By Bishop FELIPE GAXIOLA
Growing Through Adversity
"I have told
you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you
will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." - John 16:33
Growing is a
natural process, necessary and important in all areas of life. Plants
grow, animals grow, children grow, cities grow, knowledge grows, etc.
In the same manner, Christ wants His children to also grow. No one
desires to have a child that does not grow either physically or
mentally. Let's examine the first step that a person needs to take who
wishes to grow in Christ.
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Through Adversity - John 16:33
a. In the
world, in other words, "in every place where you might go". We suffer
outside and inside the church.
b. You will have affliction. Some synonyms for the word affliction are:
sadness, pain, sorrow, anguish, difficulty, tribulation.
c. In a message
to Smirna, the persecuted church, Christ said: "you will suffer
persecution for ten days" - Rev. 2:10
d. The word
tribulation is derived from "tribo" which in Roman times was given to
the stone used in the mill where wheat was milled. There are moments in
a Christian's life when they feel crushed like the wheat that is
shattered by the millstone.
e. The Bible
contains many examples of how God put Joseph, Job, Paul and many other
through adversity for their faith to grow.
permits us to pass through adversity He does so with a purpose. (Romans
a. He permitted
Joseph to go to prison with a purpose (Gen. 45:5) "Because it was to
save lives that God sent me".
b. Elijah went to live by a dry brook and from there went to Zarephath
to feed a widow and resurrect her son (I Kings 17:8-24).
c. The Apostle Paul preached and served the Lord with a thorn that
tormented him (2 Corinthians 12:7).
Adversity is one of the methods God used to help us grow, however it is
the less understood and less accepted. That's not to say that we
shouldn't pray during the adverse situation through which we go
through. Let's not permit negative circumstances to make us think that
God doesn't love us. Let's learn to live contentedly and faithfully to
God no matter the circumstances through which we go through.
Hebrews 13:5 says:
lives free from greed and be content with what you have, because God
has said 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you'".
Gaxiola has a degree in Educational Psychology from the University of
Baja California, Mexico and studied Psychology at the California State
University of San Diego. A native of Mexico, he is the pastor of the
Apostolic Church in Fresno, Ca. and is currently the Bishop of the
Northern Central District of California in the Apostolic Assembly of
the Faith in Christ Jesus.
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