KEYWORDS: god, lord, faith, things, life, battles

Art of War, The--Part 2—Letter Links 1: Endurance

May 9, 2005

(ML #3533, GN 1131)

FD/MM/FM March 2005

Faith and Healing

ML #M:16-20, 23–24, 35-37, DB4

16. (Dad: ) ESAU'S SIN: HE GAVE UP TOO EASY! He despised his birthright and settled for something he could see and easily believe for, rather than something he couldn't see and had to have great faith for! SOME PEOPLE SELL THEMSELVES OUT TOO CHEAP, THEY QUIT TOO SOON! It is so easy to make excuses—legitimate, logical, reasonable, acceptable excuses why you couldn't make it, why you shouldn't be expected to make it—and in most cases MOST PEOPLE WILL ACCEPT YOUR EXCUSES BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE DON'T HAVE FAITH EITHER, AND IN EXCUSING YOU THEY'RE EXCUSING THEMSELVES! BUT IS GOD GOING TO EXCUSE YOU?

17. THE DEVIL WILL DO EVERYTHING HE CAN TO TEMPT YOU TO FORSAKE GOD'S WAY. Then he'll stand up in the end and accuse you for doing it! He'll tempt you to sin, then accuse you for sinning.


19. MOST OF THE DECISIONS—GREAT DECISIONS—THAT I HAVE MADE IN MY LIFE AS A LEADER HAVE BEEN LONELY DECISIONS WHERE ONLY I AND GOD STOOD TOGETHER and the whole world stood against us!—Sometimes even my family, sometimes even those I loved the most! THEY HAVE BEEN MOUNTAIN PEAKS OF DECISION, WITH NOTHING BUT THIN AIR BETWEEN ME and THE NEXT PEAK, and I HAD TO TAKE THAT STEP ALONE, and TRUST GOD for the consequences‚ with no guarantee but God, no warranty but His Word—all other conditions being against it—all natural circumstances being opposed to it—the waves and the winds fighting against it—and all I had was the hand of God!

20. BUT HE NEVER LET ME DOWN, even if He had to pick me up by that hand and lift me across to that next mountain peak, without any visible, natural, normal‚ logical, reasonable means of help! GOD SAYS, "SERVE ME, and I'LL KEEP YOU!" Man says‚ "It's impossible! Tie up in port. Retire and rot away. Don't attempt the impossible; you'll sink!" GOD SAYS, "LAUNCH OUT INTO THE DEEP! Cast forth thy nets and I'll give you such a draft there'll not be room enough to hold it! I'll give you the biggest load you've ever had‚ when you were all ready to sink WITHOUT any load!" MAN says, "Look at the waves! Look at the condition of your vessel! You can't do it!" GOD SAYS, "LOOK AT ME! WITH MAN IT IS IMPOSSIBLE; WITH GOD, NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE, and all things are possible to him that believeth!"

23. YOU HAVE TO CHALLENGE GOD! You have to take a step in the direction He said to go, to find out what He's going to do. Because if you don't go, He can't show! If you don't obey, He can't make a way! If by faith you don't "be", you'll never "see"! FOR BELIEVING IS SEEING, IN THIS BUSINESS—IN GOD'S BUSINESS!

24. BUT SOME PEOPLE WEAKEN JUST BEFORE THAT FINAL HOUR. THE GREATEST DARKNESS IS JUST BEFORE DAWN, THE GREATEST DESPERATION IS JUST BEFORE SALVATION! The greatest hopelessness attacks just before rescue! Some people ALMOST make it! If you could have held on one more breath, one more step, one more hour, one more day, you could have had glorious victory and a wonderful testimony! But you suffered all these things in vain, and you didn't QUITE make it, and a "MISS is as good as a MILE!" May God forbid this ever has to be said to YOU!

35. FAIR WEATHER FAITH IS NO FAITH AT ALL! Real faith endures the storm, even when it looks like you're sinking! Real faith stands his ground when all else fails and all others desert! Even if he has to do it alone! REAL FAITH NEVER QUITS, never gives up, never stops, and therefore can't BE stopped—for God is with such faith! REAL FAITH WILL PAY ANY PRICE, SUFFER ANY SACRIFICE‚ DIE ANY DEATH!

36. YOU CANNOT STOP THE MAN OF FAITH. You cannot dissuade him! You cannot divert him! You cannot stop him! He'll go on with or without you, or right OVER you, if necessary. "For THIS is the victory that overcometh the WORLD, even your FAITH!" If it comes to that, all he needs is GOD! WITH THAT KIND OF FAITH IN GOD, YOU CAN GO ANYWHERE and DO ANYTHING, for "all things are possible to him that believeth, but WITHOUT faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please Him!"

37. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO YOU HAVE? HOW FAR ARE YOU GOING TO GO WITH GOD? Are you going to get off at the last minute? Having run well, are you going to suffer so many things in vain and lose your reward; or are you going to endure to the end? "He that endureth to the END, to HIM will I give a Crown of Life!"

Organization 1

ML #54:6-12, DB4

6. (Dad:) "LET PATIENCE HAVE HER PERFECT WORK" and "WAIT PATIENTLY ON THE LORD", "For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise!"—Jam.1:4; Psa.40:1; Heb.10:36, 6:12.

7. DON'T QUIT TOO SOON! DON'T FLUNK OUT BY RUNNING OUT JUST BEFORE GOD'S SCHOOL BELL RINGS and He's about to promote you to another grade! Don't run away from your school of Laban just before you begin to inherit the promises!—Genesis 29. What patience Jacob had: He worked seven years for one girl, fourteen years for another and twenty-one years for the flocks! Some of you can't even wait a few weeks!

8. WAITING and LEARNING PATIENCE IS PART OF YOUR TRAINING, because if you flunk that test‚ you haven't got much faith or perseverance and you wouldn't last long anywhere! A few of our folks have gone back just when we were about to promote them to something they really wanted to do and felt they were capable of—but God knew they wouldn't make it because they had no patience!

9. REMEMBER THE STORY I TOLD YOU ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN ON THE ICE FLOE and the Russian soldier, who exchanged places at the last minute, just as God was handing out the crowns! The Christian missed it; he didn't last quite long enough—and the Russian got it! You may be surprised who might steal your job, if you're not faithful! Don't let it happen to you!

10. ARE YOU GONNA STICK—OR HAVEN'T YOU GOT THE FAITH THAT IT TAKES? Patience is the result of real faith and without faith it is impossible to please God, because faith worketh patience!—Heb.11:6; Rom.5:3-5. Have you got it? We have our eye on you and we're waiting to see! Like Amundsen, the famous Arctic explorer, we don't want to rescue you prematurely or take the heat off until you're well done—or it may leave some flaw or impurity in the finished product, some weakness that would cause it to break later under severe strain in time of emergency, when your job is much more important!

