“It’s easy to be a soldier when there’s no wars poppin.'”
But there IS a war popping (i.e., happening). War is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers … The devil your enemy prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.
But of course, when the sea is placid and calm and there are no sudden gusts of wind, our art of navigating the stormy seas of life remains untested. But these storms of testing and trial are necessary occasions for growth in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ and mortification of sin (Romans 8:1-13; Colossians 3:5; 2 Peter 3:17-18).
Testing and trials in our holy and righteous war against sin bring certain indwelling sins to the surface.
Romans 8:17-18, 29 and 2 Corinthians 4:10-11 teach us that by means of these grievous tests we are being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ and His life is reflected and manifested in our mortal flesh (cf. Hebrews 12:3-13). We paint a picture of the Just God and Savior with our behavior. None of these afflictions are unnecessary and vain. And though God in His wise providence mingles times of joy, there are times when we cannot spell “paint” without pain.
True Christians, endeavoring to glorify Jesus Christ by seeking things above (Colossians 3:1-4), receive temporal hatred from family members because of His Eternal Love. True Christian believers submit to righteous and disciplinary switches (cf. Hebrews 12:5-11), while enemies will multiply their meretricious kisses.
“[When thou saidst], Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. Hide not Thy face [far] from me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. Teach me Thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty” (Psalm 27:8-12).
“If any [man] come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26).
“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life” (Matthew 19:29).