Written by :   Zac Poonen Categories :   Youth Struggling Disciples
WFTW Body: 

The Lord takes us all through some difficult experiences as part of our spiritual education. For example, He may allow others to ridicule us for our faith. Most people who tease us are riddled with an "inferiority complex", and are jealous of us. So we have to feel sorry for them. But the good that their ridicule works in us, is that we become more free from the opinions of men. Looking back over my life I now see that all the ridicule that I faced for my faith from my fellow-officers on ships in the Navy (when I was young) and what I have faced thereafter - has all helped me to be free from seeking to please men. And thus the Lord prepared me for my ministry.

I am thankful for the grace that the Lord has given us to go triumphantly through every trial that we have faced as a family. Satan inspired many people to trouble us, because they were jealous of us. But we received grace from God to overcome Satan, and to keep a good attitude toward all who spoke evil of us and who sought to harm us - although none of them could actually harm us. Everything people did has only worked for our good, as promised in Romans 8:28 .

Remember that all the evil things that others say about us cannot make us evil, and all the good things that others say about us cannot make us good. We ourselves decide what we become - and that depends on our taking up our cross daily and following Jesus, and reacting in a Christlike way to others, whatever they may say or do to us.

Even our past failures - however deep and great they may be - cannot hinder God's purpose for our lives from being fulfilled, if we determine that we are going to make up for our past by being even more wholehearted in the future.

I let down the Lord in many ways after I was born again. But I decided in 1975 (when I was nearly 36 years old, and we started meeting together as a church in our home), that I would be more wholehearted than others who had not failed the Lord like I had done. And today after all these years, I can say that God has honoured my decision by giving me grace in greater and greater measure, year after year. So I know from personal experience that God does notchoose those who have a blameless record or those who have never slipped up and failed. In fact, He often uses the most, those who have failed the most. This is what has given me great hope for the worst of sinners who have come to our church.

The Shunamite woman when asked by Elisha whether all was well with her and her child, said, "Yes, all is well", even though her child had just died (2 Kings 4:20,26)! That was amazing faith - that she could say that. God honoured her faith, by raising her son from the dead! (2 Kings 4:8:35) God does amazing things for those who trust in Him. Such people will never be put to shame, in any situation. May you live with such a faith in God always - in the tight spots that you may find yourselves in, at times, or when you fail God miserably (which can also happen).

Remember that the Lord can bring a resurrection out of any "dead" situation. All you have to do is to be honest with Him. (You don't have to confess your sins to any man, but you must be totally honest with the Lord).