“But wisdom is justified of all her children.” (Luke 7:35)
I have heard it said that chance favors the prepared mind, and while there is no such thing as chance, luck or coincidence, there is a modicum of truth to that statement, if you look at the inverse of it.
There is little favor shown to the one who does not prepare his mind, whether it be studying to apply yourself to a new task, finding your way in unfamiliar territory or even in preparing a new recipe, the prepared mind can reach the goal with greater ease than one who, for lack of a better phrase, simply accepts what is thrown at them.
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2nd Tim. 3:12)
This is a promise, and the mind that serves Christ prepares itself long before that persecution arrives, it anticipates its arrival, searches the Scriptures and offers praise and prayer to the Lord for that coming season. Not all who have been born-again have suffered in the same way, but all have in one form or another. And all according to the will of God.
This, my friends is not something we can avoid, it is a promise, and if persecution has not arrived in your life in some form, then this verse is for you. “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” (Heb. 12:8)
Every persecution, no matter what form it arrives in, is in its own way the participation on your part of the fellowship of the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ, for 2nd Timothy 2:12 is also a truth. “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:”
And if you have been crucified with Christ, you will suffer.
How much and for how long is not your decision to make, how you accept it is.
Every thought in the midst of it must be held captive for Christ, the desire to be freed from it must not be over balanced by the lack of praise to His Holy name for inviting you into this valley of pain, of sorrow, of sadness. The invitation cannot be turned down, but it can be prepared for, and that is what you must do if you are not in that valley today.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:29)
Look beside you, He is there, He will not only enter that time with you, but will uphold you with His mighty hand, your strength will come from Him.
Search the Scriptures, look for those who were blessed to be the examples for us, look at their lives not only in the midst of the fire, but before they entered it and after they passed through it.
You do not know for sure what the Almighty has in store for you in that valley, you know for a fact, you have full assurance of what comes after, what is awaiting you past the strait gate. But you can prepare beyond looking at those examples left for us, you can prepare in the best way possible. You can know without a doubt that it is your Father in heaven that is allowing it, and that His love for you is the reason why.
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)
Chance does not favor the prepared mind my friends, the mind that is being transformed by the Holy Spirit does.
Learning to accept all that our Lord brings into our lives is not a battle, it is the flesh warring against the Holy Spirit, it is the mind that serves the Lord Jesus Christ being trained to obey, in love, no matter the cost to ourselves.
Some have died at the hands of their persecutors, some have known grief that others could not bear, each in their own way have sought the One even more fervently who has allowed those persecutions. All find strength in Him; all continue to love Him.
The promise will arrive in your life, perhaps more than once.
Prepare yourselves accordingly.