Endurance Training

Sometimes, things just kind of stink. No matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, a wrench gets thrown in the mix.

I know there is so much joy and peace in Christ, and I’m so very thankful for it. Without Him, I would be a complete disaster. I might not even be here are all.

But, there is a time when we must go through hard things. It’s part of our growing. Sure, the Holy Spirit can give us some things rather simply, but for the most part, it seems that we learn through hardship. Things like patience, compassion, and learning to turn the other cheek are often learned through painful situations.

I’m so thankful for the people in my life who have been an encouragement. There are some rare and wonderful friends and family members who know the deepest, darkest things about my past, see the work the Lord is doing in my life, and are encouraged by it, then in turn, encourage me when some want to tear down myself and those I love, who also seek the Lord in truth.

It gets hard to deal with the difficult people, but you know what, I’m thankful for them too. As someone who’s always kind of been a little odd, singled out, bullied, beaten, betrayed, you name it, I’m learning to just roll with the punches.

There are people out there, that no matter how much you try, no matter what you do, they will find fault with you. And if there is none, they make it up — and what’s more disturbing is they believe it. You can do one thing, and it’s the wrong thing. But then if you do the opposite, that’s wrong too. Sometimes, you just cannot have peace without letting people walk away.

I’ve caused my fair share of conflict, but most relationships (among family) have been repaired in love and peace — but sometimes it just doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

How do we deal with these things? For me, it all goes back to understanding the sovereignty of God. If people in our lives are treating us badly, and we can honestly say that there is no rational reason, it has to be that God has blinded them in some way. So, though it stings — a lot — we need to just go with it.

Even so, more often than not we can see ways in which we contributed to conflict if we are honest with ourselves. But, when we apologize to people who are unwilling to see any wrong-doing in themselves, and deal with us in harsh unforgiveness, we still need to forgive them and try to be compassionate. If we can’t, we seek the Lord to help us forgive and heal our hearts so we do not hold onto darkness.

Many of these people are dealing with inner struggles, and because they cannot receive the truth of the mighty Physician, the hurts fester into something that takes control of them. Why is it that some can live through hard things and it makes them bitter and nasty, then others are made more compassionate and loving? It’s the will of God.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. — Romans 8:28

What if we struggle with deep-rooted unforgivness or some other sin that was caused by past experience? Does that mean we are not called or chosen? Not necessarily. These things are common for many, and the Lord Jesus can heal us. It’s one of His most wonderful purposes. He can heal us from all form of sin if we believe His promises and seek Him in all things. It’s never too late to turn to Him — not yet at least.

On a related note, we should also constantly be looking inwardly, asking the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and reveal any wrong doings we might be blind to. We don’t want to be proud, hypocritical, or dealing with a seared conscience ourselves.

For me, I’m not always good at turning the other cheek to abuse that affects loved ones, especially when it’s hypocritical and flat-out delusional. The Lord knows I need much more growing in this. Sometimes we can know how to deal with something, but in the moment we do things we shouldn’t. So do the “difficult people,” so we aught to have some measure of patience with them — especially if their struggles closely resemble ones we have been, or are being delivered from.

Don’t let difficult people steal your peace and your joy. There will be these people, especially if you follow Jesus in Spirit and Truth. Especially don’t let them provoke you to anger, fill you with bitterness, or any other dark thing that is not of God. They are supernaturally blind, stupefied, and delusional. They do not know what they are doing. I have to believe that. I also have to believe that the Lord might still turn their hearts to Him, especially when they say the love Him.

Never allow people to kill, steal, and destroy the light in you. Love them. Pray for them. But, do not be unequally tied to them or else you might find yourself ensnared.







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Posted in Spiritual Warfare

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