Take heart, I have ovecome the world

For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
2 Corinthians 1:8-9

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
   and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
   and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
   the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1-3

There have been many times in my life I have felt burdened beyond my strength. When I look back at those experiences, I now see they happened to make me turn to God and rely solely on Him. However, in the midst of a trial, when I feel like I can’t go on, it’s hard to remember there is a greater purpose for the difficulty I face. I become so focus on my own lack of strength, my own inability to go on, and my own despair I am unable to see God’s glory and sovereignty in the midst of the trial. Instead of turning to Him, I become completely focused on myself.

Having gone through many trials in my life, I know the best thing I can do is to humbly turn to God. From both my experiences and from the Word, I know trials come to force me to do just that. In hindsight, it’s easy to see and understand this, but when trials come and I become focused on myself instead of on God, it’s difficult to remember. Fortunately for me, even when trials result in pride instead of reliance on God, He is always with me. He does not allow the river to overwhelm me or the fire to burn or consume me.

God is always by my side. He is always my Lord and Savior. Despite my pride, he never turns away. When I finally realize focusing on myself does not work and that I need to rely on Him to get through the trial, He is there waiting for me. He is always waits patiently no matter how prideful and self-focused I become.  I never make it through trials on my own. Getting discouraged, focusing on myself, and all the other natural, prideful responses I have to difficulties never helps. On my own, the situation would be hopeless, but thankfully Christ has already overcome the world. I can’t overcome trials, fight discouragement, or remain humble in my own strength, but God can and He does.

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.
But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

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The Best and the Worst of Paris Summer Project

 The Worst:

1. Not knowing the language was difficult. Most students spoke English, but in the suburbs, where we lived, most people only spoke French. The language barrier made it very hard to communicate and understand, which was very overwhelming, especially at the beginning.

2. Talking to students every day was exhausting. 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 and 2 Corinthians 12:9 are two verses that I really identified with while I was there.238

                For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 2 Corinthians 1:8-9

                But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

3. Being away from family, friends, and a familiar environment was tough. Living in a foreign country for six weeks without much communication with people back home was a challenge.

4. France is very spiritually dark and is a difficult place to do ministry.

 

The Best:

1. France is BEAUTIFUL. Pictures don’t even do it justice; it’s one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been.

2. Getting to know the 19 other people on the trip and spending time with them was a blast!

3. French students were VERY nice and polite. Meeting and getting to know them was a lot of fun.

0564. I got to learn SO much about France and French culture. There many things I learned from French students I would not have been able to learn from a book.

5. French students are very open about their beliefs and were usually very willing to tell us what they believe about God.

6. Being part of the awesome things God is doing in France was such a blessing! While we were there our team had 1080 spiritual conversations, 495 gospel conversations, and we saw 5 people accept Christ. I am so thankful God allowed me to part of that!

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. Corinthians 2:1-5