A common refrain that one of my pastors, (Mike Price), shares is, as a Christian, we either have to be up or getting up. From time to time, we will have an experience that might knock us off our feet or set us back. As Christians, we need to remember the truths of the Bible and what we believe about our Lord and our God. My pastor uses this reminder to encourage me (and others) that when that something happens, do not wallow in the condition. We need to claim the truth and get back to our feet, quickly.
In Psalm 46:1 (KJV), we are reminded that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Key words in this scripture to me are very present. He is right there to hear our concerns and to be the help when we are going through something. Isn’t it comforting to know that the creator of the universe is very present in our circumstances?
A common misconception amongst new believers to the faith is that once accepting Christ as one’s Savior, all troubles will be over. In John 16:33 (KJV), we are reminded of the truth of the matter. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Becoming a Christian does not mean you will no longer experience difficulties. Actually, we have an added expectation placed upon us. Because of our hope in an eternal God, we are called to be of good cheer in spite of any difficulty or tribulation we are facing. Truthfully, I still struggle with this aspect of my walk. I can see incredible improvement in my faith walk over the past several years in this regard, but I have not come close to mastering it.
It is a powerful testimony when you can be in the midst of a life challenge and people around you are unaware because of the joy that you carry on your spirit. I know of people that have matured in this area of their faith to a greater degree than have I. I receive encouragement from their mindset and behavior in spite of what they are experiencing.
Previously, I have written about the importance of praising God. This is particularly true when we are experiencing a difficulty. It is easy to give God praise when you’re standing on the mountaintop. Calling out praises to the Father during times of trouble is so very important. Praising God in these moments serves to reassure what you believe. It can ground you in your faith walk and the truths of the Bible. In fact, it is pleasing to God.
In the New Testament, we are reminded in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV), “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” It says every thing. Not some things or good things, but in every thing give thanks. It takes a maturing spirit to become good at living this out. It’s not something many of us master right out of the box, especially as new believers. But that is a desire God has for our lives — that we will grow and mature in our faith. We will seek to elevate our faith walk with Him. As we grow in relationship with Jesus Christ, we will find it easier to live this out.
Use the time when you are not experiencing a tribulation to pray and study God’s Word about how you should handle such times. You can use this kingdom knowledge to encourage someone else who is going through a difficulty. Sometimes this encouragement can take the form of godly counsel. Other times, all that is needed is a ministry of presence. Just being present is sometimes encouragement enough.
By staying prayed up and studied in God’s Word, you will be better equipped when the event occurs that has you headed into a valley. And even if you get knocked down in the moment, you will quickly get to your feet walking in His truth. As Christians, we either need to be up or getting up.