The human inclination, when faced with a trial or really bad situation is to turn the other way; even to run away. We hope to escape from the clutches of the evil that lurks in front of us.
The Bible tells us 365 times “do not fear!” And, when the Bible repeats something, it does so for emphasis. I would think that God has clearly spelled His message to us when faced with trials! DO NOT FEAR!!
Did you know that our own fear and the bad reactions we often have to trials and troubles often causes much more damage to our lives than the trials themselves? You see, God has given us trials to purify us, not to burn us up! He wants us to be pure as the purest Gold, and trials are one way He puts us through the fire.
Trials are a fact of life on planet Earth. Trials destroy the dross and impurities that live inside us, leaving the purest possible substance behind. Trials refine us as gold tried in the fire. The end result is that we become mature Christians, purified and set apart for service to God and to our fellow man who is lost and in need of the touch of the Master. Today, we will consider 7 areas where trials affect our lives, and consider how each one can help us to become more like Christ.
a. The Trial of Love. The first thing trials do is to reveal who or what we love most in our lives, and help us to get our priorities straight. The Lord wants us to love Him more than anybody else or anything else, but sometimes we get that out of order. The depth of our love to God is revealed during the seasons of trials. The Lord also wants us to love our fellow men; and that includes loving our enemies. The end result is that trials and tribulations purify and strengthen our love towards God and our fellowmen.
b. The Trial of Faith. Trials and tribulations test our faith. Faith that has not been put to the test is weak and untried, but faith that has been through the fire is strong and more impervious to attack. However, the inevitable question comes up during a trial; do we believe the things we say in church about God enough to hold onto them in the midst of pain and suffering? Do we believe in the promises of God even when everything looks impossible? Do we still trust in God even if He chooses not deliver us from the bad situation we’re in? Do we trust in God even when we do not understand His ways and workings in our lives? The depth of our faith in God is tested during trials and causes our faith to grow!
c. The Trial of Obedience. Trials and tribulations are a test of our obedience to God. Are we willing to obey God even when He commands us to do what we do not like or what we wish to avoid? The Lord teaches us obedience by leading us through the path of trials and tribulations. The Bible says that to obey is better than sacrifice. Learning to obey God even during the most difficult of trials builds character and helps to purify us before God.
d. The Trial of Sacrifice. Have you ever offered something that you called a sacrifice that came to you with no effort on your part? Often, false sacrifices are given to God in place of the real thing. These are dross and burn up in the purifying fire of trials. The question is; are we willing to sacrifice everything for the Lord? Are we clinging to the possessions and treasures of this world? “I am crucified with Christ, yet not I, but Christ within me…” The Lord sacrificed everything for us. Have you given Him your life?
e. The Trial of our Humility. Cocky, arrogant and selfish attitudes are dross and burn up in the fire of trials. Trials and tribulations will reveal such attitudes and help us to humble ourselves before the Lord. The Lord wants us to have the mind of Christ who humbled Himself to take the form of a slave and became obedient even to the death of the cross. Humility brings honor. God hates a proud heart. So, trials are a test of our level of humility and act as a guide to help us to humble ourselves before the Lord.
f. The Trial of our Endurance. Trials and tribulations produce endurance or perseverance. How easy is it to serve God when things are going well? And, it is all too easy and frequent that we quit when things get tough. How much are we willing to endure for the Cause of Christ? Endurance is a sign of a champion, and God wants to make a champion for Christ out of you. Will we endure till the end? Trials will help you to grow strong in your endurance in the race we all find ourselves in.
g. The Trial of our Patience. Trials produce patience. Always. The Lord has perfect timing for fulfilling His plans and purposes, but often we try to get ahead of Him and are very impatient. I love the story that was told on the Christian Movie “Facing the Giants,” when the old janitor shares this account with the coach. “Two farmers were in the midst of a drought. Both prayed for rain. But, only one prepared his fields to receive it. Which was more faithful? The coach said the one who prepared his fields. His advice was that God will send His rain when He is ready. Our job is to prepare our fields to receive the rain. That takes patience, and God will give it to you if you ask for it. And, in spite of what you may have been told, praying for patience is a GOOD thing.
A bad reaction to trials can cause us to avoid the fire sometimes, but it will also help us to miss the blessing from the process.
A friend of mine awoke one morning to find a puddle of water in the middle of his king-size water bed. In order to fix the puncture, he rolled the heavy mattress outdoors and filled it with more water so he could locate the leak more easily. The enormous bag of water was impossible to control and began rolling on the hilly terrain. He tried to hold it back, but it headed downhill and landed in a clump of bushes which poked it full of holes. Disgusted, my friend threw out the water-bed frame and moved a standard bed into his room. The next morning, he awoke to find a puddle of water in the middle of the new bed. The upstairs bathroom had a leaky drain.
So, you see, trials are good things. If endured until the end, God will make all our trials blessings for us.
A number of years ago, the McKamey’s recorded a song written by Calvin Clark that thrills my heart every time I hear it. I pray these lyrics cause you to go through your trials with joy in your heart! Here are the lyrics to “God will make this trial a blessing”
“I’ve just come into a valley one like I’ve never been before.
I keep searching for a way out seems like padlocks are on the doors.
Oh there must be another sunrise another sunset that I’ll see.
God will make this trial a blessing that’s the love he has for me.
I was not the first one to come into this place.
You see every child of God this test he must face.
It is here that God will mold you and make you what you ought to be.
God will make this trial a blessing just be patient you will see.
Now I’m standing on a mountain looking back I can see.
When I was in that lowest valley his strong hand was leading me.
Oh its good to see the sunshine and to taste sweet victory.
God has made this trial a blessing oh the grace he gives to me.
God will make this trial a blessing though it sends me to my knees.
Though my tears flow like a river yet in him there’s sweet relief.
There’s no need to get discouraged there’s no need to talk defeat.
God will make this trial a blessing and the whole wide world will see.”
I pray that God Makes Your Trials Blessings, so that the whole world can see! You are loved with an everlasting love! And, I love you, too.
In Our Master’s Joyful Service,