A Blessing is always waiting "on the other side"

Bobby G. Richardson

We are living in the Last Days ...a time when many people have become very impatient AND short sighted. Jesus said in Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls. That little Greek word that was translated into English as "patience" is defined as: steadfastness, constancy, endurance, steadfast waiting for, a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance. Therefore, "impatience" or being impatient is counter-productive to that of living a victorious life for Jesus Christ. This is only one of the many reasons why there are so many people today who seldom, if ever, realize that there really is a blessing waiting on the other side of every trial and temptation we endure, and go through, successfully. Proverbs 25:28 tells us that He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. ... Those who understand this description during that period of time in human history, understand that such a person ... or such a city ... has no real defense against an enemy attack at any time, day or night. Instead, they are a sitting duck, and are more than likely spiritually immature, and are tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness ... something we are warned NOT to be like in Ephesians 4:14.

There is a story about a man who purchased some property that was thought to contain some valuable minerals like gold or diamonds. This man worked diligently for years, digging and searching, but to no avail. Eventually, he began to grew tired and weary. His hope of hitting pay dirt seemed less likely every day. And, I’m sure it must have been a roller coaster ride emotionally for him, too. One day he was up. The next day he was down. I’ve known people like this ... spiritually speaking. Instead, of being constant they’re all over the parking lot, so to speak OR they bottle rocket up and fizzle out just about as fast. **IF** we could view our spiritual life like that of a line graph of the stock price of a company, what would yours look like? Would yours have a bunch of ups and downs from beginning to end, never rising very far or sustaining it very long? Would it look like a mountain, with one big spike followed by one big dive to the bottom again? Or, would it be a steady, consistent incline, going up, up, up??? I am convinced with all my heart that God would much rather it look like a steady, consistent incline, going up, up, up. But, this CANNOT be accomplished if a person does not have the patience necessary to endure the trials and temptations which we all face. So, even if a person is a walking Bible, **IF** they don’t have patience, they will never attain what God has for them. Instead, they will be all over the parking lot, so to speak ... up one day and down the next.

Getting back to the story about the man who had been mining for years for the treasure, he eventually became so discouraged that he decided to quit, sell the land and give up on his dreams. The new owners came in and right away struck a rich vein only about three feet further from where the man stopped digging. In other words, the man quit when he was only three feet away from the treasure he longed for, and had worked so hard to get. Do you think he would have quit if he had known how close he was? Absolutely not! How many people do the same thing ... spiritually speaking? It would probably be shocking to know because a person can "mentally" quit ... or backslide ..., but still be going through the motions ... or doing just enough to get by OR appear to others to be pious. And, unless they are "revived" ... which is one reason why revivals are held (to "revive" all the church members who have grown cold and indifferent and/or have backslidden altogether) ... I doubt seriously that they’ll endure to the end. **IF** anyone is naive enough to think that a person can’t just be going through the motions, while being unregenerated or as backslidden as a goose, they really need to wake up and smell the coffee. Jude 1:11-12 reads, Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

Some people ... especially young people ... may think that the life of a Christian is backward, dull and boring. But, nothing could be further from the truth. Living for God is not a mundane journey that only offers a reward in the life hereafter. No siree! God gives us many blessings all along the way ... on this side of Jordan. And, when this life is over with, the greatest reward awaits us. For this reason, I say every day above ground is a good one. And, after that they get better! Also, a bad day living for God is better than a good day living for the devil.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am NOT saying that I enjoy trouble, trials, tribulation and temptations. It’s just that I know there is always a blessing waiting on the other side ...**IF** I endure them successfully. And, the reason I say "endure them successfully" is because a person can endure ... or go through ... something, and get bitter, cold and indifferent instead of realizing the blessings they could have enjoyed **IF** only they had of maintained the right attitude and spirit during the ordeal.

This reminds me of the story that Bro. Roberson has told us before, about a man whom God told to push against a huge rock. After many months or years of pushing against the rock, the man got discouraged, and was sort of complaining to God about how tired he had become, and that the rock hadn’t moved at all. And, God told the man that He had NOT told him to move the rock, but to push against it. And, as a result of his constant pushing, he had developed massive muscles, and had become much stronger than he had been.

I am convinced that the things we endure successfully make us stronger. And, they enable, prepare and equip us to handle the next thing that comes along better that we would have without that victory. However, if we are quick to throw in the towel every time we come up against opposition or adversity, why in the world should we expect God to bless us??? God never has rewarded unfaithfulness in a positive way that I am aware of. So, why anyone would expect God to bless them without going through something successfully is a real mystery to me. The only one that I can think of who would even think such a thing would be the great deceiver, the devil, himself. That said, he, no doubt, is doing a pretty good job of getting people to think that they can just do any ole way they want to do, and everything will be alright. But, that is a lie! And, Jesus referred to the devil as a liar, and the father of it, in John 8:44. Also, in Revelation 21:8, we learn that all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

There is much to be said ... and learned ... about being faithful, and going through even the little things successfully. That’s the way things start out ... good or bad. Little wrongs lead to bigger wrongs. And, little successes lead to greater successes. We are admonished in the Bible to not despise the day of small things. Therefore, when it comes to spiritual growth and maturity, we should NOT think too lightly about the little successes. **IF** we are faithful, and show the Lord that we can be trusted to handle little things, we will experience spiritual growth AND maturity. As a matter of fact, in Matthew 25:21, Jesus used this illustration about one who had been found faithful ... Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

**IF** a person wants to be a leader, they should, first, show themselves to be faithful as a good follower. However, that is another situation we are faced with today, on all levels. Because there are so many who want theirs now, and are so impatient and short sighted that they want to start out on the top ... without paying any dues ... so to speak. Sad to say, but people like that are most likely to jump out there and do a big belly flop... OR live out a vicious cycle of life, full of frustrations, failure and misery. And, it doesn’t have to be that way **IF** only people would love God enough to learn how to get started off on the right foot, do things the right way AND be consistent. There would be a lot less trouble in churches today **IF** this was the case. And, the Kingdom of God would be a lot better off, too. When it comes to patiently enduring things successfully, and obtaining a blessing on the other side, a study of the life of Paul would be a treasure trove. We’ll take one chapter that was recorded about his trip to Rome, to appear before Caesar ...

Acts 27:1-44 And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band. And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us. And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself. And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein. And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone; And, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea. Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west. And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island. But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off. And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea. And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship. And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore. And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.

**IF** you are one of those who doesn’t believe ... and will not take heed to ... what the man of God says, but instead are head strong and stubborn, I hope and pray that you will learn from the Word of God, and change your ways before it’s too late. Also, **IF** you just happen to be the "Jonah" on the ship, I hope and pray you will repent, and get things worked out between you and God .... not just for yourself but for the sake of everyone else on the ship, too. You and I CANNOT do just any ole way, and expect to receive any blessings on the "other side". That’s for sure! There is a saying, "When all else fails, read the instructions", and another one that says, "Inch by inch, life’s a cinch. Yard by yard, it’s hard". And, I believe that applies to living a successful and victorious life for God, too. Fall in love with the Bible. Learn how to crawl before you try to walk. **IF** more people would do this I believe the world would be a much better place. God bless!



Make a Free Website with Yola.