This is the last four points of one of my short e-books. If you haven’t read them yet, you can read the introduction, Part 1 (“The trials will come,” “There will be an end,” and “Act, don’t react), and Part 2 (“Prepare in prayer,” “Re-enforce by reading,” and “Fuel by fellowship”).
Courage through counsel
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. (Proverbs 11:14)
We should find several people to get their advice and wisdom. Of course, these should be people that are trustworthy, honest, and have good reputations. One thing you don’t want is for your problems to be broadcast without your knowledge or approval.
Counsel from others can be an invaluable resource to help guide you. It is not a replacement for prayer, Bible reading, or church attendance – it should be a compliment to it.
Receiving someone’s advice can help build confidence in you as you work through your trial. That courage can add to the hope that has been gradually building through the other steps.
This courage should not be in us or because of us. It should be because of God’s strength and power that He wants to show in and through our lives.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. (Proverbs 12:15)
Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war. (Proverbs 20:18)
Don’t look at your circumstances
Your circumstances will change. They make look similar from time to time, but that’s because the devil likes to use the same tactics on us over and over. But the circumstances are different.
You are (hopefully) more mature than before. Hopefully you have developed a closer relationship with God. Hopefully you have learned some lessons from before. People in your life may be different – either they are different people, or they have just changed themselves.
I think of the Apostle Peter. He and the other disciples were on a ship one night, when Jesus came to them, walking on the water. There was a great storm at the time, with the wind blowing and the waves crashing. When Peter saw Jesus, none of that mattered. He asked Jesus if he could come on the water to Him. Jesus gave him permission, and Peter began to walk on the water as well.
He did perfectly fine, until he started to look at the circumstances around him. That’s when he began to sink. Peter was so close – close enough that Jesus was right there to pick him up.
We need to “look unto Jesus” as well. If we don’t, we will start to sink and drown in the circumstances around us.
Don’t hold men too high
“The best of men are men at best.” I can’t remember who said this, but I have heard it many times. We must be careful not to hold men up too high.
It’s one thing to have a role model or mentor. We all should have people that we look up to as examples of people that have been where we are going. They’ve being through some trials of their own, and we can glean from their experience.
We just have to be careful. The higher we lift them, the more it will hurt if they fall.
I have seen and heard about many people that have looked up to pastors, but those pastors went into sin. People were crushed by the news. Many stopped going to church. Many began to blame God. Many began to think and say that all pastors are dishonest and untrustworthy.
Our eyes should not be on them. We cannot lift them to high.
Look unto Jesus
We have now come back to our verses in Hebrews 12:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
The race of life that we are running requires getting rid of our weights and running patiently. It also requires looking at the goal: “looking unto Jesus.”
Jesus was the ultimate example. This verse says that He “endured the cross, despising the shame.” He went through several difficult situations during the time leading up to and including his crucifixion. How did He endure? What was the motivation?
“For the joy that was set before him.”
He didn’t look at the circumstances. He didn’t look at those that had fallen away. He didn’t look at the impossibilities. He looked at the joy that was coming.
For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalms 30:5)
When we look unto Jesus and consider the example that he left for us, several things can happen in our lives:
- We begin to see that it is possible to have the victory
- We can see the example that Jesus left for us of how to properly deal with the trials in our life
- When we rely on His wisdom and ability, we can then have the ability to follow His example
Remember that God wants us to be victorious. He doesn’t want us to live defeated lives.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)
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