“Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” Job 5:7
Salvation does not exempt us from the everyday problems of life. Those who are fully committed to the Lord often find themselves entangled in on-going difficulties. Finally, a release comes, only to find that another pressure has taken the place of the one that was resolved.
There is a reason for these difficulties. Therefore, we should view them as servants, placed in our circumstances to accomplish a higher purpose.
“Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” II Corinthians 12:10 NASB
Only as we rise above or overcome these seemingly unending pressures and difficulties, and refuse to allow them to hinder us, will we be able to successfully “press toward the mark” for the prize that our Lord has made available for us - our becoming His Bride.
“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus… I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” Revelation 19:7-8 NASB
We may ask, “How can we make ourselves ready?” This is accomplished as we respond appropriately to the circumstances of life that we face daily, along with the testing's and disciplines that require obedience, and recognize these as the means to prepare us.
As we “press toward the mark for the prize,” we are “making ourselves ready” to become the Bride of our Lord Jesus. Therefore, it is important that we respond in heart obedience, looking to the Lord for the right way through these difficult times.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended. But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind (the ongoing pressures we face in our daily life experience), and reaching forth to those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God, in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
Those who have submitted the totality of their being to the Lord and are seeking His highest, are “potentially” His Bride (that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended). No one of us can say, “I am the Bride,” as the Bridegroom chooses who will sit with Him on His throne, as His Bride.
Our part is to make ourselves so desirable that we will be chosen in that day, having made ourselves ready for the “marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:7-8).
Just as a young woman anticipates her wedding day and prepares herself, so also, the Bride of our Lord Jesus Christ is to prepare for this day. She is to “clothe herself” in fine linen, clean and white. This speaks of the “righteous acts of the saints” in which she actively faces and overcomes the problems and pressures of life.
It is the “overcomer” who will sit with Jesus in His Throne, as His Bride.
“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and have sat down with My Father in His throne.” Revelation 3:21