HANDLING YOUR HARDSHIPS                                          


“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience, but let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”  James 1:2-4

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye always having all sufficiency in all things may abound to every good work.”  II Cor. 9:8

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…”  Eph. 3:20

What will you do?… when you find yourself in an impossible situation and everything begins to get worse?  James speaks of “falling” into different and varied tests and hardships.  We can understand that hardships will come to God’s people, but what do we do when they come?  How do we handle them?  How do they affect us?  When we are “cast down” and “buffeted” by the enemy, how do we overcome?  That is what we will address today:  How to Handle Hardships.

1.  Hardships are common to Believers.  If you are not facing hardships, then you are no threat to the devil.  The kingdom of darkness will pay no attention to you if you are doing nothing.  It is only when you determine to do something that satan jumps in and tries to stop you.   That is why James tells us to “count it all joy” when hardships come our way.  It is important that satan know who you are.  You should be famous in the halls of hell… every demon should know who you are and where you live and what you believe.  If you are a “nobody” in hell you are a failure in the Kingdom.

2.  Hardships are no indication that God is against you.  Remember, Jesus said that the Way into the Kingdom is narrow and few will find it.  It is the way into destruction that is broad and many who are following it.  The Kingdom Life is not EASY.  It is demanding and it is costly.  It requires discipline and dedication.  Often, it carries reproach with it.  Know that God is for you and that every hardship you face is an opportunity for you to put Word Principles into practice.

3.  Hardships develop your confidence in Covenant Promises.  They are food for your patience to grow on.  Assurance is birthed in Confidence and Patience.  When you enter into “REST” you are established in the Faith.  Every hardship, when properly faced, will bring you into a higher level of Spiritual Maturity. 

4.  Hardships make you pray and intercede.  They will drive you into the Word.  They will cause you to be Spiritually Aggressive.  Often they will jolt you out of lethargy and complacency.  Hardships can backfire on the devil by bringing out the best in the believer.

UNDERSTAND that the Seed of God is INSIDE OF YOU if you are Born Again. 

“Being Born Again, not of corruptible seed, but by the Word of God, which liveth and abided for ever…”  I Peter 1:23

That means that anything and everything and all things that God has is ALREADY INSIDE OF YOU if you are Born of the Spirit.  The Potential is in the SEED.  Life is in the Seed.  The Seed will grow and produce if the ground is right and if the environment is right.  You cannot prevent the Seed from growing because the Life of God is in it and the Integrity of God is behind it.

Right NOW you are drawing the quality of life you are living either from the NATURAL or from the SUPERNATURAL.  You are dealing with your hardship either with natural strength or with supernatural strength.  How you live is determined by the realm from which you draw.  The natural realm is governed by the Law of Sin and Death and the Supernatural Realm is governed by the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.  The Law of Death will make you fail and the Law of Life will make you Succeed.  For you to successfully deal with and handle your hardship, you must DO SOMETHING…  You will not simply “float” into victory… There are things you will need to do.  

It is not KNOWLEDGE only.  It is not INSPIRATION only.  It is not FEELING only.  It is not EMOTION only.   It is not GOOSE BUMPS and BRIGHT LIGHTS.  You cannot draw out of the Bank what you have not put into the bank.  God does not abundantly bless LAZY PEOPLE or IGNORANT PEOPLE or STINGY PEOPLE.   The VICTORY over your problem depends on WHAT YOU DO WITH WHAT YOU KNOW.

1.  REMOVE ALL DOUBT AND UNBELIEF

            Paul said: “I believe God.”  Believing God is removing all doubt and unbelief.  Most are believing their hardship.  They are talking about it and praying about it and complaining about it.  Some are carrying it like a “good soldier” of the Cross.  Some are resigned to having it forever.  Many have just decided to put up with it and to tolerate it. 

How you think about your hardship will tell you if you are in doubt and unbelief.  What do you think about your situation?  What are you saying about your hardship?  How are you praying about your problem?  “If it be Thy will…”  “Just show me a sign…”  “I’ll put out a fleece…”  “May be God wants me to carry this hardship…”   You need to agree with what the Word says about your hardship.  It does not matter what you think about it but it does matter what the Word says about it.  If you are not in agreement with the Word then your hardship will consume you.

            What are you being taught?  Where and from whom are you receiving information?  It is important where you go to church.  It is important to whom you listen.  It is important that you expose yourself to FAITH and BELIEVING BELIEVERS and WORD TEACHERS and PREACHERS.  Doubt and unbelief opens the door to satan and prevents God from working miracles in your behalf.  Be sure that you stay away from all DOUBT AND UNBELIEF.