11. WE CAN'T AFFORD TO LET THAT HAPPEN—NEITHER CAN THE LORD‚ SO HE'S TESTING YOU NOW; He's putting you through the fire to burn out the dross and through the storm to blow away the chaff; and through deep waters so you can learn to swim‚ when you haven't got us to lean on! PTL! Do you wanna make it? We all hope and pray you do and we're rooting for you, trying to make the growing process as painless as possible; but it's not always easy, 'cause if it were, you couldn't stand the hard knocks later!

12. BETTER TO LEARN TO TAKE IT NOW, WHEN YOU HAVE OTHERS TO LEAN ON, THAN TO HAVE TO LEARN IT WHEN YOU'RE OUT THERE ALONE! But learn it you will, here or there, the easy way or the hard way, if you really wanna serve Him. THIS way is a shortcut!—Out there‚ it may take a lifetime of bitter experience to learn it and that may be too late to do much good! The people who are ever learning and never coming to a knowledge, who never profit from the lessons learned, who never make the grade‚ who never stay in God's school till the bell rings, seldom accomplish much for the Lord. He just can't trust them—and neither can we! Hope it's not you!

Run the Race

ML #1374, DB1

1. (Dad:) HEBREWS 12:1: "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."

2. Now the original was not divided into chapters, so you've got to keep in mind the chapter before this in order to know what "great cloud of witnesses" he's talking about.—All the saints who have already gone on to be with the Lord! And they're not only watching us, they're praying for us!

3. They're all praying for us and they're all watching us, and every now and then God sends one of them down to give us a hand if we need some extra help! PTL!

4. Think how wonderful it is that there are millions up there‚ all watching and praying for you‚ and lots of them coming down to help you! TYJ! … So since they are all watching us, what should we do?

5. "LET US LAY ASIDE EVERY WEIGHT." What are the weights?—The things that slow you down, the things that hinder you from getting the job done. Well, sometimes the Lord allows those weights for a while as sort of a test. In the old days runners used to train wearing weights, building up their muscles, so that when they took the weights off they could just almost fly!

6. So sometimes the Lord allows a few weights to strengthen your spiritual muscles and to test you and to strengthen you spiritually. But when the weights have served their purpose, then it's time to lay them aside and run the race.

7. "And the sin which doth so easily beset us". What is sin?—Missing the mark!—Not shooting straight, not really doing the most important thing God wants you to do, which is to hit the bull's eye of His will. So, "let us lay aside the weights and the sins"—anything that keeps you from doing God's highest and His best‚ that keeps you from being in the center of His will.

8. THEN, AFTER LAYING ASIDE ALL THESE WEIGHTS and DISTRACTIONS and SINS, WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO?—"Let us run with patience the race that is set before us!" In other words, you've gotta do God's will, do God's work! As long as you are doing His job and doing His will, it's work and you're running.

9. You can only "run with patience" if you have faith and are trusting the Lord. If you didn't have patience‚ you would get fed up, wouldn't you?—"I'm tired of doing all this hard work for people who never thank me and don't appreciate me and don't realize what a hard job this is!" If you didn't have patience, you couldn't do it. "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Gal.6:9)

10. It's a race in which some are going to win more than others. Some are going to receive greater rewards than others, maybe because they did the dishes so well and so patiently, even if they couldn't get out and litness and witness. In fact‚ I think some of the little people who do the most unseen jobs are perhaps going to get rewarded the most one of these days. They're the ones who are going to step out and get the medals and the rewards and the crowns, and for the first time really get what is coming to them‚ and the whole universe is going to know!

12. SO WE'RE TO RUN WITH PATIENCE THE RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE USwherever God has called us. And the only way we can really run this race is by doing what?—"Looking unto Jesus!" (Heb.12:2) That's the only way you can have the patience to stand there and do dishes or cook or sit behind that typewriter all day or do all that hard work around the house or take care of the kids, etc. So keep your eyes on Jesus, "the Author and Finisher of our faith!" PTL! GBY All!

Endure Hardness, as a Good Soldier

ML #2786:4-30, DB11

4. (Mama: ) Let's face it, for most of our lives in the Family, we've had it pretty easy. However‚ I don't think this is how most of our Family members look at it. I think their impression is that we are besieged, we're troubled on every hand, we're persecuted, we're maligned, we're afflicted more than anyone else in the world. Some of us tend to think, "Aren't we soldiers in the forefront of the battle? And aren't all of these churchy Christians just sitting around doing nothing, taking it easy and having a real good time? And don't even a lot of the unbelievers have it pretty easy as well?" I think we tend to get somewhat of a martyr complex sometimes, and some of us consider ourselves overworked, overburdened, overpersecuted, overtired, thinking, "How could anyone possibly have it more difficult than we do?"

5. Well, if you feel like that, you just need to take a closer look around you and remember what Dad has said: "Although many are the afflictions of the righteous, many more are the afflictions of the unrighteous!" It might help you to look around at what the poor people in the System have to endure—believers and unbelievers—and if you do, it should make you very thankful that you're in the Family! They're chained to System jobs (or are completely without work and destitute), worried sick about their children's problems, burdened by afflictions from which they can't get delivered, scared to death of rising crime, burdened with taxes, plagued with worry about pollution, AIDS, riots, marital problems‚ health care, etc. A lot of people are so bad off they're almost unable to function. And what's the purpose of all that they go through? Most of them see absolutely no rhyme or reason for all their sufferings.

6. For us, though we may have lots of problems, at least we know there's a good reason for it‚ a purpose behind it all. We understand that we are in a spiritual warfare, and that most of our problems are a result of those battles, and they have a good effect on us as they teach us lessons and make us strong. We know we're enduring these things for Jesus' sake, and that if we suffer with Him we will also reign with Him! (2Tim.2:12). So just the fact that we know that these trials have a valuable purpose makes it a lot easier for us to bear them.

Short Battles and Quick Victories!

7. We've had lots of battles‚ lots of tests and lots of tribulations over the years, but for the most part, they've been short battles with quick victories. We've won souls quickly! We've learned the Word quickly! We finish projects quickly. We get quick answers to our prayers. We see instant deliverances and rapid healings. We have quick childbirth and early recuperation.

8. Although they're not necessarily easy‚ most of the things in our lives have been quick and simple. Many Christians who aren't in the Family struggle for years to win just one soul to the Lord, or to get delivered from their afflictions. Some of them are persecuted for years by antagonistic members of their families. Some of them struggle for years under cruel and demonic taskmasters in their System jobs. Many who testify of their faith are ridiculed and criticized and rejected by friends and colleagues. Stuck in the rut of the System, they have to learn to endure. And victories often do not come quickly; they're often alone and without the support of others, with little inspiration and few victories to keep them inspired and to keep them fighting.

