I learned a life-changing truth on Wednesday, November 6th, 2019. I learned that the Holy Spirit does not lead me into an ordeal of testing to find out how strong I am but rather to show me how strong I am.
‘Afterward (Jesus was baptized), the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the lonely wilderness in order to reveal his strength against the accuser by going through the ordeal of testing’.
Matthew 4:1 (The Passion Translation)
For the most part, I’ve always thought of going through hard stuff in life as punishment for my stupidity…and I’m sure this is a good possibility..but even if I am going through hard stuff due to my own bad decisions, I still believe God allows it to show me how strong I really am, not so He can find out how strong – or more likely, weak – I really am, or rub my weakness in my face. What would be the point of that? I already know how weak I am.
After reading Matthew 4:1 in The Passion Translation and prayer and seeking more proof from the Holy Spirit, God showed me very clearly this life-altering truth – God knows we are strong because He lives in us. We are the ones that need to be convinced of this truth and the only real way to do that is to allow us to use our ‘Holy Spirit muscles’.
A good analogy is our physical muscles – unless they are used and pushed, they won’t grow. If they don’t grow, they atrophy. If they atrophy, we are in trouble when we get older as weak muscles are the number reason why people go into nursing homes. Without strong muscles we can’t get up out of a chair, get on and off the toilet…you get the idea.
There are many verses that support this truth. Here are just a few of them:
‘Every child of God overcomes the world, for our faith is the victorious power that triumphs over the world.’
1 John 5:4
It is our faith in what God has said about the situation we are facing that will cause us to overcome. It’s not if we will overcome, but when we will overcome. I know there are many people who are struggling with really big challenges like a terminal illness. I am not saying, nor do I believe, if they pray more or believe more, everything will turn out the way they want. I don’t have the answers. I only know what God told, and expects, us to do deal with whatever situation the enemy throws at us.
In our situation – being homeless and jobless – we trust in God’s Word that tells us that He send His angel ahead of us to prepare our way and He is our provider.
“Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.”
“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Here are 73 more verses that tell us God is our provider.
We hold onto these truths as our way of exercising our ‘Holy Spirit muscles’ – our faith.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
James 1:2 – 5
I’ve always wondered how can I possibly consider it pure joy when I am confronted with life’s tragedies, dramas, hardships, trials…
I know now – looking back – it’s because of what lies on the other side – our inheritance – the fulfillment of God’s Word and plan for us.
It is the testing of our faith (only comes with trials) that we produce perseverance. Again, similar to exercise – the more you exercise, the more perseverance you have. Try running a marathon without preparing.
It is only after you’ve made it through the marathon can you say you did it and tell others how to do it, too. You are now not lacking the experience and the victory of completion.
And, if you are not sure how to handle the challenge ahead of you, ask God for His wisdom (what He’s already said about the situation). He’s promised He’ll tell you…He won’t leave you hanging.
These verses are just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. The Bible is packed with verses that tell us over and over that we are already victorious and stories to back them with proof. Real people with real problems who had real victories. I encourage you to find the verses that apply to your particular challenge and exercise your faith muscles until you are able to share with others how to do the same. You ARE ALREADY victorious!