” Let’s continue with the hardship phase, recalling John 16:33.
“I have told you these things so that IN ME you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Hallelujah! We have a Savior and King who has overcome the world! If we remain IN HIM – we can have peace, no matter what it is that we are going through! Here’s what He says,
“Call upon me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” (Psalm 50:15)
When you go through adversity, don’t hide! Don’t isolate yourself. Cry out to God. Seek out godly friends who can help you. Let them encourage & exhort you, and even correct you if necessary. Don’t get mad at them. Receive wisdom. God’s encouragement may bring some correction into your life, but correction isn’t meant to condemn you, it should motivate you to move forward and find a better way for your life.
For those of you who are helping someone through adversity – be careful not to judge. Be careful that if a correction is needed, that you do it with love, out of concern, not from a heart of judgment.
Years ago, I was at a fellowship meeting, and a woman came in whose sister had just died. She was crying, and we were praying for her. One man in the group, loudly proclaimed, “The joy of the LORD is your strength, sister.” Well, what he said is right, and biblical. But the WAY he said it was judgmental as if to say that because she was sad, she was somehow spiritually weak. Wow, what an attitude! That’s what people call a “Job’s comforter” – a person who thinks he is right and helpful but ends up making the other person feel worse! In the book of Job, there were actually three men who are considered “Job’s comforters.” And yet, even within their lack of compassion, there are nuggets of wonderfulness. Listen to this passage:
“. . . if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him, 14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, 15 then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear. 16 You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by.” (Job 11:13-16)
I love that. Sometimes, I’ll go and sit at Beaver Creek State Park, and watch the water flowing by. And I remember that scripture and I am so thankful that I can remember my troubles that way. They happened – but they’re gone now, never to return, waters gone by!
We will examine the Hardship Phase further . . . STAY TUNED!
To view the rest of the Stages and Phases series, follow the links: