Sunday, August 13, 2017
James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
Life is a series of trials, don't you agree? As the verse above tells us, it is not all for nought. It is a faith strengthening process that hopefully will transform us into who God intended us to be. It's no quick fix either, but completion awaits us at heaven's door after a lifetime of learning God's truth and ways.
As Christians, we must not think we can escape the troubles of this world. God may use our responses to afflictions as a way to reach this broken world. "By suffering in the ways of righteousness, we are serving the interests of our Lord’s kingdom among men, and edifying the body of Christ; and our trials will brighten our graces now and our crown at last." The devil uses our troubles to tempt us to sin, but God intends our trials to better ourselves. " The gold is put into the furnace, that it may be purified." Our trials vary person to person, so we don't know how the devil will try to deceive and attack us. Therefore, we need to put on the full armor of God. " We must be armed on every side, because temptations lie on all sides." Our trials should lead us to look beyond ourselves. We should look to the One who is in control of all things, provides strength for each day, comforts the weak and weary, and never leaves our side.
"We must not sink into a sad and disconsolate frame of mind, which would make us faint under our trials; but must endeavor to keep our spirits dilated and enlarged, the better to take in a true sense of our case, and with greater advantage to set ourselves to make the best of it." [M. Henry]
I've copied some truths from intouch.org to help you deal with the trials you face and how to respond.
1. God is in full control of the timing and intensity of your trial and will not allow it to go beyond His boundaries.
2. He has a specific purpose for your suffering which you may not understand until it is over.
3. This trial will prove to be profitable if you submit to God and trust Him through it.
4. Trying situations are opportunities for faith to prove genuine and grow stronger.
5. When you endure extreme pressure with unexplainable peace and joy, the Lord will demonstrate His sustaining power to a watching world.
6. Your difficulties are used by the Father to produce Christ-like character.
7. God will walk with you through all trials.
8. The Holy Spirit will enable you not only to survive but also to come out a conqueror.