The last days, which we are in, are characterized by the news of the operations of Satan on a large scale. The level of contradictions happening in many lives, gives one some concern. Nations, regions and individuals are not spared.
These same days are designed by God for His people to experience victory at a level unprecedented in history. We need to know how to turn trials into victories and how to turn pressures into paths of pressing into greater heights in God.
Let us start by establishing what and where the pressures are coming from:
“Now the meaning of the parable is this: The seed is the Word of God.
Those along the travelled road are the people who have heard; then the devil comes and carries away the message out of their hearts, that they may not believe (acknowledge Me as their Savior and devote themselves to Me) and be saved [here and hereafter].
And those upon the rock [are the people] who, when they hear [the Word], receive and welcome it with joy; but these have no root. They believe for a while, and in time of trial and temptation fall away (withdraw and stand aloof).
And as for what fell among the thorns, these are [the people] who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked and suffocated with the anxieties and cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not ripen (come to maturity and perfection).
But as for that [seed] in the good soil, these are [the people] who, hearing the Word, hold it fast in a just (noble, virtuous) and worthy heart, and steadily bring forth fruit with patience.” Mark 4:14-20
“The sower sows the Word.
The ones along the path are those who have the Word sown [in their hearts], but when they hear, Satan comes at once and [by force] takes away the message which is sown in them.
And in the same way the ones sown upon stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word, at once receive and accept and welcome it with joy;
And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.
And the ones sown among the thorns are others who hear the Word;
Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.
And those sown on the good (well-adapted) soil are the ones who hear the Word and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit—some thirty times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some [even] a hundred times as much.”
The trials come for the Word’s sake. Satan wants to get the Word out of us, so the trials come to do just that. Three out of four times the Word is taken out or rendered unfruitful in the heart of hearers. What a ratio! One of the methods employed is through trial or pressure or tribulation. What are we to do?
“Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.
Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.
But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.
If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or fault-finding, and it will be given him.”
“Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.
Counting it joy and maintaining our joy in the face of our trials is one sure key to overcoming them. The next step to overcoming our trials is to keep at doing the Word and not withdraw or become aloof to it. Be a doer not just a hearer of the Word. Yes forgive, walk in love and pray for the one who offends you. Whatever is causing the pressure; apply God’s Word and allow the pressure of obedience to the Word be what prevails in your life. You will then see internal fortitude and strength built into you! Perseverance, character and hope born of God’s love for you and in you gets built up. The Word you are acting on will become so real to you; it will become part of your character!
Is this why Peter advises us to arm ourselves with the mind to suffer?
1 Peter 4:1-2
“So, since Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God], So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.”
So go ahead and win on every side. Your confession should be stronger, your victory is guaranteed on the finished work of Calvary.
Spread the news around, we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus our Lord!