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Even when everything is right in the Christian life, there’s still trouble to deal with in this world. The church in Philadelphia received only encouraging words from the Lord (Rev. 3:7-13), yet they had their troubles. Don’t mistakenly think that just because faith is all about the abundant life, that everything just clicks and works beautifully all the time. It’s true that faith brings the victory, but sometimes it comes after hard battles. No Christian has it all together, and no Christian should expect a life of ease just because they are on the right track.

On the other hand, don’t make the mistake of embracing your troubles. Some teachings go so far to say that God is bringing trials to you because He loves you, or that He’s teaching you a lesson. God loves you and He’ll teach you, but He’s not the one bringing the troubles. Troubles come for different reasons. We live in a fallen world. We make stupid choices and reap the natural results. We also live with people who make stupid choices, and we reap the natural results. There’s also a devil out there.

Instead of embracing the troubles, embrace the God who has overcome the world by the cross. Embrace His Word and His promises. Embrace our position in Christ and the hope we have in Him. Jesus said it like this, “Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.” (Rev.3:11 NKJV)

We can’t avoid all trials, but we can get through them with the crown of victory if we don’t let go. It’s not that it’s a test or competition to get the crown. It’s already ours. It means we fight from a royal position. That requires a different mindset from simply trying to survive.

Opportunities Ahead

There are open doors before us, but perseverance may be necessary before they actually appear. Jesus promised the Philadelphian church, “I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it. (Rev.3:8)

It’s a great comfort to know that Jesus opens doors that no one can shut. When we had the opportunity to move from a crowded city to a remote town in China, I got nervous because I had given a Bible to a friend. He was a friend of the college president who invited us. I started to fear that word would get out that I was a missionary, and that the president would change his mind. At that time someone gave me this verse about Jesus opening doors that no one can shut. It was all I needed.

Even if you’ve messed up and made foolish mistakes, God can keep your door of opportunity open for you, if that’s His will. Instead of embracing fear that you may have blown it, embrace the peace of knowing that He’s the one with the key. Also know that if the door shuts, that might be His plan. I think we all can think back on some doors that shut in our lives, only to be glad now that they did!

It’s not clear what the open door for the Philadelphians was, but whatever it was, it was before them. It may not have been clearly identified as of yet. I believe the Lord has opened doors for us that we are still on our way to finding. You may be struggling, waiting for your big break. Don’t give up. The door is opened for you but you’re still in a time of preparation. It will appear clearly at the right time.

Copyright © Rick Bell
All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Rick Bell
Web site: Rick Bell
Rick is a writer, speaker, teacher, and minister who has lived and served overseas since 1995. In late 2013, he moved back to America, but continues to travel and work with pastors and leaders across the world. His passion is to build others up with the life-changing truths of God’s grace and love.

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