Posts Tagged ‘Trials

20
Nov
17

The Purpose Of Trials

We often wonder why we have to go through the things we go through in life. Whether it is trials of persecution or tests of our faith, we try to understand what the purpose is behind them. This is something people have wondered about for centuries. Peter tells us the purpose of our trials. He wrote:

These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. – 1 Peter 1:7 (NIV)

The trials of persecution and the tests of our faith prove it to be genuine and real. It’s easy to say, “I believe” when life is easy. It is much harder to stand up for what you believe in when the going gets rough. The trials of life and the tests of our faith are the crucible in which our faith is refined. When we come through the trials and the tests, we discover that our faith is more pure, deeper and stronger than ever before. Don’t let the trials and tests destroy your faith. Instead, hold on to Jesus knowing that He is holding on to you.
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17
Nov
17

Rejoicing In Trials

Peter wrote his first letter to a persecuted church. He told them about the inheritance that awaited them in Heaven. He told them that no matter what trials and tests of their faith may have come, nothing could take their inheritance away. This inheritance was their reason for joy. Peter continued:

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. – 1 Peter 1:6 (NIV)

The promises of God are our reason for joy. If we face trials of various kinds that test our faith, we can still have joy. Joy is different than happiness. No one is happy about trials and tests, but they can be a reason for joy. Happiness usually depends on circumstances. Joy depends on our Savior. Circumstances change, Jesus doesn’t. His love and our hope are eternal. Whatever trial or circumstance you’re going through, it can change for better or worse. Jesus won’t change on you, though. Your hope is secure.
06
Apr
17

The Goal

When trials and tests of our faith come, they produce perseverance. They help us grow and learn to trust God to get us through difficult circumstances and situations. Instead of giving up on our faith, we press on through the trials with God’s help. That’s how our faith matures. This is one of the goals of being a follower of Jesus. Here’s what James says:

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:4 (NIV)

As we learn to trust God in the difficult times of our lives, the more mature our faith becomes. We are no longer spiritual babies who are prone to wander away from Jesus. Instead, we have a mature faith that not only stands firm through the tests and trials, but also helps others in their trials and tests. Don’t give up when the tests come. Don’t throw in the towel when the trials happen. Press on and persevere with God’s help knowing that you’re getting stronger and your faith is maturing.
05
Apr
17

Trials and Tests

We tend to see the trials in our lives as bad things. The Bible says that they are actually for our good. Jesus’ brother, James, wrote:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. – James 1:2-3 (NIV)

When our faith is tested, it is not a matter of God punishing us. God allows our faith to be tried and tested so that it will grow. We learn how to persevere and press on when we go through various trials and tests. How else will we be able to keep going when the going gets tough? Let’s face it, the trials and tests get harder as we get older. The trials of our twenties may be nothing compared to the faith tests of our forties, fifties, sixties and beyond. God uses tests and trials to strengthen us, not to punish us. Lean into Him as you face trials because your faith is deepening and growing as you learn to persevere.
12
Sep
16

Tests, Trials and Temptations! Oh my!

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.  This is the first message in our new series based on the book of James.  This message is based on James 1:1-18.

 

11
Jul
16

God Made This Day

This is the day the LORD has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.  — Psalm 118:24 (NIV)
As kids we learn a call and repeat song about how “This is the day (echo)!  That the Lord has made (echo)!  I will rejoice (echo)!  And be glad in it (echo)!”  Too often we forget that song.  We do not rejoice and we are not glad in the day that God has given to us.  We get bogged down in the junk of life to actually do what the song says.  How can we have joy and gladness today when life is so hard?
I have been talking to so many people lately about the toughness of life.  People have been coming to me with prayer requests, broken relationships, loved ones dying and disappointments and failures.  My friends and family members deal with struggles and various kinds of pain on a daily basis it seems.  There is no gladness, no joy.  There only seems to be pain, trials and drama galore.
I think that it takes work to have joy and gladness.  It takes effort to remind ourselves of the blessings versus the trials.  It takes a great deal of energy to rise above the circumstances and the situations we find ourselves in and have true joy.  We cannot ignore the pain of life, but we can choose to deal with it in a constructive manner.  Pain produces strength (no pain, no gain?).  Pain gives us endurance.  Pain stretches our faith.  There is joy, even in the trials, for the trials lead to Christian character (James 1:2-3).  It’s hard to remember this nugget of truth when we’re in the midst of the trials, but when we come through on the other side, we’ll know that God works everything out for good.
PRAYER: Father God, You know what this day holds. You know what trials and tests will come my way. You know what pain I am dealing with in my life. Help me to remember that You made this day so that I will rejoice and be glad in it. I want to rise above the situations and circumstances of life to honor you and give you praise. In Jesus’ name I praise you today, amen.
03
Feb
16

How Many Shoes Does God Have?

You’ve no doubt heard the expression, “I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop”.  It typically means that things are going well, but one is waiting for the inevitable hiccup, bump in the road or piano to drop on one’s head from a very tall building while walking down a busy street in Chicago.  We human beings can be quite pessimistic about our lives.  We’re too pessimistic for our own good.  What happened to hope and anticipation?  What happened to optimism?  Is there any justifiable reason to have hope in our world today?  Why does there always have to be “another shoe”?  Why are we waiting for the other shoe to drop instead of waiting for the next blessing or revelation of God’s presence in our lives?

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” — Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

The Greek word translated as hope literally means a confident expectation.  The author of Hebrews makes a great connection between faith and hope.  The faith that one has in Jesus Christ is directly related to the hope of His return.  Our expectation of Christ’s return is rooted in our faith in what we cannot see.  Faith is hard, but I wonder if hope is harder.  I can see the evidence of God all around me.  I know that He is there and He created all of the beauty around me.  But when it comes to hope for a bright future, I keep wondering how many shoes God has and when the next one will drop.

The book of James says to rejoice in trials because they produce perseverance and endurance.  They strengthen our faith.  They make us more mature.  God knows what He is doing and I have to take comfort in that and believe that there is a plan for my life and hope for my future.  And some days, that’s all I can do.

PRAYER: Lord, I struggle with understanding Your will and plan for my life.  I struggle with the trials and tests I sometimes have to endure.  Give me strength for my journey as I walk through this life with You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.




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