Have you ever been to the place where it seems like you are at your wit’s end? One trial after another, one difficult place after another. ‘What’s going on’, you think? The Apostle spoke of these kinds of days as he experienced several periods of time in his own walk. In Romans 8:36, he talks about what it’s like to have a really bad day. He lays all of this out in verses thirty-five and thirty-six in Romans eight. There’s hope for sure. Great ready to shout.
In the previous two week’s, we mentioned how Paul wraps up Romans chapter eight with six concluding questions. Those questions are; What shall we then say to these things?; If God be for us, who can be against us?; He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?; Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?; Who is he that condemns?; and Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? In today’s post, we deal with the very last question of these six questions which appears in Romans 8:35.
In early New Testament times, believers faced intense persecution. Nero, after his ideas to remodel the city of Rome were rejected by the Senate (he wanted statues of himself all over the city), set a fire in the Western part (poor part) of the city. According to Tacitus, the fire spread quickly and burned for six days. Only four of the fourteen districts of Rome escaped the fire; three districts were completely destroyed and the other seven suffered serious damaged. To deflect attention from himself, Nero blamed the Christians for starting the fire. Nero had a ‘superstitious’ edge in that Christianity was an unusual religion to the Romans. Romans worshipped idols and images, gods that you can see. Christians worshiped a God they could not see, a curiosity to Rome and a basis for mistrust. This distrust and Nero’s claim led to a persecution of believers. Believers, summoned to the back of Nero’s palace, were demanded to deny Jesus. When they refused, their bodies were dipped in tar and they were hung on poles in Nero’s garden. Christians literally became ‘the light of the world’. What primary traits did these believers in Jesus possess and how can those traits helps us make it through a bad day?
Real Christianity acknowledges there are problems in life. Christianity is not a ‘pie in the sky’ entity. But, it’s not a ‘woe is me’ entity either. You are going to have problems because Satan, the mad dog, is loose on planet earth. Until God moves heaven to earth, know there will be problems. Spirituality doesn’t hide and pretend that real difficulties do not exist. But also know, God didn’t leave us without a remedy. With that said, here are some things you need to know in order to make it through a bad day.
The great believers have been the unwearied waiters 1. They have stood in the face of delay and denial. They have stayed with their eyes fixed on Jesus. Their heart set on His mission. And, their faith grounded in His love. They have come forth as witnesses that you too can become a mature believer and inherit God’s promises (Heb. 6:12). In his letter, James gives us the secret to real growth in God (James 1:2-4).
This is a revision of the original post published in April of last year. It was rewritten to make the writing clearer and the flow of the document smoother. It was sectioned off so you may skip a section, like Definitions, if you wish. A block flow diagram was (click on the link right below) also added to help give clarity to the thoughts expressed.
James, writing to born again believers in his epistle, tells them to “count it all joy when you fall into tests”. How important is joy? Mark it down when serving God, a joyful attitude is important. Moreover, it is a choice that a person has to intentionally make. You can choose joy when you are in the midst of trials. You can choose joy when you are literally in the valley of sorrows. Here are two principles that will help make it easier.
In 1970, comedian Flip Wilson and his show ‘The Flip Wilson Show’ debuted on NBC. His most popular character, was Geraldine Jones, a flirty women whose most famous line, “The devil made me do it” became a national catchphrase. 1. James, in this portion of his letter, addresses just who makes a person sin. Only one choice qualifies and its not God and its not the devil.
The crown of Queen Elizabeth II has 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and 5 rubies. The crown includes the Cullian II diamond, known as the Second Star of Africa which weighs 317.4 carats. God is into jewelry. Each gate of New Jerusalem consists of a single pearl. Twelve pearls equals twelve gates. What do you think of Gods’ blink? Did you know one day God will hand out His version of a crown? The Crown of Life the saints of God can receive has far more value than any earthen crown. Earthen decadence never compares with heavenly glory. James mentions this crown in the same breath as overcoming tests and trials in verse twelve.
The trials of life mows everybody’s lawn the same height on planet earth. People’s money and social connections won’t spare stewing time in life’s great crock pot. From the penthouse to the basement, all tenants stomach hard times. Do you remember the mark of the beast in Revelation thirteen? Did you notice how all classes get the same stamp? The assets and connections of the rich won’t keep them from the branding. Full bodied bank accounts will get you a designer version of the mark but not much else. And the poor? Do they get a pass since they have no money to control anyway? No, the poor line up to receive the mark just like government cheese (Rev. 13:16). 666 is an equal opportunity intrusion into life. Compliance is compulsory. Resistance is futile. Tests are like taxes, you can’t avoid them. James starts this paragraph on tests by addressing the subject with rich and poor.
Have you ever been through tough times, testing times? Times when things did not go according to how you think they ought to go. They were situations that you do not ask to go through. There were reports that you received about loved ones – bad news that you did not wish to hear. Has bad news or bad situations ever thrown you for a loop? Have you ever had your head knocked off your shoulders? Have you ever had doubts, misgivings, fears, nervousness and empty feelings in the pit of your stomach? Tough times, tough tests are part of life 101! Here are ten steps you can take to become a problem solving maven.