MICHAEL’S MONDAY MEDITATIONS, 9/7/2015
The events of this week regarding Kimberly Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who is currently in federal prison for refusing to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples, has weighed heavily on my mind. There are practically as many opinions about this matter as there are people, including in the Christian community. Regardless where you stand on the issue, know this. Jesus promised us (John 16:33) “…in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus brother and disciple James writes in James 1:2-3, ” Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” Further he states in the same chapter, verse 12, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
Perhaps none in the faith, short of Jesus Himself, understood trials and tribulations and perseverance better than the apostle Paul. He states in Romans 3:5, ” Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” In Romans 12:11-12 he says, ” Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” In his letter to Timothy, he tells of his having persevered, ” In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
I could go on and on with verse after verse, where Jesus and the apostles and disciples all warn of trials and temptations and that we can be overcomers through Jesus, who has overcome the world.
Christian friend, are you experiencing trials in your life today? They don’t have to be on the order of what Kimberly Davis is facing, but they might be. Who are you trusting to be an overcomer? Yourself? Your friends? Your family members? Your doctor? Your knowledge and education? Perhaps your position or your wealth? Know that while these are wonderful assets to have, they will not get you through life’s most demanding trials and tribulations. Only Jesus Christ can do that. Pray, read God’s Word, and place your trust in Him. Without Jesus we can do nothing.