In today’s world, (more prominent than ever), we are watching as religions, traditions, and people’s way of life, changing with ideas of movements promoting easiness of life, creating your own world, having what you want……living the way you want each day…..changing minds on what life actually is and means, to a perception of what people want life to mean and what it should be like instead of a reality that has been around from the fall of Adam……
People today, want an easy life….and it’s to be expected when we are shown every day on social media a surreal reality of movie stars, musicians, politicians, chefs, and even seemingly normal everyday people…….they show their life (and spend) most of their time on camera.
We are drawn to watch people, especially if we like them…..we watch movies, and shows to get away from our own reality because we struggle with what we don’t like or want, so we want a distraction from our lives…..however, today, it’s taking a turn….no matter where you turn, you can’t get away from your reality anymore….
Movies, TV shows, music, reality show’s (that are really not quite reality), are all promoting and acting in ways that if you pay attention….have undercurrents of political issues, religious issues, life issues, but most importantly spiritual issues.
We are told that we should get things for free……we are told we should take what we want……we are told to live any way we want…….we are told that you can be anything you want…….we are told that we must help everyone in need…..we are told that someone else knows what is best for us or our families (our children)……we are told to live like these people, because they have lots of money, they have houses, cars, power, and influence, and well……they know what’s better for us because we are made (and told) to feel inferior to them because of what they have.
We are told that we will be or can be happy and peaceful if we do what we are told…..told by preachers, teachers, movie stars…….etc….
However, in order to adhere to what we see, what we are told, we must follow them….we must allow them to influence our thoughts and feelings, we must change laws and rules because, well, it’s really what we should do to have a happier, healthier, better life…..
The Hard Truth
We as saved Christians must always keep our wits about us, our eyes open, and must have discernment in today’s society. More and more confusion is in the world and even we can get caught up in things that we are shown…..things that as a human we would like to have or experience ourselves, because we are human…..but…..
All of these things and people are to take us away from the truth of life, the truth of what the Lord told us, the truth of what this life means for us……
(When we listen to music and watch movies, it is imperative to be aware of what we are watching and listening to….I know firsthand that it starts to affect us mentally and spiritually.)
That in life we have trials and tribulation……hardships that come our way to show our faith, strength, mentality, and spirituality; our human life is not easy and is in fact very hard and no matter what people say or what people do, they will never be able to pull the wool over our eyes with how easy their life may seem, or how happy they are….because it is a lie……they are pretending (just as we all do at times) and it’s time to realize that we all have choices to make in how we handle hardships and tribulations that come our way…..it is an important step to our growth and understanding of what our life really means…..
We all struggle and go thru tribulations and hardships
Every human being has their own trials and tribulations thru out their life…..as a child sometimes your hardships, trials, and tribulations are not of any choice of yours because of you being a child and you were brought into your parents or someone else hardship based on their life…..(however, even as a child we have a choice in how we handle said trail or tribulation and this can come by instinct, or how your parents teach or react as well) but you are still a child and the Lord knows this……He knows these things shape who you are, who you become….and He will always try to lead you to Him through it all.
“For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.” 1 Thessalonians 3:4
Everything from the time we are born to the time we pass on….there are things we don’t understand why it happens to us, why you were born to always struggle, born to have mental problems, born to be sick, etc…..as we are all different so are our trials and tribulations…..(some people think they have harder trials or tribulations, and while on the outside this can look to be true because we as humans place different values on such things)…….the inside (the heart, the Spirit) is different.
Your trials and tribulations also take in effect your beliefs, your knowledge, and what God has planned for you…..there is actually so much involved with our trials, tribulations, and hardships, that it is important to look at them through someone else’s eyes and through scripture, because more often than not, we can’t see clearly through them ourselves….
“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;” Romans 12:12
When we are saved, we need to step back and call on Christ to help us see what we need to see, do what we need to do, and to turn to Him to help us get thru it…..Also, we can help others by giving them advice, or letting them know we might have gone through something similar.
(I must state that just because someone doesn’t struggle or have the same temptation as you, does not mean they do not understand or empathize with you and it doesn’t mean they can’t help you and give advice…..)
People like to pretend….to lie, to act, to claim they have a great life and doing certain things will make you happy because it made them happy…..our children today are being brainwashed to expect no hardships and times of trouble……they are being taught that if they conform….they will have a great and happy life……and even many adults are as well, because they want to have an easier life, a happier life, one that isn’t filled with angst and worry, fear, pain, struggle, and unhappiness…..
As we see today…..people are opening their eyes to the truth of their reality and not what they see on TV and social media…..because the truth is that you will have hard times in life…..that life is not fair……that life was not meant to be the same for everyone.
