June 3, 2019 - My wife Connie, makes one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever eaten. I have watched her make it from scratch. The ingredients that she uses like flour, butter, cocoa, buttermilk, powdered sugar, baking soda. When they are eaten alone, none of these ingredients taste very good and would probably give you a tummy ache. But if you stir them up and put them in an oven on about 350 for a while it turns into something that that is pleasing to the eye and palate.
Thats how God does with things in our life that are difficult. He mixes them up puts them in the fire and when its all said and done you come out a better person than you were before it all started. Coming out on the other side of the fire turns you into something completely new and pleasing to God and others.
We know that trials are going to happen in life. We just don't expect them to happen when they do. But one thing we can be sure of is that there is a reason that we are going through them.
There are two ways that we can react to trials: 1. We can wallow in self pity. 2. We can rejoice in our suffering knowing that it is a testing of our faith that will make us a better Christian in the end. Dr. Charles Stanley wrote about how to deal with difficult times. This is my spin on his points.
There are ten things we must be convinced of when going through these difficult times.
- God is in control of this trial and its intensity. James 1: "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
- God has a specific purpose for this trial. “God does not spare present pain if it means future glory.” (David Jeremiah)
- It is designed to meet a specific need. God is working things out in you during trials. Pray more “show me” prayers than “deliver me” prayers.
- This trial is going to teach you something about yourself that you didn't know. You will be pushed out of your comfort zone to do things that you never knew you could do.
- It is going to strengthen your faith. James 1:12 "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."
- God is going to sustain you under extreme pressure. 1Cor. 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
- It will develop a Christlike character in you. Romans 5 "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
- It will help you measure your spiritual gifts. Sometimes God has to give us a push to make us seek the wisdom of the Spirit and use the gifts that He has given us.
- God will walk with you through the trial every step. God is faithful to stay with us in any trial we go through. He promises to “never leave us or forsake us.”
- By the grace of God you will be more than conquerers. Romans. 8:35-37 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. God is always there for us.
Trials are Gods way of taking all the things that aren’t quite right in our lives and applying a little heat to turn us into something beautiful and pleasing to Him.
James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
I’m Just Sayin