Troubles, Discouragements, Despair.We know that all those that name the name of Jesus, will suffer persecution.2 Timothy 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”Troubles.Who does not have them?Some are financial problems (2 Chronicles 25:9)….some are personal anxieties, some are illnesses,….and….…..Some are trials which we must go through….for our faith.Every trial, or trouble will actually build our faith, as we hang on to Christ and walk….through it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)If you remember the three Hebrew men which defied Nebuchadnezzar’s order to bow to his gold likeness….and got thrown into a fiery furnace.Then you will probably will also remember Who came to join them….”One like unto the Son of God” (Daniel 3:24-25).It was Christ, of course…..He did not save them from the furnace….they went in, bound,…fell down in it….surrounded by the flames….everything was finished as far as they were concerned.But He went in there with them….got them up, and walking, talking with Him.You might say, that was more than troubles….….but every trouble that comes to us, can end the same (not fiery furnaces)….but with anger from others,….being ostracized,….and losing worldly benefit.But it also yields us Christ’s Presence in a special way….getting us up, walking with us, and talking with us….in the troubles…..as we stand with Him.Some troubles come from interactions, which we should not be in?Of course, we think of Lot…and the destruction of Sodom.But there are other entanglements that can lead to our loss:2 Timothy 2:4 “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him that hath chosen him to be a soldier:”Discouragement:One of the graces God gives us, is courage….”boldness”, it is often termed in the New Testament.Yet, as with every gift God gives us,….we can refuse it….and then we become “discouraged”….or “spiritless”………we do not feel the Holy Spirit’s power as we should…….we can feel “deserted”….tired….weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9)Paul was writing the Philippi church….to not be discouraged….because of his being in prison (bonds)….and coming before Caesar to be judged.They had been praying for his release….yet he might be killed.So he writes to tell them what has happened....and to encourage them, to...…… in boldness of the Spirit, “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; and in nothing terrified by your adversaries:…”(Phil. 1:27-28)Because he is in prison,......some men have preached Christ.....only to stir up trouble for him....…but others have stepped up and preached Christ out of love.Yet, Paul says:Philippians 1:19-21 “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”This is boldness or courage……and the Holy Spirit works this within us, even in circumstances which worry, and discourage us……as we pray and yield to His Spirit.Despair:Despair is to be utterly at a loss….To feel that all is over or lost….with nothing we can do about it.And when we get into this “place”…..only God can bring us out of it.Only His power can halt the waves of guilt, loss, and nothingness that we feel.(Some people say, that as Christians, we should not feel despair….….I do not believe that. I believe, that as Christians, we should not continue in despair.)Think about Peter, having denied the Lord….not once,…but three times, even in front of a maid,….….though he knew the Lord’s resurrection,…the empty tomb……he felt despair because of his failure, and said, “I go a fishing” (John 21:3).He would go back to fishing, there was nothing for him in Christ….….Jesus came and spoke to him….”lovest thou Me?”…and he was wounded….”grieved”….torn apart by the question…….and when he answered it, “yes, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee”….…he was still unsure what Jesus would do.Till Jesus called him again….anew….”Feed My lambs, feed My sheep”.Peter was then restored….in spirit….in calling….in fellowship with Christ.Peter came out of despair, and into God’s Way again.Paul writes about the many different troubles he had faced as a Christian….2 Corinthians 4:8 “We were troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we we’re perplexed, but not in despair;”Here, he is talking about spiritual life…..and in that, he was upheld from distress and despair in these situations, by the Holy Spirit2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of power may be of God, and not of us.”The “excellency of power” means that, if Paul was protected by all the Roman army…..he would not be more safe, than under the power and direction of the Holy Spirit within.On our way through this life….there are many things which come to us, tempt us, or assault us…which we cannot handle.But God can….in us, and through us….Troubles, Discouragement, and Despair…..are things that we can meet with on the way to heaven….….but we are not to be ruled by them….but by God….and His Will.That does not mean they will not attack us…..they will.But it does mean that God has a way through these attacks,….and we can have His Presence in them.Are we using all that God has given us, by His Spirit?

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