Remaining Under
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Summary: Joel Kratzke’s article addresses the ways in which we can remain encouraged in the face of trials.

As I look around at the people that I come in contact with, I notice that there is a common need for each of us–the need to be encouraged. I hope to encourage someone by writing this article. We all have to face various trials in our lives–some are persecutions, some are chastisements from God. Whatever your trial, there is something that you need to know about your Savior and Lord: He is there with you! Knowing that, I now want to share with you something very important that I have learned, hoping that it may encourage you. It is simply this: Don’t try to escape the trial before it has accomplished God’s purpose for it in you. God has a wonderful work He desires to do in you through this trial you are facing, and He has a time frame and a goal for you to reach with His help.

Scripture encourages us to be patient in trials. James 5:11 says, “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” Now you may have read this verse before, as I had, but I would like to point out the meaning of a simple word in the text. That word is “endure.” The Greek word here translated is hypoménō (pronounced Hoop-oe-meno) which is a combination of two words; hypo (pronounced hoopoe) which means “by, or under” and meno which means “to remain, abide.” So, hypomeno means to “remain under, or abide under.” What God is telling us then is we count them happy which remain under the trial.

Think of the trial of Job for a moment. This was a man who was following God; Job was an example of faithfulness, so much so, that God pointed Job out to Satan as an exemplary figure. And here is an important point. God let Satan put Job through all sorts of pain, grief and agony to try to cause him to reject God. God did not punish Job, as some of his friends suggested. God allowed these things to happen to Job for a greater purpose: Firstly, to prove to Satan that it is not the blessings of God which cause us to follow Him; and secondly, to refine Job’s faith (maybe his wife’s as well), so that he would be a greater witness for God in the future. Had Job not hypomenoed, or remained under the trial, he would not have seen the end of the Lord--the great and mighty restoration of Job’s wealth and family and the example of faith his endurance became for countless generations to come, including ours!

My friend, as you face your trial, remember that God is working in you a far greater thing than already exists. Maybe your trial is the result of some ridiculous action on your part, some foolish sin, and you are facing the chastisement of the Lord. If so, by all means remain under! You must learn that which God desires you to learn about yourself so that you may be transformed. Second Corinthians 4:17 reminds us of God’s purpose for the troubles we experience: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” God has not left you during your time of chastisement, but to the contrary, He is there with you even more! Hebrews 12:7 says, “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” Again the word translated “endure” is hypomeno, and we are again encouraged to remain under chastening.

Now I understand how hard it can be to remain under. We always expect God to deliver us in a swift and miraculous way. And He sometimes does, but often we are asked to remain under the trial or the chastisement that we might be better Christians for having gone through it. So here I must warn you that there will always be a side door, a way out of the trial, that seems to be a relief valve of sorts. Beware of such a route.

Consider another example from the Old Testament. Jonah was not inclined to go where God had bid him to go, and it just so happened that there was a ship (side door) ready to sail to Tarshish, a destination in the opposite direction from where God had asked him to go. As the story goes, they were sailing away and a storm came upon them. The sailors cast lots and found that Jonah was responsible for the terrible storm. That is when Jonah tried a second side door. He told the sailors to throw him into the sea and the waves would calm. It might have sounded like a noble suggestion, but it was not. When has God ever asked us to sacrifice ourselves in payment for our rebellion against Him? The answer is never! Jesus is the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. Jonah was in essence saying, “I would rather die than do what God has asked me to do.” So in the midst of this ultimate rebellious state, the sailors threw Jonah overboard, right into the chastisement of God. The story of Jonah gives us two things to consider. One is that whenever we are tempted to go in an opposite direction from where God has asked us to go, there will always be an option that is not from God. Secondly, we learn that even when we are rebelling against Him, God loves us so much that He will not let us drown.

Now back to the trial you may be facing. Like Job and like Jonah, God is always with you in the midst of trial and as near to you during chastisement as a father is to a child. In fact, we have One who has tread this path before us, for us.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured (hypomeno) the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2.

You see, dearly beloved, when we are in need of strength to remain under our trial, Jesus has the strength we need, if we remain under with Him, for that is where He will be with you! God will be with you through till the end.

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