You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
~ 2 Timothy 2:3 NKJV
A bitter cup of suffering awaits all who desire to live godly because our common adversary—the devil—wants to sift us like wheat by testing our faith. Thus, he roams around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for someone to tear apart. So, don't be shocked when he comes to steal your faith, kill your joy, and destroy your hope through fiery trials and temptations.
We must all take our share of hardships and sufferings. Thus, we must strap up to stand safe against all the enemy's strategies and tricks. We must endure the hardships—problems, perplexities, and persecutions—as good soldiers of Christ Jesus. Therefore, to fight the good fight of faith, these first-class soldiers must be compliant, cooperative, complaisant, conscientious, and courageous.
To be COMPLIANT, you must love God first. When you love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, you listen for His voice in everything you do, and everywhere you go. You listen to obey His voice—whether you like it or not. You hold close to Him, knowing He's the One Who keeps you on track.
To be COOPERATIVE, you must operate in unity. When you walk by the same standard of faith and practices, you seek to agree, maintaining the same love. With one voice, you focus on one purpose: glorify God in all your do and say.
To be COMPLAISANT, you must purpose to live a life worthy of God. As you work out your salvation with fear and trembling, He works in you, strengthening and equipping you with all you need to do His will. Therefore, you strive earnestly to please Him in every way, regardless of your state or condition.
To live a CONSCIENTIOUS life, you must consistently practice righteousness. As you watch your manner of life and follow the doctrines of Christ closely, you conform to His Divine Will in purpose, thought, and action. You persevere in His teachings to save yourself and those who listen.
Finally, to be COURAGEOUS, you must love your neighbor as yourself, willingly laying down your life for the sake of this great Gospel. You must preach Christ, warning and teaching in all wisdom to present every man mature—full-grown, fully initiated, completed, and perfect—in Christ Jesus.
Therefore, be ready to resist the devil and all his imps whenever and wherever he attacks. "You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon" (MSG).
Remember to pray hard and long because prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray for your brothers, sisters, and fellow ministers because wars are not fought alone. Keep your eyes open with a cool head, your guard up, and a firm grip on the faith. Keep each other's spirits up, so no one falls behind or drops out.
So, don't panic when life gets really difficult. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner. Trust Him! He will never fail you for He will hold you steady, keeping a firm grip on you.
2 Peter 3:12, Luke 22:31, 1 Peter 5:8-10, John 10:10, 1 Peter 4:12-14, Colossians 1:28, Deuteronomy 30:20, Proverbs3:5-6 MSG, Jeremiah 42:6, Romans 15:6, Philippians 2:2, 2 Corinthians 5:9, Hebrews 13:21, Colossians 1:9, 1 John 3:7, 1 Timothy 4:16, Colossians 1:28, Ephesians 6:10-19, Isaiah 41:10, 1 Peter 4:13, 19 NKJV/AMPC/NIV/MSG/TPT/TLB