Friday, April 9, 2021

Piles and Piles of Trials

 Friday, April 9, 2021 Some material taken from You Can Face Hard Times Joyfully

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. I Peter 1:6-9

Piles and Piles of Trials
Everybody faces trials. They are a fact of life, and they also come in many shapes and sizes. Over our lifetime we will face many different kinds of trials, and a lot of us feel like we have experienced a lot of them in the last year. Although some things are getting back to normal, there’s an underlying buildup of one thing after another. We may begin to peel off the layers, but it will be a while before it is all processed. Sometimes it feels like piles and piles of trials are being heaped on our heads. 

Often, we ask the wrong question: How can I avoid trials? The truth is that we can’t avoid trials. Trials are inevitable as Jesus told His disciples; I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world. John 16:33  HCSB  So the question we should be asking is: How can I change the way I respond to hard times? Can I begin to respond in such a way that I am not overcome by emotions of dread? Here are a couple of things to remember to help when going through trials:

Reflect on the Purpose of Trials and Suffering - Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, James 1:2  God uses the worst times of life to make the best for our lives. We have all seen it - a life torn apart by divorce, trauma and tragedy, or any number of things - becomes the birth of a whole new life for someone. A life they never thought they would see because of what they were experiencing. God often has to do some demolition work in our hearts and lives before He can build what He planned for us all along. He has to get out all the moldy, old, ruined parts we have built so He can make it something beautiful and new. He will. He never wastes anything.

Seek God’s Wisdom During Trials and Suffering - But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5. When the unexpected trials of life how do you respond? What is your first reaction? How are we to pray –– what should we ask God for?  James gives the answer, Pray for WISDOM! Wisdom is more than knowledge.  Someone has said that knowledge is the ability to take things apart, while wisdom is the ability to put them together. Wisdom is using knowledge rightly. 

Why do we need wisdom when we are going through our trials? Personally my first reaction is to ask God to take it away. It is never fun to go through trials but sometimes we just have to walk through it. Instead of asking God to take it away, James says pray for wisdom. We need wisdom so we will not waste the opportunities God is giving us to mature. Wisdom helps us to use these circumstances for our good and God’s glory. 

Look at the Big Picture - The next key to facing the hard times that come our way is to take a look at the big picture, not just the trial. In other words, we need to cultivate a clear perspective of who we are and of what is the situation we are in.  James says, The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position.  In other words, each of us should take time to reflect on the other side of the coin. This is hard because when we are in the middle of a trial - or trials - it is really hard to see the big picture (you can’t see the forest for the trees) unless we are intentional. We may have to get away from everything and really pray and ask God to give us this insight. 

For me, when I am feeling the heaviness of all the trials, I just like to sit with God, still and quiet. Just being in His presence is so healing - not even reading my Bible necessarily or trying to complete day whatever in the Bible study I am currently doing. There is nothing that helps more than coming before Him and emptying our hearts and minds and just letting Him fill us up. He is everything we need for everything and anything we will face in this life. 



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