While speaking with a friend a few days ago, I was sharing my reality of being under attack and the spaces by which I needed to reserve and direct my energy. Immediately, she responded as I’ve often done and declared, “I rebuke that in the name of Jesus!” I love my sister and I appreciate her sincerity and desire to see me light years away from as they say, my current situation. But instead, with love, I simply responded, “Thank you, but it’s true and I’m operating through the strength of God and not my own.” As believers, we are (hopefully) well intentioned, but if we are being honest, we must admit the scarier part of our journey by authentically acknowledging that as upright as we attempt to be, we cannot control for the hand of God in our lives, and the expression of what He allows in our lives is not always as the song says, “sweeter than the day before.” Isn’t it striking that in II Timothy 2:7, the Word of the Lord declares the suffering before the reigning? It reads, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him. As followers of Christ, we have the authority to rebuke all we want, but it doesn’t necessarily result in an avoidance of whatever we are rebuking. The term rebuke means strong disapproval. Lord knows there is a laundry list of what I strongly disapprove, but it doesn’t mean that God will grant my desire with the avoidance of whatever He has elected to build my faith in Him.
The Word of the Lord declares in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” If it wasn’t intended for us to experience both the good, bad and occasionally, the ugly, there would be no need to make such a declaration. What encompasses the “all things?” I would suggest that if it were only intended for us to experience that which is desirable it would be in our opinion “working.” We can’t rebuke everything away. Somethings we will experience because we proclaim to be disciples of Christ. Somethings we will experience because God is developing resilience and that stronger faith that we’ve desired. Somethings we will experience because like Job, God knows that He can trust us with trouble. Whatever the case, we don’t get to choose which trouble behind which door we elect to assume. What we must know and take refuge in is that when we find ourselves surrounded on every side, we can call upon Him, and He will answer, He will be with us in trouble, He will deliver and honor us! (Psalm 91:15) This is an exciting portion of this Psalm but we must follow the protocol that was established in verse one. It reads, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” The only way we can get through whatever was not “rebuked” is to remain connected, grounded, engulfed, sustained, embedded, intertwined and engaged intentionally in Christ.
No matter how challenging the circumstances, there was only was cruxifixction for the Kingdom. Jesus the Christ however understood that even when being chosen to suffer, there are moments of desiring otherwise. We must have a “nevertheless” on reserve deep in our soul because it’s impossible for everything to pass, even considering the entirety of our hopes and prayers. This is the beauty of those, “I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5); In the time of trouble, He shall hide me in His pavilion (Psalm 27:5); and For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (II Corinthians 4:17). I was struck by the term, “light affliction,” because when I’m going through ain’t nothing light about it! But God sees it in a temporary fashion and so must we! The Word of the Lord further expresses that we must go through much tribulation to enter the Kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). So the question becomes do we want eternal life and if so, might we gird ourselves accordingly in God to triumph forever? Understandably so, somethings like Christ, we must nevertheless our way through it! And the Lord has promised to give us insight (II Timothy 2:7). We cannot assume the insight in isolation with ourself. We must seek God and if anything rebuke what exists within us attempting to disconnect us to our life source, which is rooted in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:7