9. On the other hand, it seems like we can accomplish anything we want to.—There is nothing too difficult! There is no limit! If we decide the Lord wants us to do something, we're usually able to do it! Of course, one reason for this is because we're not bound by the System and its red tape and bureaucracy and ruts by which it confines its victims. And because there is so much to do and so few of us to do it, the Lord has miraculously enabled us to get things done quickly.—Souls saved, literature distributed‚ audio and video tapes produced, afflictions healed, countries pioneered, etc.!

10. We may have a lot of battles and a lot of problems, but in spite of them we get a lot of things done quickly! Things come a lot more easily to us in many ways than they do to the rest of the world because of our faith, and because the Lord has blessed us with many victories and quick results, since He knows there is so much to do and so few of us to do it.

11. However, as we now come closer to the end and begin a new phase in the war, one that will be of much greater intensity and vehemence and ferocity‚ with all the forces of Hell throwing everything they have into their efforts to defeat us, we are going to have to learn more patience. We are going to have to learn how to endure! We are going to have to get used to fighting more long-term battles. We are going to have to learn what it means to really hold on, not just for one day or one week or one month, but perhaps for many months at a time. We are going to have to learn to truly cling to God's Word and "endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ!" (2Tim.2:3).

12. We are going to be involved in long drawn-out court battles, longer and more intense fights for housing, and more protracted battles with afflictions and illnesses. We'll be beset by more vicious longstanding personal trials and testings, and we'll have to fight longer and harder for our children's progress in their weak areas. The Devil won't give up so easily, as he knows his time is short.—And because we have come out full force against him, he is going to respond in like manner.

13. Comparatively speaking‚ most of us have not had to learn such heavy lessons of patience and endurance. We have learned many other lessons, but now may be the time that the Lord wants us to work on these new ones. "For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. In your patience possess ye your souls" (Heb.10:36; Luke 21:19).

14. The Lord tells us, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation" (Jam.1:12). "Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful‚ and of tender mercy" (Jam.5:11). "So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure" (2Thes.1:4). "But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry" (2Tim.4:5). "We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope" (Rom.5:3,4).

15. In our personal battles and trials in the past, if we didn't bounce back full force and come out from under our clouds of discouragement‚ depression and heaviness within a few hours‚ or at the most, a day or two, we'd be worried that we were never going to. If we couldn't feel inspired or loved or anointed for a few days or a few weeks‚ we'd worry that something was dreadfully wrong and we became almost persuaded to give up the fight.

16. For the future, you may have to make up your mind that you may have extended periods of not feeling much at all, times when‚ if you in fact feel anything, you may be feeling pretty rotten!—When you'll not be able to go on your feelings at all, but will have to cling to the fact of His Word, that God still loves you and God still cares, and is expecting you to go on for Him‚ no matter what you feel like, and no matter how long you feel or don't feel like it! You're going to have to learn to keep going even if you feel like a zombie or a robot just going through the motions, just doing what you're supposed to do because God says to do it!

17. You may have to keep going even when absolutely everything seems to have turned against you, just believing that truth will triumph in the end, and Jesus will be victorious. You may just have to put on that "Fear Not" Scripture song tape and listen to it over and over and over until even if you can't think or make decisions, you will be able to just rest in Jesus' arms with those unbreakable promises going over and over in your mind and heart.

You've Got to Be Grounded in the Word and Committed to the Lord!

18. We are in a war, and if you aren't really grounded in the Word, and if you don't have the conviction that this is our calling to fight for the truth and uphold the standard of the Word and preach the warning message to people‚ then you're not going to be able to take it! It's going to require a lot of sacrifice and it's going to be difficult and you have to be convinced that you've just got to do it and that this is the Lord's will for you, and that He intends for you to do it and that's His purpose for you and you've just got to fulfill it‚ no matter what!

19. You can't go into this like a lot of people do in marriages nowadays, "Oh well, if it doesn't work out, I'll just get a divorce." If you're in this Family and you figure, "Well, if it gets too tough, I can just leave …," then you're not going to make it! You've got to be "fully persuaded" in your own mind and heart, and committed to the fact that this is a do-or-die situation and you're sold out to the Lord, you can't turn back, you've burned your bridges and there's nothing else for you to do in life: You'd rather die than do anything else!

20. You've got to have the attitude of "to whom shall we go, no one else has the Words of Eternal Life!" (Jn.6:68). Otherwise you're not going to make it! If you have consecrated and dedicated yourself and have made that kind of a commitment, then no matter how hard it gets, you're going to stick. If you know you've got to stick no matter what, then it won't matter whether you think you can make it or not; you'll just keep going and you'll just keep serving the Lord, even if you die on your way.

Facing the Future with Faith, and Fighting Together

21. For anyone who is fearful of the future and is contemplating leaving the Family because of the new wave of increased persecution that is beginning—and that will undoubtedly intensify as time goes on—you've got to determine that you're not going to forsake your place and your crown. You need to increase your faith through the Word and the wonderful promises that the Lord has given us.

22. If you think that by getting out of the Family you're going to escape persecution, you're wrong. This is the Endtime, folks, and there's no way to escape the Great Tribulation that God has said is going to come upon the whole Earth! It is our destiny and our calling to be chosen to go through this time, and to be victorious in it! We can just be very thankful to the Lord that we have not had to endure the many years of suffering and tribulation and sorrow and heartbreak that many other missionaries have experienced. We've had it easy; we've almost lived in luxury. We've lived charmed lives, with ourselves and our little ones protected miraculously so that we could accomplish the special job that the Lord has called us to.

23. So now we're going to get a little persecution, but it's going to purge us and purify us and make us white (Dan.11:35), as well as make us known and make us a testimony and a witness to the world! Should we cower and tremble and hide our faces? No! We should be challenged and excited at the wonderful things the Lord is going to do through us. Can we escape persecution? No! No matter how far we run from the Family, no matter how we try to hide, we're the Lord's children and this is the Endtime and "we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).

24. The thing you have to realize is that we are not the only ones who are going to be persecuted. All Christians are going to be persecuted; all people of other faiths are going to be persecuted; the whole world is going to be in distress; everyone is going to be suffering! But when we suffer, we at least know why we're suffering and that we're suffering for righteousness' sake.

25. We have a purpose, we have a plan, we have a ministry, we have a calling, we have a mission, we have an understanding of tribulation. So we don't have to fear it! We have a Family who supports us‚ we have a God who always causes us to triumph! But look at the poor world; they suffer poverty, affliction, death, injustice, fear, crime, violence, abuse, hate and loneliness even now, with no one to turn to and no hope for the future! Sure, we get persecuted for righteousness' sake and they don't, but they suffer a multitude of horrors which we can never be touched by. And when we suffer, we suffer with a purpose, and when we suffer, it does us good!

