Through Hardships & Trials We Enter the Kingdom of Heaven
1 Peter 4:12, 13
Friends, I, along with many of you, are experiencing diverse trials and testings. You may feel as if you are in a wilderness, lonely and isolated. You may be experiencing extremely stressful circumstances accompanied with much fear, hopelessness, and anxiety. Yet, let us take to heart the words of the great apostle Peter, “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of YAHshua Messiah (Jesus Christ)” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing…” (1 Peter 4:12). “He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). YAHveh is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2 KJV) and it is through many hardships (and trials) that we enter the kingdom of heaven (see Acts 14:22).
Great perseverance will be required for those who are going to endure in these last days. Apostle Paul says, “For you have need of endurance [perseverance — you need to hold onto your confidence] so that when you have done the will of YAHveh (God), you may receive what was promised” (Hebrews 10:36). YAHveh’s words through the prophet Jeremiah are to be taken to heart, "If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, Then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5) In simple terms if you can’t keep up with the footmen in a time of peace how are you going to keep up with the horsemen in a time of war as it is prophesied and unfolding as a reality across this globe?
Apostle Paul stated, “…physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). YAHveh (the LORD) wants us to be focused and exercising the fruits of the spirit of self control and self discipline regarding our spiritual diets and exercises that build up patient endurance under sufferings, trials, and tribulations. This will lead us to being spiritually ready for His return.
If we cannot start our spiritual diet and exercise program now, it is foolishness to think that we are going to be able to keep up with the horseman as the shofar is sounding the alert from heaven, “Make way make way, the judgments are at the door!” We are going to need to have the vigor in the Spirit and the endurance to keep up with the horseman because peace is being slowly but surely removed from the earth. YAHshua said, "We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4). Apostle Paul said, “make the most of every opportunity” (Colossians 4:5), and “do not be foolish, but understand (be wise) what the Lord's will is” (Ephesians 5:17).
How are you going to hold up? How are you going to persevere? How are you going to endure to the end of your appointed days on earth? Our beloved Savior plainly said, "But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved” (Matthew 24:13). I will give [him-her] the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). They will receive the crown of righteousness, the just reward for not growing weary of well doing. “This is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4) for without it we cannot stand and patiently endure and thus please YAHveh much less endure victoriously to the end.