Going through Trials
James 1:2-12
2 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. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Be honest….how many of us have ever gone through a trial and shouted in pure joy because we are experiencing it.
Nobody wants to go through trials and difficult times.
But let’s look at 3 reasons why we can at least appreciate the trials that come our way:
1. It cleans up the ashes and debris we gather as we live our own way. Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
There is nothing quite like baby- sitting the grand- children. The second…I mean the very second they walk in the door they hit the toy stash. The boxes are open and every single toy we have is spread all over the floor, on tables in the yard. Anywhere they were, the toys are. This drives me nuts. I can’t stand the disarray of it all. Laura, of course, never says a word…but I notice as soon as the kids walk out the front door and go to the car, the both of us are picking up and putting away all the evidence they were there.
There is nothing like the clean house after an extended period of debris and chaos. That is what our lives must feel like from time to time. We just want things to stop and be like they are supposed to be.
Every night on Bourbon Street in New Orleans a special clean up crew is out literally using high powered sprayers with Clorox on the streets and side walks and floors of every open air business. This is followed by daily trash pick up of what appears to mountains of trash from the previous day.
When you go to get breakfast there the overwhelming smell of Clorox water is everywhere…but you realize it is absolutely necessary and very welcome.
2. Applied correctly Jesus gets the praise, honor and glory I Peter 1:7 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.
I remember my youth director saying whenever people complained about how hard it was to be a Christian…”Bless your heart…you are suffering for Jesus” just dripping with sarcasm. It is so easy to forget that the ultimate goal is to reveal Christ to others. It isn’t about us at all. Sometimes it seems that the Lord is saying “I am going to have to bring you back in alignment. Like Dr. Cafaro does. You’re out…I am putting you back in. It initially shocks and may even hurt but very quickly the over -all relief we feel is a properly aligned spine.
3. It helps us, help others. I’ve been where you are. It’s not hopeless…you are not alone. Psalm 103:13-14 13Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
14For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
We all know where we came from and that all of us face many of the same trials and temptations.
What a wonderful feeling to help someone else through and area you yourself struggled in. The confidence that person has in you because you can identify creates a confidence they can have in themselves through Christ to over- come and survive
Trials are inevitable – With Christ survival is guaranteed!
2016-09-15 16:33:09