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by Cindy Hester

Okay, I’m not going to lie. This has already been a rough week and it is only Wednesday. I don’t mean it has been a “bad hair day” and “my clothes just don’t fit right” kind of week. It has been one of those gut wrenching, life altering, shake you to the core kind of weeks.

The Bible prepares God’s people for trials. Christ Himself  told His followers in John 16:33 that “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” To be honest, in the midst of the events of this week, I had trouble finding comfort in my usual scriptures such as this one. For a brief moment in time, defeat had entered my camp. I almost gave in to the lie that although Christ may have overcome the world, He had forgotten about me over here in my little corner of it. Things weren’t supposed to go like this! Wasn’t He supposed to protect me from this kind of pain whenever I was attempting to live for Him? Why wasn’t He answering my prayer? I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt the thing I prayed for was in accordance to His will!!

I was hurting – deeper than I have in a long, long time. I felt confused. My emotions locked in a state of shock unable to process the next logical step. So I sat, curled in a ball, and I began to sob. Angry emotions spewed as I released confusion and fear which I had  apparently stored in my soul for months.  Just when it seemed there was nothing left, I quietly whispered, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”

At the mention of His sweet name, a calming peace fell over me. Scripture began running through my mind. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

In the midst of my shock and pain I had become like a double-minded man. The fact that Christ had overcome the world meant everything to me and to my situation. The world He overcame encompasses my world. The rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world, and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms were made subject to Him because He overcame the world when He died on the cross for our sins. The enemy had encroached on God’s territory hoping to advance, divide, and conquer. However praise God, because of the precious name of Jesus, he had to retreat instead.

So let me encourage you out there who may be struggling right along with me. Things are going to get tough. I am not saying they “may” get tough, but they “will” get tough. Just remember that with God on your side, you cannot lose. You may get knocked down, but you won’t be down for the count. You might have to be carried out of the ring in Jesus’s mighty arms, but you won’t be left there, wounded and bleeding. Also remember that “when God pushes you to the edge, trust Him fully, because only two things can happen. Either He will catch you when you fall, or He will teach you how to fly.” (unknown)

“Remember your strength comes from the Lord. Soar in it.” Melody Aragon