Don’t become discouraged if it seems as if every time you demonstrate the power of God (praying for someone’s healing, ministering the Word, praying for a family’s breakthrough, etc), the enemy appears to immediately get in your face. I have come to the conclusion that when we are demonstrating His will on earth, the enemy instantaneously attempts to intimidate us! Though it is true -the more we demonstrate the Kingdom of God on earth the more opposition we will probably face- we need not be fearful, draw back in fear or run away from our assignments in God.
A good example for us is Apostle Paul. He was clear about times of opposition when he wrote to the Corinthian church concerning his challenges as he ministered the Gospel. In 2 Corinthians 11:24-28, Paul tells us that he had suffered beatings, stonings and a shipwreck. He goes on to say he was in danger with flood stage waters, robbers, his own countrymen, Gentiles and perils in both the city and country. He was challenged with false teachers, weariness, sleeplessness, hunger and thirst…and other things! Imagine!
However, Paul remained focused on his love of Christ and his mission on earth. There is much to learn from Paul’s ministry. In fact, let’s examine three ways to overcome discouragement, despair and hopelessness by examining Paul’s tenacity:
Paul realized that it was not his own head knowledge or great oratory speech that would win souls. At Mars Hill, Paul delivered a powerful, articulate message, but only a handful was saved. Therefore, Paul learned not to depend upon his own ability, but to completely allow God’s grace to empower Him for the demonstration of His Kingdom on earth.
When he was persecuted, Paul did not withdraw. He was focused on his mission. Ask yourself- do I withdraw under persecution? If so, ask Him for His divine grace to empower you for your mission on this earth as you continue to glorify Him.
When tempted to feel like a failure, Paul decided to “fail forward.” If we have a performance mentality or are “works-oriented,” we remain focused on our own ability rather than completely trusting God. In fact, if this is our focus, it is easy to feel guilty and condemned when we fail. Failure often leads to fear and fear leads to a lockdown. If you believe you have failed, you can overcome by speaking affirming words over yourself. In other words speak forth what God says concerning your identity in Christ and all that God says about you in the Word. Paul continued to remind Himself who he was in Christ. One of his confessions (and it includes us, by the way) is “…we are more than conquerors…” (see Romans 8:37). There are many scriptures in the Bible that affirm you. For example, two really encouraging passages confirm that you are a child of God (such as 1 John 3:1), and that you are new creation (such as 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Dear one, everyone goes through hard times. The main key is to keep the main thing the main thing! Keep your eyes on Jesus and the finished work at the Cross and the grace to overcome will continually empower you as you demonstrate His Kingdom!
My new book Letting Go of Your Limitations: Demonstrating God’s Transforming Power will help you press through many obstacles such as fear of man, failure to measure up, perfectionism, the need to perform for God and others , and the pressure to prove yourself. God loves you. You are anointed to overcome obstacles and mountains of opposition! Remember you are a child of God!