26. As a group, we may be some of the first Christians to suffer in this new wave of persecution and tribulation, because we are standing up for the truth and exposing the Devil's plan. But that doesn't mean that other Christians aren't going to eventually get it too. By sitting tight and being quiet and not doing anything, they may buy themselves a little more time. But when they do get persecuted, they're not going to know how to handle it. They're going to be weak in the Word, they're going to lack in unity and support‚ and as a result it is going to be a much greater trauma and horrifying experience for them.

27. We have the Word, we have the unity, we have the prayer, we have the support, we have the Lord's promises, we have the vision, we have a purpose, we have the power and we know what's happening and where we're going‚ so we are much stronger and better able to endure even greater persecution than they are. The intensity of it will be minimized for us. It's like the tolerance level to pain; some people have a high tolerance, some have a low tolerance. Our tolerance to persecution will be very high and our victories will be many and our power will be amazing and our exploits will be great as we present a united front to the Enemy. However, if we go off on our own without the power of unity and the strength of united prayer, when persecution comes, it will be magnified many times over.

28. The persecution we receive for what we believe comes because we stand for something and we let the world know about it. We not only believe it but we preach it‚ and what we believe and practice and preach is in direct opposition to almost everything the world believes and practices‚ and they can't stand the discomfort of exposure, so they attack us. But it's going to come to the point that other Christians will also be forced to eventually stand up for what they believe, and they will be persecuted as well, but we will have paved the way and learned to fight and been a sample to them of how God keeps you even in the midst of the flood, and never fails His children. We're some of the first to get hit because we're some of the first who are actively opposing the Devil's System and exposing his evil plans. We will undoubtedly be a great help and strength to many of these other Christians in that day, as we fulfill the verse that "they that understand among the people shall instruct many" (Dan.11:33).

29. How much better to be in the forefront and to learn to fight by many battles and to gain increasing strength for each confrontation with the Enemy, learning how to war and how to use the Sword of the Spirit and the shield of faith and being led step by step, learning to become seasoned, veteran soldiers who do not fear the Enemy but who thrill to the battle, instead of raw recruits who cower and shake and tremble when first thrust into the fray! How much better to start suffering affliction now with the people of God than enjoying the pleasures of the world for a season, and then having to be unexpectedly hit in a surprise attack that leaves you in confusion, shock and complete disarray.

30. So why not just face what we have to do bravely and courageously, and realize that it's an honor and privilege to be able to fight in the forefront of this battle! The Lord is training us and making us His tried–and-proven veteran soldiers, PTL! So let us rather "glory in our infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon us!" (2Cor.12:9). Amen? TYJ! GBAKY! ILY!

Issues, Part 10

ML #3397:8-27, GN 990

Tired of the Struggle?

8. (Jesus:) You, My children of David of the second generation, face a unique struggle. You face a battle that has not been fought by any yet on the face of the Earth. It's a great battle, for you are destined for a unique mission. The Enemy knows this, and so he fights you hard.

9. Hearing about the spiritual warfare that is waged has become so common that to most of you it's nothing more than a cliché. You fail to realize the great truth behind it. If you were more aware of it and how real and how true it is, you wouldn't let these battles dissuade you. The Enemy's attacks would be much less powerful against you. But because you choose to see things from the realm of the flesh, from circumstances and outward appearances in the physical realm, the attack is much greater and it influences you and hinders you much more.

10. If you could only see how much the Enemy hates you, how severely he attacks you, and how terrified he is of you and the future that you have been promised, you would have renewed strength to withstand his attacks. You would have faith to continue hanging on. You would fight back‚ knowing that his strength is little and that he has but a short time—thus the increased intensity of the battles.

11. If you could only see through the veil to the other side—into the mysterious spirit world—it would all become clear. You would understand why you suffer such big trials; why sometimes one thing after another goes wrong; why you feel so lonely and your mind undergoes such arduous strain, struggling with the questions of life. You wouldn't mind the struggle half as much, because the purpose would be clear. When you lack purpose, you lack the strength to continue.

12. You might wonder how long the tests will continue, and if you have the strength to make it through these very strenuous battles which seem to just keep coming and coming and coming. You might wonder why I let them continue to come‚ and why I don't put a stop to them.

13. As I have said, you of the second generation have a special calling, a unique destiny. You who endure will be blessed to partake in the culmination of all that has gone before you‚ the final scene of the play, the grand finale‚ the last leg of the race, the cherry on top, the orgasm, the greatest moments in the history of mankind! You'll be the star players! That, My loves, is your destiny. That's what you were born and created for. That's what you've been prepared for, and continue to be prepared for. And that is a very great honor.

14. Many prophets and righteous men have desired to see these days, but did not live to see them. Those of you who are blessed to see them—and not only see them but participate, have a leading role, and receive the final honor and great glory of being the final runners in the race—must endure a few tests. This honor is not going to just anyone. It's going to those who hold on. It's going to those who determine to endure. And just when you think you can't endure any more, hang on a little longer. That's the way you'll make it.

15. I'm sorry it has to be that way, but I think you'll agree that it's only fair. You have the weapons you need to fight. I've been teaching you how to use them. If you haven't learned yet, the classes are still open, but now it's the advanced course, so you'll have to do double-time to catch up. You're equipped. You've been prepared. You have a very great prize—the top prize, the million-dollar jackpot—waiting for you. You might not be able to see it with your eyes‚ but if you choose to believe, you'll know it's waiting for you.

16. Now it's up to you to endure the preparation and make it through. If you don't want to, that's up to you, but only those who endure will get to run and win. Once you're actually running and the crowds are cheering, it won't be difficult to push yourself a little harder. It's all the training and preparation leading up to those days that's difficult—trying to imagine the crowds in the stands, trying to psych yourself up for winning, trying to endure the coaching, trying to muster up the strength to keep running with those weights on.

17. I've used all kinds of illustrations here. Do you get the point? Your future in the Family will be the most exciting life you could ever live! Of course, you have to believe in the spirit world‚ and you have to choose to believe My Words in order to grasp the magnitude of that statement. You're not just going to be winning a few souls here and there—although each of those count, and are worth it all—but you're going to be the leaders of My children in the End! You haven't seen it yet, but you will soon.

18. Now that you've entered the era of action, the era of greater works, I'm not surprised one bit that the Enemy is fighting you harder than ever, trying to get you to give up. There have been a lot of tests, and there are more to come, so don't hold your breath, thinking the hard part is over. But don't you see? That's what you have to go through in order to be worthy of the very great honor that you're going to receive just for living in these times and playing the part that you will play in the final days of the history of the world! Many‚ many of My children throughout the ages would have loved to be in your shoes. Of course, you say, knowing what they know, that's easy for them to say. You have to take it by faith; that's part of the test.

