That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. I Peter 1:7
Sometimes, in this life, we have seasons where things just seem to go wrong. One thing happens, and then another…and then another. You did everything you could to pay one bill, when something happens, and now you have two more. You just fixed your car, and now the truck won’t start. You just were diagnosed with cancer when your wife becomes ill. It is at these times that our attitudes can take a turn for the worse. We can become bitter. We can lose our joy. As believers, we must not let that happen.
In this life we will have trials. We are not promised a trial-free life when we become a Christian. God’s Word says that He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust (Mt 5:45). Good things will happen to everybody now and then, and unfortunately, so will trials. Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33)
Trials will come upon all people. An obedient follower of Christ will not let his circumstances control his attitude. Paul says, “for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound…I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
We can be content in whatever state we are in because of Christ. We know, because of Christ’s victory over the grave, that our earthly life is not all there is. If it must be that we suffer through 8 years or even 80 years here on earth, as believers we can look ahead to an perfect eternity in Heaven. Our lifespan on earth is nothing relative to eternity. The Bible says: For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (James 4:14) Jesus Christ is in Heaven, preparing a place for us. He has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us and strengthen us through trials. It is only through His power that we can have the strength to be content through trials.
God allows us to go through trials in order to build our faith. Just as gold is refined with fire, our faith is strengthened and purified through trials. The Bible tells us that “the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:3,4) When our faith is tried our patience is increased, as our patience is worked on, God is perfecting us.
Let us all remember that it is not a question of ‘if’, but rather ‘when’, trials will come our way. Let us use these trials, as God has intended them, to strengthen us. Let us take comfort in knowing that God will never allow a trial to come upon us that is more than we can bear (I Cor 10:13). May we grow closer to Him, relying more on Him, when we go through trials. Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you. (James 4:8) Trials are a time to read His Word, to go to Him in prayer, and to praise Him. As believers, let us not allow our joy to be taken from us because of earthly circumstances, but, rather let us look Heavenward, seeking those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God (Col 3:1), rejoicing in the Lord always; even through trials.
Pastor Lee Smith
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