2.  FIND SOME SCRIPTURES AND STAND ON THEM AND DO NOT BUDGE

            Your answer is in the Word.  The Bible has the answer to all your problems and hardships.  No matter what you face, you can find somewhere in the Word, the very promise that will solve your hardship.  Every problem area of human experience is addressed in the Word.  Nothing can ever happen to you that you cannot overcome by applying the Word of God to the hardship.  The Word is INVINCIBLE.  Situations and Hardships are temporary and vulnerable.  The Word is your Sword and that Sword can and will cut down every trial and hardship.  Your situation is SUBJECT to the WORD.  The Word is never subject to your situation.  Because the Word is in you, then you are never subject to your situation or hardship.

            List the Scriptures you are standing on.  Write them down.  Carry them with you wherever you go.  Keep them before your eyes continually.  Hide them in your heart.  Put them on index cards or in a notebook.  Remind God of His Word… “decree a thing” and watch it come to pass.  You are not a beggar or a pauper.  Standing on the Word is enough… you do not need anything else.  Your determination to wait and operate in Patience is important.  How long do I wait?  Until the answer comes.  God has said it and that settles it.  It matters not how it looks or what men say… For me, I have found my answer in the Word and God will bring it to pass in due season. 

3.  SEE YOURSELF AS GOD SEES YOU AND THEN ACT THAT WAY.

            God sees you like He made you.  He does not see you like you see yourself.  Your opinion of yourself is more than likely a sin.  Because you have been so afraid of being guilty of pride and because you have taught that you are just an “old sinner saved by grace…”.  The secret of the Church operating in the Resurrection Power of Jesus is for us to see ourselves as God sees us and then to act accordingly.

            God sees you RIGHTEOUS.  God sees you SINLESS.  God sees you WELL.  God sees you PROSPEROUS.  God sees you CONQUERING.  God sees you ABOVE and not BENEITH.  God sees you OVERCOMING.  God sees you SUCCESSFUL.  God sees you FULL OF THE HOLY GHOST AND FIRE.  God sees you WARRING in the SPIRIT REALM and WINNING against the devil.  See yourself as God sees you… and then ACT THAT WAY.

            You will never handle your hardships acting like the world sees you or like your carnal mind projects you.  Find out WHO you are and WHAT you can do…  Discover the AWESOME POWER and AUTHORITY God has given to you.  DARE to release what God has put in you.  ACT out what GOD has BUILT IN..  HALLELUJAH.

4.  REFUSE TO GET INTO STRIFE OVER ANYTHING OR ANYBODY

“Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work…”  James 3:16

Determine to live a PEACEABLE LIFE with a PEACEABLE SPIRIT… be sweet and kind and understanding and tolerant.  Some of us are WIERD.  Others have odd and peculiar characteristics.  Some are not lovable and some are hateful and unkind.  Some are immature and selfish.  Many will act like little babies and spoiled children.  Some of God’s kids are flaky and hard to understand. 

DO NOT GET IN STRIFE over ANYTHING or ANYBODY.  Be a LOVER.  Drown your enemies with LOVE.  Respond to every attack and criticism with LOVE.  Dwell in PEACE and be a PEACEMAKER and Jesus says you will be blessed and be called the CHILDREN OF GOD.  Nothing is worth losing your peace over.  No demon spirit acting in another person is worth losing your peace over.  Strife and turmoil and bitterness will kill you and make you miserable before it does.  Be forgiving and be willing to be SECOND and consider others before you consider yourself.  REFUSE to get into STRIFE..  With your wife or husband or boss or neighbor or children or relatives or ANYBODY.

5.  FORCE YOUR SOUL AND BODY TO MAGNIFY THE LORD

            Make your flesh praise God.  Rule over your soulish man and make him REJOICE in the LORD and PRAISE GOD.  Every ounce of your flesh will resist praising God… it will make excuse and bawl and squall and beg not to praise God.  The measure of Spiritual Maturity is the ability to PRAISE and WORSHIP God in the midst of hardships and trials.  It will not come easy and it will not come naturally.  YOU will have to MAKE YOUR FLESH and your MIND WORSHIP and PRAISE the LORD.  When you do this… your mountains will become molehills and your hardships will become opportunities.  You can begin RIGHT NOW.  It will be in ORDER and in TASTE to do it right HERE.  Do you really want to successfully handle your hardships? Then:

1.  REMOVE ALL DOUBT AND UNBELIEF.

2.  FIND SOME SCRIPTURES AND STAND ON THEM AND DO NOT

     BUDGE.

3.  SEE YOURSELF AS GOD SEES YOU AND THEN ACT THAT WAY.

4.  REFUSE TO GET INTO STRIFE OVER ANYTHING OR ANYBODY.

5.  FORCE YOUR SOUL AND BODY TO MAGNIFY THE LORD.

Now…

Rejoice in your VICTORY!

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