19. I know it's difficult when you look around you and see folks that you think have it much better than you do. Those world-class athletes probably feel the same some Sundays when they're up early training, sweating‚ aching, and almost everyone else in the world is resting in bed, sleeping, or reading a novel in the sunshine. But if they want to win badly enough‚ they keep up with it! They see beyond the present difficulty to the goal. That's the price they pay. It's the same for you, except the goal is something you have to take by faith.

20. I said that the battle you have to fight is one unique to your generation and your calling, and that's true. But My children down throughout history have fought battles that were equally difficult, even those you call great men and women of God. You can be encouraged that, though your battles are severe, your resources are plentiful. You've been given a lot in the way of truth, My Word, the knowledge of where you're at in world history, and exactly what's happening with the race. All they knew was that they needed to run. Most of them had to go it alone, with very little support from others and very little Word in comparison with what you have. You think you have to take it by faith—they really did! You have many in your Family to back you up, the ability to hear clearly from Me‚ an intimate connection with Me, knowledge and training in how to witness to many cultures, nationalities and people, and a multitude of other benefits.

21. You think you work in Homes and don't get many results? Think of some of the greatest missionaries and how they labored for years and years without seeing one soul saved! Everyone that I've ever used has had to pass great tests. Yours happen to be particularly intense‚ because your reward is very great, one of the greatest honors that could ever be won by anyone on Earth—the honor of serving Me in these Last Days when so much will be accomplished so quickly. You have the ability to impact world history like very few people have ever had. You shouldn't be surprised that the personal sacrifice involved is great.

22. You have entered the era of action. You have to take that by faith right now too, but very soon you'll see the action, and that which was once accepted by faith will be apparent to the sight. Once things really get rolling‚ you'll no longer have to fight the battles of wondering what you can do to make a difference, or if there's really something worthwhile to give your life to—that will be obvious. But then there will be other battles. Your life will be a battle until you come Here to Heaven. Then you'll see what mattered most in life, and will understand that all your sacrifices for Me were worth it. Then it will all be clear, and you'll feel like kicking yourself for ever wondering. I have told you all I can to prepare you and have given you a lot of encouragement regarding what's to come. You must simply choose to believe it. That's your part of the bargain.

23. I'm sorry that you struggle with loneliness, feeling unfulfilled, and wondering if you're really doing anything that makes a difference. I'm sorry for the battles, I really am. And as you come to Me‚ as you read My Words, I'll kiss and soothe and comfort and show you how I see things. I'll remind you of My promises. I'll explain the reasons behind what you're going through at the moment. I have all the answers, and I'm always happy to give them to you.

24. But the bottom line is‚ the Enemy is fighting you. He's fighting you hard, and he's fighting dirty. You have a very big battle on your hands, but that's because the victory is going to be so great! It's going to surpass any victory you've won so far. In order to make it through the difficulties, you have to see the reason behind it—and the reason behind what you're going through is that the Enemy is trying to get you to quit.

25. Every time you feel like quitting, remind yourself that that's just what the Enemy wants you to do. Every time you feel useless, remind yourself that's another of the Enemy's lying vanities, his illusions, trying to convince you that it's reality. You're entering the greatest days this world has ever known. Remind yourself that you're destined to defeat him and go on to win the most outstanding, far-reaching, world-changing victories that have ever been won in history! No wonder he's trying to scare you out of the fight now.

26. I'm sorry that I can't rescue you from the battles. I'm right beside you, ready to comfort you, to tend your wounds, to instruct you in how to use your weapons better. I'm there to strengthen you and to give you what you need to keep fighting. But continuing to fight is your choice.

27. Keep your eyes on the goal, My love. Yes, the battle is difficult—it's like no other. But you've got what it takes, if you choose to keep fighting. (End of message.)

Brazil National Prayer Day 2003

ML #3456:170-182, 184-185, GN 1042

170. (Dad:) You can do it, folks! You can make it! You can endure hardness as good soldiers! You can persevere and let patience have its perfect work! So don't be weary in well doing during this time of testing, this time of learning, because in due season you will reap, if you faint not! You will gain the victories you want‚ you'll overcome, and you'll make it through this time! Hang on! If you feel like you're at the end of your rope, then tie a knot in it so you can hang tight and hang tough!

171. My mother always used to say, "Don't leave school before the bell rings." In other words, don't cut class or try to wriggle out of the lessons the Lord is trying to teach you, or escape His full process of remaking and renewal, or you won't be ready for the next step of your education, the next grade. There are wonderful things ahead, and He's still in the process of preparing you for them.

172. He puts you through the fires to burn away the dross and purify you, so you'll be a vessel more fit for honor and His use. He sends along the winds and the storms to blow away the dead branches and the debris so that you can get rid of the weights and sins that just drag you down, and so there's room for growth and new life. He sends along the floods of trials so that you can learn to swim better, to survive even the floods of iniquity that will engulf the world in the Last Days.

173. It just takes Him time to do all these things, because He proceeds slowly in your life, not going too quick or pushing you too fast and too far, because He loves you and He knows what you can and can't take. So don't worry if it's taking months and if it seems like the purging and the testing is going on forever. Goodness, look at nature—fall and winter take six months before spring and summer can come around, bringing new life and warmth and growth. Be patient under the Master's hand and don't try to leave His school before you're ready, before the bell rings, because in due season you will reap—if you faint not!

174. Sometimes it simply takes a while for the Lord to work in your life and to rework you…. Look at what the Lord did to some of His men in the Bible‚ and even in recent times, when they were going through the breaking and remaking process. Job lost all that he had‚ even his health, and was reduced to sitting in a heap of ashes scraping off the boils that had popped out all over his body‚ while his friends told him he was a horrible sinner and his wife told him to curse God and die. But Job endured‚ learned his lesson‚ and the Lord gave him twice as much as he'd had before!

175. Look how long the Lord worked in Abraham's life. He made a promise to him that his seed would be as the stars of the sky in multitude, but he was nearly a hundred years old before his wife Sarah first got pregnant and had Isaac. But Abraham endured, even undergoing the test on Mount Moriah when the Lord tested him to see if he'd give up Isaac, and he became the father of faith, an example of faithfulness and endurance. The Lord said that "after he had patiently endured‚ he received the promise." And what a wonderful promise and victory it was!

176. Look at Jacob in the school of Laban for all those years. You talk about it taking time to overcome bad habits and attitudes, ha! But he made it through the breakings a better man, having learned his lessons.

