"My grace is sufficient for thee." 2 Corinthians 12:9
If none of God's saints were poor and tried, we should not know half so well the consolations of divine grace. Oh! what honour is reflected on the gospel when God's grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers. Saints bear up under every discouragement, believing that all things work together for their good, and that out of apparent evils a real blessing shall ultimately spring--that their God will either work a deliverance for them speedily, or most assuredly support them in the trouble, as long as he is pleased to keep them in it. This patience of the saints proves the power of divine grace. There is a lighthouse out at sea: it is a calm night--I cannot tell whether the edifice is firm; the tempest must rage about it, and then I shall know whether it will stand. So with the Spirit's work: if it were not on many occasions surrounded with tempestuous waters, we should not know that it was true and strong; if the winds did not blow upon it, we should not know how firm and secure it was. The master-works of God are those men and women who stand in the midst of difficulties, steadfast, unmoveable,--
"Calm mid the bewildering cry,
Confident of victory."
He who would glorify his God must set his account upon meeting with many trials. No man can be illustrious before the Lord unless his conflicts be many. If then, yours be a much-tried path, rejoice in it, because you will the better show forth the all-sufficient grace of God. As for his failing you, never dream of it--hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until now, should be trusted to the end.
This is the true definition of the ‘victorious Christian life’. It is usually challenging, contradictory and paradoxical.
‘Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour (or, ‘struggle’) is not in vain in the Lord.’ 1 Corinthians 15:58.
‘Beloved, think it not strange (unusual or surprising) concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange (unusual or surprising) thing happened unto you: 13 but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.’ 1 Peter 4:12
Trial is not ‘strange’ to the followers of Christ. It is the common lot of all believers this side of heaven. The victory is enjoyed and demonstrated by our refusal to be destroyed by it. It ‘tries’ or ‘tests’ us so that, by our patient endurance, our faith may be shown to be true and genuine –not just in the now of our lives, which is vitally important, but, wonderfully and gloriously, at the return of Christ when we stand before Him and receive the reward for the things done in the body. This is the ‘hope set before us’ (Heb 6:18).
‘Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered , even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.’ V19 & 20.
In this we follow the example of our ‘forerunner’, the Lord Jesus,
‘Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ Hebrews 12:2
This is the great key to staying true and faithful –keep your eyes fixed firmly upon the Lord Jesus. Follow His example, obey His Word, and stay in constant communion with Him. Let nothing steal that deep assurance that He ‘will never leave you nor forsake you’ (Heb 13:5 where Paul quotes Deut 31:6,8 & Josh 1:5) until the work is complete and we are physically and visibly with Him forever.