Not all will be rich…..not all will be happy…..not all will be content…..not all will fearless…..not all will be strong…..the saddest thing is that not all will be saved……
Being saved…..we will find and have joy…..maybe not happiness….but joy, because we know how our chapter ends and that is what gets us thru our trials, tribulations, and hardships on the earth…..but for those that do not have Christ as their Savior….they try to go it alone…..(even Christians will try to go it alone as times, but we always end up going to the Lord in the end)
Why do we as humans try to go thru it alone? Why do we not trust God to see us thru, why do we not turn to that person in our lives that we know might know the answer, could help us, or just give us advice? Why do we not take that advice? Why do we not listen?
One thing I have noticed thru out my life and also watching and experiencing others people’s lives…..is that there was and is always a way out, a way to prevent, and a way to call on help in any situation, even when you are by yourself.
We sometimes can see the wrong decision being made….and try to stop that person, but they made it anyway, and then complain that their trial is too great and why did God bring this on them…..or they say, “well, it was God who placed this upon me, so it must be what He wanted.”
I know sometimes I have look perplexed when they are complaining, because I sit there and think, did God bring it on you or you brought it on yourself and God allowed it because it was your choice? People don’t like to be told it is their own fault for some of their hardships and tribulations.
However, the majority of people, including some saved believers will always seem to blame God for such things. Just because God allows these things to happen does not mean He is mean, or He is cruel….everything is done or allowed for a greater purpose and I know when we are going thru things we forget, because it seems so hard just to make it thru the day, sometimes to make it thru the hour…..
For saved believers, we can understand usually when we are under demonic attack, or when we are struggling with something…..we can turn to prayer and the Lord and know He can help us, even if it’s not how we expect it or even when we expect it.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
The unsaved will always blame God, no matter what, and I find it extremely ironic that they don’t believe in Christ, or even God, yet they always curse Him and blame Him for everything……quite a contradiction if you ask me.
Chastisement vs Tribulation
Definition of Chastisement
“a rebuke for making a mistake; correction; verbal punishment or corporal punishment; reproof”
(The root word is castigare which means: “to set or keep right, or to make pure.)
While a tribulation or trial can come about from certain chastisements from the Lord…..these are not punishments…..these are teachings from the Lord that is showing us we made a wrong choice, we made a mistake…..when we continue to make the wrong choice that is when a tribulation, trial, or hardship may occur because the chastisement of the Holy Spirit was no longer being heard by us, so by our choices we brought about a tribulation and God allows this for our growth, our understanding, and because it will always bring our focus back to Him which glorifies Him more.
We usually know when we are being chastised by the Lord, sometimes it’s a very stern “you shouldn’t have done that,” and that’s it, sometimes depending on what happened or is happening….our choice can bring about a time of trouble for us….usually this involves letting the demons in and falling into temptation and the world time and time again…..
So Chastisement can turn into a tribulation and hardship, but it only comes after you make the choice……and even though it feels like a punishment….it is growth and learning from our mistakes and trying to do better and focus back on Christ.
Remember, Christ already took your punishment on the cross…..chastisement is to keep you on the path the Lord wants for you…..Do we fall? Absolutely….but we always have a choice that can lead to a chastisement or a tribulation that we honestly have brought upon ourselves.
I do need to be very clear, that not all trials and tribulations are like this…..most of them come from being IN the world and not being OF the world.
Trials and Tribulations
So what exactly are trials and tribulations?
(I must also make a distinction of the Great Tribulation…..this is for another blog…..but it is not the same as what we go through and what Christians have gone thru, throughout history……This is the judgement and wrath of God)
Definition of Trial –
“a formal examination before a competent tribunal of the matter in issue in a civil or criminal cause in order to determine such issue; the action or process of trying or putting to the test; a tryout or experiment to test quality, value, or usefulness; a test of faith, patience, or stamina through subjection to suffering or temptation. “
Definition of Tribulation-
“distress or suffering resulting from oppression or persecution; a trying experience; being of great trouble; Affliction.”
Our trials and tribulations can consist of many things. Physical pain, mental torment, spiritual oppression, demonic experiences, addictions, death, persecution, torture, fear, money, people, jobs, it can be anything that causes us hardship and pain; causes us to take our focus away from God, and in every one of these things, it can be a day, a month, a year, or even a lifetime of tribulation. (sometimes these will cause us to focus more on God….it all depends on what is going on in your life)
As I stated in ‘You Are Not Alone’……we are never going thru any of these things on our own……when we have Christ as our savior, He goes thru it all with us…..
While we do not like hardships in our lives, (we all want things to go smoothly and easily), we also know that we are not going thru them for nothing….we always grow and learn from them…..
As far as chastisement is concerned we are to be grateful, because that means we are God’s and He is teaching us thru our chastisement of His love, mercy, and grace, and while we may rebel because we are human and it’s honestly innate in us to want to be in control
We must give over to Christ during all of this in order to understand Him more and more, and even understand ourselves and who and what we are really fighting so that we can witness to others better…..Only when we go thru and learn more, can we teach our understanding to others who do not know why they go thru such things……bad things…..evil things….
