Genesis 3:16 (NKJV) To the woman He (God) said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain, you shall bring forth children.
Often our struggles are giving birth to necessary elements of our personal and spiritual development.
Have you ever noticed at birth every child who enters the world does so by pushing against its mother to forge an independent identity?
Growth always takes place against something, and spiritual growth is no different. It takes place in a world opposed to God, and it happens among people who are apathetic, indifferent, and sometimes belligerent.
Those who follow God are always going against culture. This was true in the days of the patriarchs; it was true in the first century; it is true today, and it will remain true until Christ returns to rule the earth.
Before Jesus’ return to heaven, he spoke to his disciples. He didn’t motivate them with tales of adventure and excitement.
The Master didn’t send them off with a pep talk about positive thinking. Nor did our Lord promise them early retirement in a warm and fuzzy community.
Our Lord sent them off with this ominous warning, “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves” (Matthew 10:16).
Jesus protected them from future doubt, disappointment, and despair by preparing them for what was to come.
And the Master did so by teaching them the truth and warning them about persecution. Yes, warning them about the necessary struggles they would encounter in a life living for Him.
These words were written to the Hebrew Christians so long ago, still, bring guidance and comfort for Christians today:
Don’t ever forget those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering.
Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things.
You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail. When all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy.
You knew you had better things waiting for you in eternity. Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens.
Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised (Hebrews 10:32-36).
Be reminded we are fighting against principalities in high places.
To my sisters and brothers protesting against police brutality, systemic racism, and to ensure Black lives matter.
We are fighting “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
I read the words of L. Chris Stewart, who is one of the attorney’s representing the family of the most recent police brutality victim Rashard Brooks 27-year-old black man murdered by the police in Atlanta.
Attorney Stewart called out the discrepancy between the responses to the coronavirus and racism, highlighting the huge global effort to find a vaccine for Covid-19, while “nobody” tries to “find a vaccine” for civil rights abuses.
“It’s something that we’re told to wait for it, it’ll come. Nobody’s trying to find a vaccine for why officers pull the trigger so quick on African Americans.
There’s no flood of money or scientists or top experts or our leadership in this country trying to end this epidemic,” he said.
“I guess that’s because it doesn’t hit close to home for the people that care.”
So, I ask each of you reading this message to consider and be reminded we are fighting against principalities and something great is being birthed in the history of America and the world.
And what’s being birthed is that Black lives matter, racism is being confronted systemically for real, and that police brutality will not have the last word.
Point to ponder
If anyone reading today’s message and you are experiencing a time of great struggle. I am writing to you today, not to worry “Your struggle is worth it”, and God’s got us so we are going to be alright. Have a marvelous day.
- Do you feel at times you are going against a force of some kind?
- Is it possible that your perception of your struggle is real?
- How do you make sense of your struggles in life?
- How do you react or respond in times of struggle?
- Is it plausible that your struggles are birthing something for you?
Pastor James Baker, Jr. and our leadership team are especially thankful for those of you who provided financial donations and support in the month of June 2020, by partnering with us in efforts to advance the kingdom of God in this 21st century season: Special thanks to Ms. Cynthia Waiters-Artis, Ms. Annette Straker, Ms. Rita McGuffin, Mr. Kenneth Washington, Ms. Darlene Simmons, Ms. Mable Bazemore, Ms. Evelyn Rosado, Ms. Itholear Abbott, Mrs. Barbara Mason, Ms. Theresa Lewis, Ms. Ashley Baker, Ms. Judith Battle, Ms. Angela Battle, Ms. Evonne Bazemore, Ms. Chisa Tolliver, Mrs. Lola Moore, Ms. Angie Scraders-Murphy, Mr. Calvin Jackson, Mrs. Robin Baker, Ms. Sylvia Sumpter, and Ms. Gertrude Scott.
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