Enduring The Contradiction
Looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith,
who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and sat down at
the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him that ENDURED SUCH CONTRADICTION
of sinners against Himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds.
Are you in a contradictory position right now? Do the fabrics of your life seem to be opposing each other? If so, I have some encouraging keys today to help you understand what is happening, why it's happening, and how to reach the finish line in victory.
The Bible is filled with examples of men and women who received promises and dreams from God, yet temporarily their situation was in direct opposition to their prophetic word. What happens in a contradiction can be likened to the "transitional" phase of a pregnancy. Jesus tells us in John 16:21 "A woman when she is in travail has sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for JOY that a man is born into the world." Contradiction must be faced with endurance. The two must work together to help us cross the bridge.
The transitional phase of a pregnancy is the most serious and most painful, yet the woman must endure in order to bring forth life. Our greatest model is Jesus. "Looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that ENDURED SUCH CONTRADICTION of sinners against Himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds" (Heb. 12:2-3)
Contradiction And Shame
We must always remember that at the end of the contradiction, there is joy. Contradiction has an end, IF we do not try to work things out in the flesh. Abraham was given a prophetic promise from God that nations and kings would come through him, yet over two decades passed before the promised son was born.
Perhaps the most painful part of our contradictions is the accompanying shame. We all hate shame, especially when we are in God's perfect will and others do not understand what we are going through or why we are going through it. Abraham and Sarah obviously despised the shame when after ten years they tried their plan to make God's promise come to pass, and as a result, created an Ishmael.
One of our greatest temptations is a tactic of the enemy; to get us to quit "in the middle". In the middle of contradiction our minds can become weary and too often cause us to faint. The good news today is that your endurance will weaken the enemy and turn the shame onto him. Your endurance inflicts pain upon the adversary and brings you to victory every time.
Finishing What We Start
A powerful example of finishing what we start and the plots against us from the Kingdom of Darkness can be found in Nehemiah 4:6-11. In this portion of scripture, the wall that was being re-built was half-finished. They were in the "middle" of the work. The strength of the laborers was giving out. They even confessed that they were not able to finish.
Throughout the scriptures, the Spirit of the LORD shows us how the enemy thinks. It is important to have this information in order to stay the course and endure the contradiction. Looking at Neh. 4:11 we see the enemy's mindset. Neh. 4:11 "And our foes have said, They shall not know, or see, until we come IN THE MIDDLE of them and kill them, and cause the work to cease." Nehemiah and team were in the middle of the work. This is where the battle became heated. Endurance and standing are the two major keys for victory.
Standing In The Middle
2 Sam. 23 teaches us of King David's three (3) top warriors called "The Mighty Men of David." To encourage you further today on endurance we refer to the story found in 2 Sam. 23:11 introducing us to one of the mighty men named "Shammah."
In Hebrew Shammah has several meanings. One meaning is to be "ruined." Another is to "become numb." Have you been in a trial for so long you have become numb and even indifferent because you don't think God is going to perform what he promised? Let the story of Shammah encourage you today to stand up and have your faith increased. Alone, Shammah was surrounded by a troop of Philistines. 2 Sam. 23:12 says that he STOOD IN THE MIDST of the ground (lentil patch) and defended it. Because he stood in the middle, the Philistines were defeated and God wrought a great victory.
You may be facing devastating medical reports, financial woes, ministerial disappointment, family crisis or any number of other difficult situations. If this teaching speaks to you today and you are one that is experiencing some level of "ruin, devastation, astonishment, numbness," stand and watch God bring the help you need and the victory you long for. Having done all to stand, STAND (Ep. 6:13,14).
May you always be encouraged to stay the course and see the joy set before you. Look for the victory!
Blessings and Hope,