If there is one promise we would rather not claim it is: “In the world ye shall have tribulation.” (John 16:33) Stay in your room, in your bed, under your covers, with your headphones on, listening to your favorite music, and you might cut down on the opportunities to be vexed and tried and tempted by all that is “in the world.” But neither would you have the opportunity to learn of Him who said, “But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
Overcoming the world does not come naturally to men. Being overcome is our native state. Only one Man was tempted in all points without sin. Only one was angry and sinned not. Only one always stood in the evil day and in the heat of the fiercest battles that conquer men’s souls. The sad history of the rest of us has been falling down, falling apart, and falling short of God’s glory.
Throwing in the towel is not something any of us get up in the morning intending to do. The heat of the day wears us down. We get weary with situations that don’t change. The heat outside is causing the heat within to build. We finally make a decision where we say: “I can’t take it anymore!” With that we do something, say something, decide something, in our own selves, to escape the fire. We find a way of escape so we can alleviate our soul from the suffering of tribulation.
Every tribulation comes with a breaking point. Such will either be a bad breaking point or a good breaking point. When a trying situation becomes so intolerable for us that we move in our own selves to save ourselves we have reached a bad breaking point. When the same situation drives us to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need, it is a good breaking point.
Do not think it strange when you are suddenly facing a fiery trial that presses you out of measure, and beyond your strength to bear. God would not have you rely upon yourself. Be broken of your own ability to maintain a right attitude in a wrong world. But be of good cheer: Jesus has overcome the world. You can too, as you learn to abide in Him, and allow His strength to be made perfect in your weakness. He can keep you right, even when all around you is wrong. Through the hottest times of our day, He will perfect our way and become our strength and enable us to endure whatever life in this vexing world is dishing up. When we anticipate those good breaking points and see them as opportunities for the Lord to do His greatest work in us, there is no need to stay in bed.