Faith / Life Lessons / Personal Struggles / Spiritual Bondage

Wings: Rising Above Adversity

“The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings,” (J.M. Barrie).  And who hasn’t longed for perfect faith — and a set of wings to fly away with?  Even David in the Psalms admitted when he felt overwhelmed, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!  I would fly away and be at rest,” (Psalm 55:6).

Photo:Jean Beaufort

Sometimes the trials in life can bring us, quit literally, to our knees.   We long to flee from our troubles.  We prefer a smooth and easy ride through life without the bumps in the road.  However, we know Jesus made it clear that “in this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33)  For years I’ve struggled with my circumstances.  At times, asking the age-old question:  “How long, Oh Lord.  How long?”  My flesh desires a life of ease and pleasure;  my spirit however, knows otherwise.  “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;  and perseverance, proven character;  and proven character, hope,”  (Romans 5:3).  Jesus even cried out to God the Father when under duress at Gethsemane.   “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me;  yet not My will, but Yours be done,”  (Luke 22:42).  Now we know it’s not always God’s will to remove the cup, but He will give us the grace to go through the trail, by giving us His supernatural strength to endure.

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Photo: George Hodan

“Understand that problems will come into your life.  However, there is no reason to believe that the Lord has stopped loving you or that you’ve somehow lost His grace.  Just the opposite is true — God has allowed this suffering so that you will learn to persevere, so you’ll develop His character, and so you’ll have hope.  Because of His great love for you, He wants you to experience His eternal abundant life more deeply.  However, the only way to prepare you for it is through hardship.  So, as you can see, even the trials are the outpouring of His grace,” (Charles Stanley, Life Principles Bible).

Even David faced one of the most severe trials of his life, just prior to being exalted to King.  “Brokenness is God’s requirement for maximum usefulness,” (Charles Stanley).  David went to help a friend in battle, and when he returned three days later, he found that his village had been burned to the ground by the Amalekites.  Everything was taken;  not only his family but the wives and possessions of all his men.    It says in Samuel 30:6, “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God”.  His own men wanted to stone him they were so bitter.  David inquired of the Lord;  “And God said to David , “Pursue, for you will surely overtake them, and you will surely rescue all,”  (Samuel 30:8).   He went after the raiding party and got everything back — everything.   “But nothing of theirs was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that they had taken for themselves;  David brought it all back,” (Samuel 30:19).

Photo:Dawn Hudson

It’s important to note that David was strengthened  by the Lord.  He and his men wept for hours after they returned to their village,  “until there was no strength in them to weep,” (Samuel 30:4).   After he sought God and was strengthened, he was told to go to battle for what belonged to him and that he would be victorious.    Sometimes after a severe trail we may have a tendency to get so overwhelmed that we become too discouraged to pray.    Depression sets in and we become despondent.  Perhaps, God is asking us to rise up like the eagle and soar above our circumstances, to go into spiritual battle and take back what belongs to us.

Perhaps for you, it may be the enemy has robbed you of our true identity in Christ.  Rise up and take it back.  Perhaps it’s your courage or your trust in God’s promises.  Rise up and take it back.  Perhaps it’s your joy.  Rise up and take it back.  Whatever it is for you, you have all you need in Christ Jesus to overcome.  Rise up like the eagle and soar above your circumstances and take back what belongs to you.  John 10:10 reminds us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” said Jesus.

A key truth is that we get our strength from the Lord in times of deep distress.  Only with His power and protection will we get the victory!