177. Look at Joseph and all that the Lord put him through—being sold into slavery, spending a couple of years in prison in Egypt after he was falsely accused by Potiphar's wife, and all that he went through there. That was no picnic. But he stayed true to the Lord, true to his convictions, and when he had to appear before Pharaoh to pass his final test and interpret his dream, he did, and wound up running the kingdom for Pharaoh. Look at the reward he received for his faithfulness!

178. Look at Moses and the forty years he had to spend in the wilderness. He went from the very top, from being near the pinnacle of the world empire of that day, with every need of the flesh catered to and fulfilled, to being an outcast herding a bunch of dumb sheep in the middle of the desert, suffering cold and hunger and deprivation. But he learned all that the Lord wanted to teach him‚ even though it took all those years, and he was ready when the Lord called on him to do the great things He'd planned for him all along. It was tough for Moses, let me tell you, but he stuck it out, endured, and received a great reward.

179. Look at my own life on Earth. It took the Lord nearly 50 years to make me into the man I needed to be to start the Family, to put me through the fires of afflictions and tests and trials, before I was ready for what He had in store for me. But looking back now, I wouldn't have missed or skipped those experiences for anything! Thank God they made me what I needed to be. Thank God I learned and changed and grew. Thank God I didn't leave school before the bell rang! Thank God for the wonderful rewards and blessings I received in return, exceeding abundant above all I could have asked for or imagined!

180. So hang in there, Family! The reward is coming, even if you don't see it now. Your patience and faith and perseverance will be rewarded‚ and we can see the crowns and the blessings up here, even if you can't.

181. Don't be like the Christian on the ice floe, in that true story I've told you before. He'd been put out there to die, with others of his brethren, naked, and only in denying the Lord would he be able to live. His brethren succumbed to the cold one by one‚ and finally he couldn't take it anymore; he said it was just too much. But to his surprise, a Russian soldier who'd been watching the whole thing wanted to take his place on the ice, because he'd seen the crowns of glory descending as each person dropped and died. And just as this last Christian was about to receive his, he gave up the faith. He didn't endure to the end, and he missed that crown.

182. Even if the trials are hard, if you feel cold and lonely and as if you're stuck on some ice floe, while all around others have warmth and the things you'd like to have but can't, hang in there. The reward is coming, the crown is descending, and the blessings will fall if you endure to the end. Hold fast to that crown that's coming, and don't let anyone else take it from you. Don't give up even if the trials are long and cold and hard—stick with it, and you'll be blessed!

184. Endure, as seeing Him Who is invisible. Obey by faith. Be faithful, even if you think it's unto death. There's a crown of life coming, and a hundredfold awaiting you, even there on Earth! Have respect unto the recompense of that reward—look forward to it, upward to it, and do all in your power to obtain it! It's worth it!

185. Patiently endure, and you'll receive the promise. Obey, and blessings will come upon you, overtake you, and overwhelm you. If you're obedient, you'll eat the good of the land. If you obey and do what you're supposed to, you'll not only be blessed personally, but you'll be able to bless and help many others, because you'll have graduated from God's school. He'll hand you your diploma for this grade, and you won't just get a gold star on it or a commendation, but you'll get a new star in your crown and wonderful rewards! Test His promises and hold Him to these words, and you'll be glad you did, as will He and the host of Heaven. Stick! God bless you! I love you! (End of message.)

Crowns on the Ice

ML #3465:195, GN 1053

195. (Jesus:) I have given My all for you; how much are you willing to give for Me? I went all of the way to the cross for you; how long will you carry your cross for Me? I wore a crown of thorns for you; how hard are you willing to fight for My crown of life that I have promised you? I fought till the very end. Will you?

Getting Stronger—Part 2

ML #3518:268–269, 274­, 276-285, GN 1109

A special anointing for the year of strengthening

268. (Mama:) I know there's a lot happening in each of your Homes and lives. We're all busy and stretched about as far as we can go. The battles are intense and many people are being tested in big ways. Things are moving fast, there's a lot being expected of each one of us, and I wouldn't be surprised if you wonder if you're going to make it if things keep going at this rate. As you know, the Lord doesn't ask anything of us without giving us the means to accomplish His challenges. He understands even better than we do what we're up against, and what we will face in the days to come. He knows our human weaknesses. He knows that we of ourselves can do nothing.

269. This next message explains more about the year of strengthening—not just what we can expect, but it also talks of a very special gift that the Lord wants to give us, a gift that will be crucial to our future success. Please receive this gift, cherish it, guard it, and believe that you have it. It will make all the difference in the world for you and your Home.

274. (Jesus: ) For the year of 2004, you needed a special anointing of yieldedness to accept what I was bringing into each of your lives, especially during the renewal. I poured this upon you, and you who have made it through the year of restructuring and have come out better for it are those who accepted the anointing of yieldedness and allowed Me to work in your life.

276. For the year of 2005 I am going to pour upon you a special anointing of endurance and vigilance. The anointing of endurance will help you to "endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ‚" knowing that the end results of whatever challenges you face are going to be to your benefit. It's similar to getting strengthened in the physical; you must endure some pain in order to gain. You have to put forth the effort of training and lifting the weights, which isn't always fun, in order to get the results you're looking for.

277. The anointing of vigilance will help you to continue to guard your spirits from the inroads of the Enemy—so that you can cut him off at the pass and not allow him entrance into your lives and Homes. If he is allowed entrance, if he is allowed to distract and hinder, then the work of strengthening will be slower, and progress will be longer in coming. However, if you accept the anointing of vigilance of spirit, and remain on guard against the Enemy's attacks in all forms, then you will have an advantage in the spirit. Progress will be faster, victories will be more easily won, and the spiritual strengthening process will be sped along.

278. To be a winner this year, you must make a conscious decision to embrace every change I decide to bring your way—whether to you personally, to your Home, or to the Family as a whole. This is not a year of choosing at every turn whether or not you want to accept My will in your life, of choosing whether to flow with My plan and program or whether to be resistant, and certainly not of feeling you can do this without too many negative consequences as a result. If you want to keep up with the program, if you want to be spiritually strengthened, then there really aren't that many choices. You either choose My will or you don't. You either flow with My plan and program or you don't. And choosing the "don't" isn't really an option, at least not if you are hoping to be strengthened along with the rest of the Family!

279. So why don't you just make everything easier for yourself, Me, and everyone around you, by making the decision now that you are going to put forth the effort of a believing, accepting, flowing spirit. Choose to look at every change, every new endeavor, every revolution, as something to be excited about, to embrace‚ and to praise Me for.

280. Fight desperately against cafeteria-style obedience slipping into the Family again‚ by making a commitment to give every new change and revolution your whole heart, to fight for a believing, positive, full-of-faith spirit. I don't mean that you're never going to be tested—but when you're tested, remember these words I'm giving you here and now.

