Posts Tagged ‘Trials

13
Aug
18

Standing Firm

In Philippians 3, Paul reminded his readers that they were destined for Heaven. No matter what came their way as far as threats of persecution or death, they could have joy because they were citizens of Heaven. He then told them what to do in the face of threats. He wrote:

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! – Philippians 4:1 (NIV)

When we go through trials, tests and troubles, we need to remember that in the end, Jesus wins and we will overcome this world. It is not in our strength or power, but through the power of the Son of God. We have to remind ourselves and one another often that this world is not our home. The troubles and trials we face are only temporary. So stand firm in the face of difficulties. Stand firm in the face of persecution. Stand firm in the face of fear. Don’t give up! Don’t give in to fear! Stand firm!
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03
Aug
18

Pressing On Toward Heaven

We all go through various troubles, trials and tests in this life. Followers of Jesus are not exempt. It would be nice if God would bestow a kind of “most favored nation” status on us, but He doesn’t promise a pain-free life for anyone. He promises something else – Heaven. Paul wrote:

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)

There’s kind of a past, present and future thing going on in these verses. Paul chose to forget the past while pressing on in the present toward an amazing future in Heaven. We would all do well to follow His example. Forget about the past while pressing on in the present toward an amazing future. This is how we can get through the troubles, trials and tests of life. Keep your eyes on Heaven where Jesus waits for you.

06
Jun
18

Troubles Prove Christ’s Love

Good Wednesday morning to you! The apostle Paul said that God justifies us when we put our faith and trust in Jesus alone for salvation. He also said that because of our faith, no one can condemn us. He then continues by talking about the love of Jesus. He wrote:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” – Romans 8:35-36 (NIV)

Who can separate you from Christ’s love? Even though we face many different kinds of trials and troubles, we are still loved by Jesus. The proof of His love is found in His grace. When we go through trials and tests, it may seem like we’re unloved. If God loved us wouldn’t He protect us from trials and troubles? Not necessarily. God can work these things out for our good by growing our faith. God never promises a trouble-free existence here on earth. It is the love of Jesus that helps strengthen our faith and learn to rely on Him.
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.
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.



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