Sunday, September 22, 2019
“And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the Faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.'” Acts 14:21-22.
Paul not only taught the joy and peace of the kingdom of God, its power, and its present authority to cause the believer to triumph over evil. He also taught that “kingdom people” experience trial, suffering, and not always an “instant victory”. Triumph and victory may characterize the attitude of each citizen of the kingdom of God, and Holy Spirit-empowered authority is given to be applied to realize results.
Yet, God did not promise life without struggle. The “dominion” being recovered through the presence of the King within us and ministered by the Holy Spirit’s power through us is never taught by the apostles as preempting all suffering.
This text reminds us that victory only comes through battle, and triumph only follows trial. Only a weak view of the truth of the kingdom of God pretends otherwise. Another weak view surrenders to negative circumstances on the proposition that we are predestined to problems and therefore should merely tolerate them. The Bible teaches that suffering, trial, and all order of human difficulty are unavoidable; but God’s Word also teaches that they may all be overcome.
The presence of the King and the power of His kingdom in our life make us neither invulnerable nor immune to life’s struggles. But they do bring the promise of victory; provision in need, strength for the day, and healing, comfort, and saving help.
You are loved, Pastor Don