Thursday Feb 15, 2024

Pressing Ahead Through Trials and Tribulations | The Todd Coconato Show

Pressing Ahead Through Trials and Tribulations | The Todd Coconato Show 

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The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 3:13-14, "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Here, Paul speaks to the essence of our Christian journey – a continuous pressing forward, a striving towards the call and purpose God has placed upon our lives, despite the past or the obstacles that lie in our path.

In Romans 5:3-4, we find encouragement in suffering, "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope." These words remind us that our trials are not in vain; they are the very process by which God shapes us into vessels of His hope and light.

James 1:2-4 echoes this sentiment, urging us, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." It is through steadfast faith and patience that we are made complete in Christ, fully equipped for every good work.

But how do we navigate these trials? The Psalmist gives us a beautiful image of God's guidance and comfort in Psalm 23:4, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." In the midst of our darkest valleys, God is with us, His rod and staff guiding and comforting us, reminding us that we are never alone.

Our Lord Jesus Himself assures us of peace amidst tribulation in John 16:33, saying, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." In Christ, we have a peace that transcends understanding, a peace that enables us to remain joyful and courageous, even when faced with life's storms.

The call to be steadfast in faith is further emphasized in 1 Corinthians 15:58, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." Our perseverance in faith and good works is never futile; it has eternal significance and reward.

In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, Paul speaks to the resilience of the believer, "We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed." This passage is a powerful testament to the resilience that we have through Christ. Despite the pressures and challenges we face, we are never abandoned by God; His grace sustains us, enabling us to rise again, stronger and more determined.

The strength to press ahead also comes from the assurance of God's unfailing love and faithfulness, as declared in Lamentations 3:22-23, "Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." Every day, we are recipients of God's new mercies, a reminder that with each sunrise comes fresh strength and hope for the journey.

Hebrews 12:1-2 exhorts us to run with endurance the race set before us, "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." Jesus is not only our example but also the source of our strength and the one who perfects our faith as we keep our eyes fixed on Him.

Finally, in Isaiah 40:31, we find the promise of renewed strength for those who hope in the Lord, "But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." This verse assures us that in waiting upon the Lord, in trusting Him through every season of our lives, He renews our strength, enabling us to soar above the challenges, to run without growing weary, and to walk without fainting.

Brothers and sisters, as we face the tests and trials of life, let us remember that we do not do so in our own strength, but in the strength that God provides. Let us press ahead, not with fear or hesitation, but with confidence and hope, knowing that our God is with us, guiding us through every challenge, and leading us into victory.

May we go forth in this assurance, pressing ahead with faith, and looking unto Jesus, the perfecter of our faith, who leads us on to glory.

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