And if you understand that there is in fact evil in this world, then there must be good, and the good can only be found in Jesus Christ……just as evil can be found in Satan and His demons……..
When we make it thru the trails, tribulations, and hardships that come our way…..we are always for the better for it…..we always grow.
“Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulation for you, which is our glory.” Ephesians 3:13
What do people see when they see you?
God already knows our value, our usefulness……He knows ours hearts….all these things we go thru here are for our good, our learning, and to show the glorification of God in us…..for only when we go thru such hardships and show our faith, do others see it, sometimes no words are needed, sometimes they know that we are a believer just by looking at us……
It is not always easy, in fact most times it is downright hard, but it helps to remember that it will pass one day……all of this will pass one day……and what is waiting for us is peace, joy, happiness, and no more hardship……
Pity the fool who goes thru the hardships, trials, and tribulation, and misery alone……pity them, for they chose not to trust or turn to God, and why? All because of pride, stubbornness, anger……(you can’t call them ignorant any longer for the information is everywhere); and in doing so…..they will not make it thru easily…..if they make it thru at all…..
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” Proverbs 12:15
“Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.” Proverbs 23:9
In the end, we will all have to face the choice of Christ or Satan, Heaven or Hell, because that is the hardest and yet the easiest trial and tribulation we will ever face…..and everyone in the whole world will have to face this choice of that hardship of being human and knowing who our Maker is. The choice to give over control to the Lord or stay in the control of the World…..for either Christ or Satan is in control of your life…..while you are given a choice on who you want to be in control of your life, one or the other is ruling your life.
“Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.” Proverbs 23:12
As I mentioned before…..for those of us that are saved, these things are not to test our faith ….so many people have a misconception about this…..all of these things are to SHOW our faith, to show others, to show ourselves, and to show Satan and his demons….that WE belong to God and no matter what comes our way He will always see us through.
We don’t always believe we are that strong, or that faithful…..sometimes we think we can’t go on…..but Jesus always show us that He is strong thru us and that our faith is stronger than we aware because we don’t give in or give up, we continue to take it day by day until before we know it our hardships, and tribulations have passed and we are in fact the stronger, more faithful, and closer to Jesus than before….sometimes we may have to go thru similar trails until we get to where we are supposed to be…..sometimes one time is enough and we move into a phase of another one. Sometimes the things that come our way come and go through many years……
“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:4
WE ALWAYS make it through because of GOD, even if for a while we ignore Him and get angry with Him……doesn’t change the fact we are still His.
Those that are not saved…..they will not make it…..they might have hardships but they are not the same hardships that Christians face….let me explain….
You see their hardships come from what they want in the world and the fight is against God…..whereas as a Christian, our hardships are a fight against Satan and the world; Because the wants we have even though we are human and want of things of the world as well , our main want is, to want to please the Lord and live for Him…..we want what God wants, and therefore even though you have an unbeliever and a saved believer going thru the exact same tribulation, the difference is what you want in your heart and in your next life…..
“And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.” Jeremiah 21:8
It’s like this…..an unsaved person will get thru what hardships come their way….but for what glory? For what purpose? If they never turn to the Lord (for this is the purpose why everyone does have tribulations and trials) then you are working for this world and not for your life….not for your Creator…..and therefore all you have worked for here will become nothing at all because you refuse to turn to Christ. Your work will not save you…..your goodness and donations….and all the help and advice you have given to others…..it will be as dirt…..for your reward will be Hell instead of a crown.
“For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” Psalms 1:6
How can you go through this life alone? I ask you in all honestly, because I know that in my own experience and my family’s as well, we could not have made it without the hope and the faith in Christ. How do people live with no hope? How do people believe this life is it? How can they look to other gods who have shown no power or to this world for answers?
The fact is, a lot of unbelievers don’t make it….and it’s a very sad truth…..people want to be in control of their own lives, and while we all struggle at times to give control over the Lord, those that do not have the Lord…..they honestly think it is their own strength, their own power, their own control…..that gets them through and therefore they believe and think they don’t need God.
How blind people are to not see that God is the one that gives you the strength and He’s the one who gave you the willpower, and He’s the only one who has the power…..Even if you don’t believe in God, you wouldn’t be here without him. He made you and He knows each choice that will lead you to your death or to the life He offers you. It is by your choice….but not by your power….for God is what gives you breath to live…..a mind to think…so is essence you can’t do anything without God’s power.
They have a vain hope in the world and in a tomorrow on this earth…..this hope is meaningless and yet they hold onto because they love the world and not Christ.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ dies for the ungodly.” Romans 5:1-6
For His children there is a light at the end of our tunnel…..we have the light that shows us the way thru this life and everything that comes our way……
Feel sorry for the people who see no light, and are wandering in the darkness alone because they refuse to see the light guiding their way, they refuse to accept the way out……and because of their blindness and stubbornness they will stay in darkness forever…..
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6