281. 2005 is the year to say yes to Me! It's not the year to say, "Maybe." Or, "Just a second, Lord!" Or, "Could You just give me a bit more time to get used to this idea?" Or‚ "Well, maybe I'll take some steps in the direction You're leading somewhere down the road." Say yes to Me. Jump in with both feet when I ask something of you—even if it's difficult. Take the offensive in the spirit by having a believing attitude‚ starting right now, today, as you read this GN. Believe you can be strengthened! Believe that everything I'm bringing into your life—and into the Family—is to enable you to grow and be strengthened. Believe you can do all things through Me, your strength.

282. I'm not saying you're not going to have battles. I'm not saying you're not going to be tempted to say no to My will. You will be tempted, you will be tried, and some choices will be difficult ones. But when you're faced with a choice, remember that the only choices that move you forward, that strengthen you, are the choices you make for Me, the choices you make to yield to My will, the choices you make to progress spiritually‚ the choices you make to be a doer of My Word. The choices you make to wait, or to yield partially, are the choices that will set you back a bit; such choices won't strengthen you. And too many of such choices will, in time‚ weaken you and render you unable to perform My plan for you.

283. Remember that 2005 is the year of strengthening. That means that strengthening your spirit, strengthening your Homes, and strengthening the whole work of the Family is the goal. And if that's the goal, then everything you do, every decision you make‚ should be something that's going to contribute to that goal. Decisions to hold back will limit Me and will weaken you, not strengthen you. Decisions to move forward, to obey when I call, to rise to new challenges will empower Me to work on your behalf and will strengthen you spiritually.

284. As I said, I am giving you a special anointing for this year—the anointing of endurance and the anointing of vigilance—to enable you to have the power you need to hold on, to fight, to become stronger warriors in the spirit. You can do all that I will ask of you‚ because you will have My anointing. If at any point you feel too weak, or unable, that's a sign that you aren't accessing My anointing to the full.

285. I never ask you to do anything that I haven't provided the power and spiritual anointing for, knowing full well the challenges and the obstacles that await you. To do so would be like sending a soldier into battle without a weapon, or asking a sailor to go to sea without a ship. I'm much smarter than that. I never ask anything of you, My brides, unless I know there is a 100% chance of success with My power aiding you. (End of message.)


FJWL 1:427

I am picking and training and strengthening My shepherds for the end. You must endure hardness as good soldiers, for the life of faith‚ and especially the life of shepherds, is a long road and a difficult task, and there will be many obstacles, struggles, battles, tests and trials along the way. Each one is meant to strengthen you, to give you love and courage, and to make you the men and women of God that you must be for these troublous times.

So be not weary and faint in your mind, but press forward. When you are discouraged, lift one another up. Spend time loving and strengthening one another. Say the words of love and comfort that will build and will give back the courage that is lost.

Look to the Word together, for My Word is where the courage lies. Only My Spirit can overcome these fears, these doubts, these worries, these unloving thoughts. I will fill you with the love that you need and make you strong vessels‚ fit for the Master's use. You will be happy and joyful and will exude My love to many. If you remain faithful, I will use you to help multitudes‚ and you will be glorious jewels in My crown!

FJWL 2:376

(Dad:) Now is the time when you've just gotta hang on! You've just gotta trust! You've just gotta believe! You've just gotta have faith! You've gotta trust that God knows what He's doing, even though there doesn't seem to be any logical reason why you should have to be going through the battles you're going through!

The Lord is using these things in your life right now to make you into the woman that He wants you to be. Even though you can't see it, the Lord is using these things to work in your heart and in your life, and further down the road you'll see it and you'll understand.

You'll finally realize why you had to go through this time and why it seemed like it took forever. You'll finally see the Lord's great wisdom. You'll see the plan of the Master Weaver. He's working on weaving you right now, putting together the strands of your life. But you usually can't tell what it's turning out to be until it's done! When the tapestry is complete, then you see and appreciate and value the beauty of it.

You're in the middle of it, and I know it's tough. I know it's hard. I know it's a fight. I know it's discouraging. I know you sometimes just feel like‚ "Why bother?! Why do I have to go through this, anyway? This doesn't seem fair. It doesn't seem like the Lord loves me that much if I have to endure this new trial on top of everything else I've gone through!" It just seems like one thing after the other is piling on top of you, and you're worried that one more straw is going to come and it's going to break your back. Well, Honey, the Lord is not going to let that happen to you‚ because, believe me‚ He loves you!

It's not going to go on forever. I know you're in the tunnel right now‚ and it looks like it's going to be dark for a lot longer‚ but if you just keep going, keep trusting, keep holding on, keep believing‚ keep persevering, you'll come out of it! And once you do, you'll be so happy you made it through.

Now you're in the shop, in the Master Jeweler's hands, and He's cutting and chiseling and polishing—rubbing you this way and that—and bringing out the best in you. It's not always so comfortable, and sometimes you have to be subjected to a little pressure, a little polishing, a little chipping off of this or that, a little grinding here and there. But the end result is well worth it!

So hang on! The victory is just around the corner! You've already got it—by faith! Don't give up and don't give in! Don't think of quitting now. Just hang in there and you'll make it!

FJWL 2:454

(Dad: ) One of these days you'll be talking with someone who's going through the same battle or test that you went through in the past, and you'll be able to speak to them from your heart. They'll feel a connect with you and they'll know you understand them. But this wouldn't be possible if you never went through any battles yourself.

Don't you feel closest to the shepherds who you know have really gone through the wringer themselves, who've hit rock bottom and are sometimes even struggling themselves? When they pray with you and cry with you, you feel like they understand, and if they can make it‚ you certainly can too. Don't you relate to them a lot better than those who've never had a battle, or at least don't seem like it? So if you can't see what good these battles will do you, just think for a minute about the fruit it's going to bear in others' lives. Do it for them.

If Jesus had the grace to be beaten, abused, and then finally killed in one of the most painful and cruel ways imaginable, don't you think you can endure just a little bit of hardship and a few tears here and there? He didn't have to die, but He did it for us. That's a pretty drastic example, because we haven't been asked to go through anything like Jesus did, but it kinda makes you think‚ doesn't it? We don't deserve all the forgiveness and love we get. We haven't done anything to earn eternal life; it's a free gift.

We have an incredible future ahead of us, and all the Lord asks is that we endure a little bit of testing and some trials here and there to prepare us for when He calls upon us to rule and reign with Him—and even before that, to comfort others with the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted.

