A sure guarantee to become discouraged and fail is to consider the circumstances you face. It was Peter whom Christ called to come and walk to Him on the water. And, considering Christ, Peter stepped out of the boat and onto the water—and began walking! But it is when he started to look around and see the raging waves that he began to sink. He simply could not accept that what he was doing was reasonable. And when he considered his circumstances, he began to sink.
This tells us that our circumstances, whatever they may be—friends or relatives rejecting or opposing you, health failing, business in trouble, people whom you trusted and looked up to no longer walking with God, the list can go on and on—can cause us to lose heart.
Remember Paul? Anyone reading the book of 2 Corinthians, even superficially, will be stunned by the persecution, difficulties and suffering Paul encountered in his life:
In labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—besides the other things, what comes upon me daily . . .
(2 Corinthians 11:23–28).
Humanly speaking, it is difficult to grasp or comprehend how a man could go on with this kind of intense suffering. Not only did he face this suffering from outsiders, but also from people who were very close to him, he experienced such rejection and loneliness.
This entry was written by K.P. Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.