How Does Suffering Shape Our Worship: A Call to Contend

This is part 3 and the final installment of a series on how suffering shapes our worship.

Heather Fulk

3 minute read

Here’s what we cling to so desperately as Christians: The cross has the final word.

In the cross, Jesus cried out “it is finished” and it truly was. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but the cross is the proof that, in Christ, we do not live in the enemy’s grip. Though our situation may look bleak, desperate, or even hopeless, the sacrifice of Jesus promises that He isn’t finished and you can depend on Him, contending for His promises in your life and the lives of those around you.

Friends, we aren’t called to be side-liners, watching the battle with chewed up fingernails, hoping we win or at least come out alive. We are called to be more than conquerors, partnering with the work of the cross to see reconciliation, restoration, and redemption in a situation that pretty much screams the opposite. I know, I know our feelings don’t always follow this faith statement, but be encouraged in this: that’s OK. Our feelings are not our guide and, often times, not even our friend. Can they be strong sometimes? Yes. Can they detour? Absolutely. Is Jesus still there even when our feelings produce doubt? You better believe it. He’s got you, even in the craziest of storms.

I love the promise of Jesus in this simple statement:

In this world, you will have struggles, but TAKE HEART! I have overcome the world.
-John 16:33

You are partnering with the King of the universe in this storm. He has overcome the world and He will be present and active in your current chaos. With that truth in mind, why not join in the fight? Contend in prayer. Meditate on the Word. Get it in your spirit so that when the fiery darts of the devil point at your heart and mind you have something to defend yourself with. Without the Word, worship, prayer, and community, we cannot contend in our suffering. Surround yourselves with trusted friends who are firm in their faith to pray for and with you and remind you of God’s truth in your life.

Trust me, I know it’s easy to want to hang out in dependence and even honor, but the call to contend is just as powerful and just as necessary. Those places are safe and sometimes contending can feel scary but remember this: Jesus is with you, for you, and working through you if you will be a willing participant. He isn’t surprised by your situation and He isn’t about to abandon you now, in your suffering. In fact, just the opposite is true. He is most glorified in your suffering when you rely totally on Him. He is a firm foundation, not shaken, never moved, and He is calling out for you to take up your arms and contend for His promises in your life. He’s got you and you’ve got this.

Miss parts 1 and 2? Catch up here…

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