Fight The Good Fight

(excerpts), MOP 1

2. Keep on believing‚ don't ever give up! Keep on believing‚ don't be discouraged! Keep on believing‚ don't quit!

4. You gotta keep going, you gotta keep sacrificing‚ you gotta keep forsaking, you gotta keep fighting every day!

5. Whoever has resigned himself to fate will find that fate accepts his resignation.

6. Winners never quit, but quitters never win.

12. Victory belongs to the most persevering.

16. Success is failure turned inside out,

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.

So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,

It's when things seem worst

That you must not quit.

17. Whatever you do, just keep on going for God!—You're bound to make it sometimes if you try often enough!

19. Keep on holding to His promises!—Don't let go! Keep on standing on the Word!—Don't get off! Keep on going for Jesus!—Don't stop! Keep on keeping on!

20. The people that complain about the battle and then quit just before the victory's won, never get to enjoy it!

21. Keep fighting and you won't lose! Keep wielding the weapon of the Word and you'll win!

31. The Devil can't lick you as long as you keep trying. The only way he can possibly lick you is if you surrender!

37. You can never stop battling, you can never stop winning victories, you can never stop progressing, or you'll backslide!

55. Anything wonderful can happen in that little margin of time when you do not give up, but keep on believing and keep on praying!

57. People who faint, faint first in their minds; they sort of give up mentally or spiritually first.

74. How do you get the victory? You just keep fighting!

Trials and Triumphs

(excerpts), Good Thots 2

125. If I can endure for this minute

Whatever is happening to me,

No matter how heavy my heart is‚

Or how "dark" the moment may be—

If I can remain calm and quiet

With all my world crashing about me,

Secure in the knowledge God loves me

When everyone else seems to doubt me

If I can but keep on believing

What I know in my heart to be true,

That "darkness will fade with the morning"

And that this will pass away‚ too.

Then nothing in life can defeat me

For as long as this knowledge remains

I can suffer whatever is happening

For I know God will break "all the chains"

That are binding me tight in "the darkness"

And trying to fill me with fear—

For there is no night without dawning

And I know that "my morning" is near.

288. David was greatly distressed and wept. No wonder, for look what he was enduring: Exile from his loved homeland—"eating the bitter bread of banishment." Ingratitude from the people whom he had saved from Goliath and the Philistines. Postponement of his acceptance by his own people as their divinely-appointed king. Losses of material possessions snatched from him at a single blow, and of all he held dear; and mutiny by his own followers, for "the people spake of stoning him." Yet "David encouraged himself in the Lord." (1Sam.30:6; 2Tim.4.17).

836. If you've tried to smile when the heat's up high,

But you still can't seem to take it,

And you want to stand and face the test

But each time you fail to make it,

Then remember there are those to come,

Who will read your life's short book

When they look to you for hope that day‚

Will they find you worth the look?

Did you break down fast in the furnace blast?

Or sink like a cart in the mire?

Or endure the shame and the heat and the pain,

Like a vessel tried in the fire?

Did you come forth pure like a worthwhile work

—And to hell with the pain you bore!

'Cause you knew someday one would look to you

Who was suffering even more!

Did you come from the flames too hot to touch,

With your dross all burned in the pyre?

—But shining like gold with a radiant glow

Like a vessel that stood the fire!

Then maybe some soul will courage take

When they see what you've gone through,

If you'll only hang on through the fiery blast

They'll know there's hope for them too!

Word Basics: Suffering


8. The right attitude toward suffering:

Job 13:15aThough He slay me, yet will I trust in Him

Phi.3:8I suffered loss of all things, that I may win Christ

A. Endure suffering patiently:

Jer.10:19Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it

Lam.3:24-26Lord is my portion...hope and quietly wait in Him

Rom.12:12aRejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation

2Tim.4:5Watch thou in all things, endure afflictions

Heb.12:7If ye endure...God dealeth with you as with sons

1Pet.4:19Let them that suffer...commit the keeping of their souls to Him (God) in well doing

B. Pray for strength to endure suffering:

Lk.18:1Men ought always to pray, and not to faint

Jam.5:13Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray

C. We should expect afflictions and trials:

Psa.34:19Many are the afflictions of the righteous

Acts 14:22Must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom

1Thes.3:3,4No man should be moved by these afflictions: for...we are appointed thereunto

1Pet.4:12Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial

(See also 1Cor.10:13; 1Pet.5:9.)

D. Stand strong, endure hardness:

Acts 20:23,24None of these things move me...that I might finish

2Tim.2:3Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier

Heb.11:25-27Choosing rather to suffer affliction...he endured

Jam.5:10,11Take the prophets, for an example of suffering affliction ...we count them happy which endure

E. Be happy despite sufferings:

Jn.16:33bYe shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer

Rom.5:3We glory in tribulations...worketh patience

2Cor.7:4bI am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation

1Pet.4:13,16Rejoice … ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings

F. Don't murmur against God:

Job 1:20-22Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly (Also 2:9,10)

Psa.17:3I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress

1Thes.5:18In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God

G. Remain faithful:

Psa.119:143Trouble and anguish...yet Thy commandments my delights

Word Basics: Trials‚ Temptations and Tribulations


6. Why it's worth it to endure tests and temptations:

A. For the sake of lost souls:

2Tim.2:10I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain...salvation

Isa.53:10-12[God "put Jesus to grief" to save our souls]

B. Because you'll be spiritually stronger as a result:

2Cor.4:16We faint not; (for) though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day

2Cor.12:9‚10My (Jesus') strength is made perfect in weakness...that the power of Christ may rest upon me (Paul)

C. Because God will reward you after testing you:

Psa.66:12Thou hast caused [us to go] through fire and water: but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place

Heb.12:11No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward...[good] fruit

Jam.5:11Endure. Ye have heard of...Job, and have seen the end... the Lord is of tender mercy (See Job 42:10-17)

(See also Psa.118:5; Lam.3:32.)

D. Heavenly rewards:

Rom.8:18The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall us

2Cor.4:17Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us (an)...eternal weight of glory

Jam.1:12Blessed is the man that endureth temptation...he shall receive the crown of life

1Pet.4:13Ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings...when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also

(See also 1Jn.2:17; Rev.21:7.)

7. Be thankful for your trials and temptations:

A. God uses your trials and temptations for good:

Rom.8:28All things work together for good to...the called

Jam.1:2-4Count it joy when ye fall into diverse temptations

1Pet.1:6Rejoice, though now for a season ye are in heaviness

B. Chastenings prove God loves you and that you're His child:

Deut.8:5As a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord chasteneth

Pro.3:11,12My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord

Heb.12:5-12Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth...every son

Rev.3:19As many as I love‚ I rebuke and chasten

(See also Job 5:17; Psa.11:5; 1Cor.11:32.)

C. Remember that sorrow will give way to joy:

Psa.30:5Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning

Mat.5:4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted

1Pet.5:10God...after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you