Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Trials and Glory
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
I memorized this verse when I was about twelve at a church retreat and God uses it even today to call out to Him. When I am stressed out it runs like a recorder through my head.
The pressures of this world are many. Relationships can be difficult. Unanswered questions remain. Financial strains squeeze. The anxiety is overwhelming. It's easy get into the mentality that there is no end in sight.
I was reminded last night that even these trials, difficulties, and pressures are in God's hands. He is the Redeemer. He is using what the world would call "disasters" to sanctify us, to make us more like Christ.
Only He is able to cause such trials to bear fruit for His glory and our good.
Consider this, my friends:
When hurt by another person's sin, God is working in you harmoniousness, sympathy, brotherliness, kindheartedness, humility.
1 Peter 3:8-9
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
When facing unanswered questions and trials, God is working in you joy and endurance.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
When under financial pressures, God is working in you contentment and gratitude.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Only because of who He is may we believe these words in the midst of pain:
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12, 13
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. Job 19: 25
Praying for you today, my friends.