1 Chronicles 19:13, “Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight.” We behave bravely when we add value to a situation by being strong hearted. God can do what is good in His sight through courageous, conscientious men. We are not truly Christian until we behave valiantly. What is involved?First
, we must receive.
whatever comes, good or bad, as part of life. God is not so small that He could not stop what has come our way. Since God is not a human being and therefore cannot lie, we must believe His word in Jeremiah 29:11. We must receive this as part of His plan. When we seek our own way we may find mere happiness. What we need to seek is Christ’s joy. Do not reject difficulty as though it were an intruder. Joy in life comes not from avoiding hard situations, but from overcoming them. As a result of receiving the situation in life we develop strength to win and– a desperate opposition, this cultivates real joy. Christ promised: John 15:11, "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joymay be complete."Second
, We must respond.
to whatever comes. Do not react. Whenever we merely react, we mechanically function on a human or natural level. As a joint heir with Jesus Christ we can respond. Through a spirit-controlled response we can project into any situation something that is the unique contribution of Christ’s personality, something spiritual, creative. Genesis 1:26-28 teaches, ‘And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’.This is significant. God molded man, God gave man dominion over his environment, and to do this job, He gave him abilities like His own. Man can think, reason, make decisions, and plan. He can originate and evaluate ideas and bring them to completion. He can communicate and express complex concepts that can be understood by other men. The spirit-controlled response is what the Master had in mind when he spoke of returning good for evil. This is the redemptive power of the cross.Third
, we must rejoice.
in whatever comes. Do not rebel. God has placed where we are and when we are for such a time as this. Rejoice that we now have the unique chance to know the validity of our Christian principles. Rejoice that we will discover what we are made of. Rejoice that we will discover how tribulation brings patience, patience brings experience, and experience brings hope. This chain reaction means we will be living deeply, richly, greatly. Rejoice that we will discover the necessity of God and the availability of God. Now is the time to willingly, confidently, and completely open our hearts to God. Do not reject, react, and rebel. If we let Him, God will teach us how to valiantly receive whatever comes to us; how to respond to it; and rejoice in it. He will show us how to transform tragedy into triumph as Jesus did. He will do this but only when we allow Him. Read and meditate on Hebrews 12:1-11. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?
If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.
Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!
They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.