Not many children enjoy rainy days. When it is summer and vacation from school starts, most children enjoy running outside, playing, swinging on swings, climbing monkey bars, etc. When rainy days come, and children are cooped up inside the house, they sometimes struggle for things to do and not get bored.
In a related thought, the old nursery rhyme that promises, “April Showers Bring May Flowers,” speaks of the need to go through a month of rain in order to have a beautiful spring that produces vibrantly colorful foliage. It has not happened that way this year, but nevertheless the rains of April normally lead to a colorful May.
Many of us today have been through losses and tragedies that seemed to have the potential to end our lives as we knew them. You may be going through a tough time in your life right now. Today, I want us to understand that the tough times, the challenges to our faith, come to make us stronger. The key, though, is to believe in the power of God to help us grow through the challenging times!
Luke 14:27 (NKJV)
27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
2 Corinthians 4:7–12 (NKJV)
The farmer knows just how deep to plant the seed, so that it can find its way to the surface.
When a seed is planted, it sits under the ground at a particular depth designed to cause it to work to get to the light, but not to be unable to make it. This is much like our lives, which are placed under just enough crud, dirt, and obstacles to strengthen our faith and strengthen us for any challenge that may come our way. Just like the seed in the video, we have to much through the dirt to reach the light and air that will sustain us.
God’s Power Is the Answer
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
We do not have the power within us to survive the challenges of life.
However, as Christians, we have the power through Christ and His Holy Spirit to overcome every obstacle and be victorious.
We have that powerful treasure within us as believers!
8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—
The key to overcoming adversity is to realize that we are never done as long as we trust in God!
There are four areas of battle described here that may help us understand the power of God to deliver:
Persecution and Isolation
But God brings relief and victory in response to those four areas:
Protection and strength under pressure
Hope in the midst of mentally trying moments
Partnership and companionship through the paraclete, the Holy Spirit
Defense during attack
Dying in Order to Live
10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
Since the power to succeed and have victory is in us but not of us, it is important to die to self and live in Christ.
Die to selfish desire. God may not answer your prayer in the exact fashion you prayed it, because He has a better way
Die to doubt. Even when you don’t feel it, don’t see it, don’t even want to wait on it, declare it.
Die to fear and failure. Too many times, I hear Christians verbally wave the white flag. “I’m gonna die.” “I know I have cancer.” “I am afraid the doctors is going to give me a bad report.” Let the Spirit rise up within you and fight your best fight against fear, knowing that the battle is the Lord’s!
11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
When we stop depending on our own strength and ability to win, and allow Christ to grow within us, then we can see victory in our lives!
There will be showers, but we must believe that there is a sunny May on the other side of our rainy April!
You may be sitting under a load of dirt right now, but let the rain soften the soil, and you just keep pushing, because effort plus God’s power will get you through the dirt and into the light!