Dear Beachside Family and Friends,
It seems like stating the obvious to say "life is challenging", yet acknowledging this fact is an important step in taking action to win when challenged. At this moment, each one of us is facing resistance to the plan of God in our personal health, business, family, or finances. Life cannot be experienced apart from trials, but the trials of life can be experienced apart from defeat. The circumstances of our existence are temporary. What exists in the world around us today may be gone tomorrow. The issues that seem so important this month may have little relevance next month. The years come and go, and our situation constantly changes. This is a fact of life.
Some grow weary of the battle. Solomon said "But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere." (Ecc 2:11) He became so worn out that depression set in, and he considered life to be without meaning. It is amazing to think that the richest man who has ever lived felt so despondent about his life, yet he clearly did. He was unhappy no matter what happened. If life was good, he was unhappy. If life was bad, he was unhappier still. Why did the wisest man in the world give in to an attitude of "whatever happens, happens, Que sera, sera?"
Solomon was depressed because overcoming challenges trough hard work alone can never satisfy. Although raised by his father David to reverence and worship the Lord, Solomon abandoned pursuing a relationship with God and tried to find meaning in his own success. Even winning over adversity and trials did not bring satisfaction, because God was not involved. In our day, there are many men and women that the world would call successful, but they find themselves in the same condition as Solomon: nothing seems worthwhile.
Christians can find themselves in similar situations. They work hard to overcome the challenges satan brings into their lives, and grow weary doing so. The effort required to live by faith seems daunting to many. At times it can feel overwhelming, leading to the temptation to follow in the thought process of Solomon and say " it"s not worth it". It is absolutely true that pursuing healing, prosperity, deliverance, and freedom in our own strength is not worth it. To do so is a monumental waste of time and energy.
Do we have to work it out on our own? Are we doomed to strive for victory on our own and never be satisfied even when we win? To these questions I say a resounding NO! There is a way to be happy and satisfied even n the midst of the greatest challenges of our lives. It is all a matter of perspective. If I see myself sick and trying to get healed, poor and trying to gain prosperity, or confused and attempting to have peace, I am defeated already. If my perception of the Christian life is like this, then I will always be working to obtain things that are beyond my ability.
If I choose a different way of seeing myself, then I can achieve all that God has for me and fully enjoy the victories I will experience. The secret is this: I must see myself as God sees me. Since Jesus defeated satan and lives in our hearts, God looks at us in the same way He looks at His Son: completely and totally Victorious! Jesus has already provided health, healing, prosperity, and peace for us through His work on the cross. If we understand this, then we will perceive ourselves and our lives in a different way. We ARE healed and satan is trying to steal our health from us! We ARE prosperous and satan is trying to steal our prosperity! We ARE peaceful and satan is trying to steal our peace! When we see life in this way, we will no longer attempt to obtain these things..We will rest in the knowledge that Healing, Prosperity, and Peace BELONG TO US RIGHT NOW BECAUSE OF WHAT JESUS HAS ALREADY DONE!
When we know these things, we can avoid the temptation to think the lives we live are not worthwhile. We can understand what Paul meant when he wrote "So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up." (Gal 6:9) We can rest, confident that satan cannot succeed in taking what belongs to us. Hebrews 4:10 tells us "For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His." Jesus has already defeated the devil for us. All we need do is resist Satan's paltry efforts to deceive us with the Word of God and the Name of Jesus. We can find rest in all of life's challenges through our relationship with Him!