Living Above Your Circumstances

by Ann Robinson-Worley

 

 Jesus told us that in this world we would not always have and easy life.  He spoke that the ruler of this world was already judged.  We are in this world but we are not of this world.  And so the entrances of this world were made narrow and sorrowful and toilsome; they are few and evil, full of dangers and involved in great hardships.  

2 Esdras 7:12   Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. 1 Cor 4:13 
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.  1 John 4:17

 

Jesus warned us saying "They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.  And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me.  But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them.  But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.  When a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world. 

 

So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name.  Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.  I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.     John 16

 

In order to live above our circumstances we must spend time with him.   How can we expect to overcome if we neglect so great a salvation which God has given us?   We ought, therefore, to pay the greatest attention to the truth that we have heard and not allow ourselves to drift away from it.

 For if the message given through angels proved authentic, so that defiance of it and disobedience to it received appropriate retribution, how shall we escape if we refuse to pay proper attention to the salvation that is offered us today? 
For this salvation came first through the words of the Lord himself: it was confirmed for our hearing by men who had heard him speak, and God moreover has plainly endorsed their witness by signs and miracles, by all kinds of spiritual power, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, all working to the divine plan.  Hebrews 2:1-4  

 

We are not to allow the worries of this world and the false glamour of riches and all sorts of other ambitions creep in and choke the life out of what we have heard making us unfruitful.  I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 

 

If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.   John 15:5-8 

 

 When we spend time with Him He is able to make us strong so be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Ephes 6:10   In all our circumstances God knows that we are going to require His strength to overcome it.   Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 
2 Cor 12:10

 

In order to live above our Circumstances we must not have an unrealistic view of how our life should be. We think that because others aren't suffering the way we are that we shouldn't have to.  We sit and feel sorry for ourselves because we had false visions of how our lives should be.  The bible tells us that all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  2 Tim 3:12

Are we any better than the early believers?   The total number of Christians martyred in the early church is unknown.  Besides being put to death they were made to serve as objects of amusement.  They were clothed in the hides of beast and torn to death by dogs. Some were crucified and others were set on fire at night to serve as a torch when night fell.  

 

IIt has been estimated that more Christians have been martyred in the last 50 years than in the church's first 300 years. According to the World Evangelical Alliance, over 200 million Christians are denied fundamental human rights solely because of their faith. Of the 100-200 million Christians being assaulted, the majority are persecuted in Muslim-dominated nations. Christians suffer more than any other faith group.

 

The early church had Saul who sought to kill them.   At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.  Acts 8:1  

 


Don't be surprised when people rise up in a church against you.  Paul was told to hit the road. The Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.    Acts 13:50

 

In Order to live above our Circumstances we must have faith to believe that God will deliver us out of them.     
Our circumstances force us to turn to God and cry out to him for our relief.  It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.   Hebrews 11:6 
 

If we have faith God will intervene on our behalf and our circumstances we can ask for HIS help.  Jesus said "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"    Matt 7: 7-11

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,and his ears are open to our cry.  When we cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers us out of all our troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,and saves the crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivers him out of them all.  He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.  Evil shall slay the wicked; and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.  The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.    Psalm 34:15-22

 

In order to live above our circumstances we must take up our cross and follow Jesus.  
We all have stuff that is going on in our lives that we have no control over. These things we wish God would just step in and change but sometimes these are the very crosses that we must bear for His glory to equip us for the days ahead.  We know not what tomorrow will bring but we know who holds tomorrow.

Jesus said," If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give up all right to himself, carry his cross every day and keep close behind me.

 

For the man who wants to save his life will lose it, but the man who loses his life for my sake will save it. For what is the use of a man gaining the whole world if he loses or forfeits his own soul?

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him, when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and the holy angels."  Luke 9: 23-27  If we are his children we share his treasures, and all that Christ claims as his will belong to all of us as well! Yes, if we share in his suffering we shall certainly share in his glory.

In my opinion whatever we may have to go through now is less than nothing compared with the magnificent future God has planned for us. The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own. The world of creation cannot as yet see reality, not because it chooses to be blind, but because in God’s purpose it has been so limited—yet it has been given hope.

And the hope is that in the end the whole of created life will be rescued from the tyranny of change and decay, and have its share in that magnificent liberty which can only belong to the children of God!  It is plain to anyone with eyes to see that at the present time all created life groans in a sort of universal travail. And it is plain, too, that we who have a foretaste of the Spirit are in a state of painful tension, while we wait for that redemption of our bodies which will mean that at last we have realized our full son-ship in him.    Romans 8:17-21