For today’s message, I wanted to share some good news with everyone. This news is that every dark cloud has a silver lining. During our lives, we will encounter many different circumstances that will challenge not only our faith but our identity in Christ. It is during these difficult times that we need to grab hold onto God’s word and trust in His promises. This leads me to share the 21st chapter of the book of Luke with you all. In this chapter, Jesus is telling His disciples about the dark times to come before He comes back. From this dialogue, there are three important truths that we must recognize to help us survive our darkest times.
The first thing Jesus told His disciples is to “be on your guard and be careful that you are not led astray,” (Luke 21:8, AMP). This is important to understand as a believer because as a Christian we should know that we will always be under attack. We are under attack spiritually by Satan and his demonic forces. We are under attack by this world for not conforming to it and standing firm in our faith in Christ. We are also under constant attack from our own sin nature (our flesh). Being a Christian means that we will always be under attack, and understanding that we are always under attack, it is a wise lesson to never be taken off guard. We do this by studying Bible doctrine and knowing God’s promises over our lives. These promises are what will not only give us the strength to endure our dark times but the strength to fight against them.
The second thing that Jesus teaches His disciples is that before things get better, they will get worse. In this context (chapter 21), Jesus is speaking to His disciples about what is to come before He comes back. He explains that nations will fight against nations (relationship struggles of opposing forces). He explains that the earth will shake, diseases will come and that Christians will be persecuted. This gives us an illustration of our foundational beliefs being challenged, the sickness of our sins coming back, and then how our faith will be challenged. This is what it means when I say that things will first get worse before they get better. However, Jesus teaches us “to not be alarmed and panic-stricken and terrified; for all this must take place first.” (Luke 21:9, AMP). You see, we must endure these difficult times in our lives as trails and tribulations to receive the fulfillment of His promises in our lives.
Lastly, and most importantly, Jesus teaches us that after every negative thing that can happen to us occurs and that we endure them, He tells us to “look up and lift your heads because your redemption (deliverance) is drawing near,” (Luke 21:28, AMP). You see, no matter what battles we must face in our lives, we must always remember that our silver lining is always going to be Jesus Christ. This is why God teaches us in His word to not leave on our own understandings but to submit and trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5-6). It doesn’t matter what we face in life or have to endure, the one simple truth that will always stay the same is that Jesus will be our silver lining.
So, when you are going through your toughest battles, don’t look down on yourself, don’t allow this world to rob you of your identity in Christ, look up and see yourself for who God created you to be. We are all adopted children of the Creator of the Universe, and He loves us so much that He gives us something to always to look forward to after our storms, and that is being able to grow closer to His Son, Jesus Christ. You see, it is in our difficult times that we must stay on guard, stand firm in God’s promises (Bible doctrine), and stay focused on Jesus. There is nothing in this world that should make us panic-stricken and terrified because God has already shared with us our silver lining (redemption through Christ).
I pray that today’s message can encourage those out there that are going through a difficult battle. Please remember that you are not forgotten and that you are loved. Remember that through Christ and Christ alone we can endure and fight these battles. Then, something wonderful will happen during the process. Our identity in Him will only get stronger, and this is what I am praying for. For everyone to stand firm in their faith and to know their identity in Christ. This is the only way that we can all overcome our greatest hardships. Amen!