(This is the first post written by our new admin here at Rejoice in the Lord always! While we are still getting things set up, I thought I'd post this article by her so you can get a taste of the writing we are soon to be able to enjoy regularly and gain encouragement from! I hope you enjoy and are challenged by reading this as much as I was!)
How to View Trials
When God gives us trials there are many ways we respond. Such as:
Anger towards God for the trial
Believing God has nothing to do with it
We blame the devil or assume it’s some form of spiritual attack
We blame someone in our lives who we feel is making it happen
This misconception comes from a lack of understanding as to why God puts trials in our lives. This in turn often will lead us become miserable as we either don't know why we are facing the trials, or we don't know how to respond to the present trials. We often can have negative thoughts that do not include God such as “why me?” and “what have I done to deserve this?” This leads to confusion which can easily turn to frustration and anger.
All of this can cause us to forget God. He has an answer even if we may not understand it entirely untill we get to Heaven.
But when we do understand it we either agree or disagree with it.
If we disagree we need to ask ourselves:
DO WE WANT GOD'S ANSWER?
~ Read 1 Peter1:3-4 ~
God is unchanging, everything God has provided for his children (you and I) is infinite, and His inheritance is stable, more so than any material on this earth.
~ Read 1 Peter 1:5-8 ~
Would you choose gold over faith? You can lose everything, including gold, but you can not lose faith. The only thing you cannot lose is your faith in Jesus Christ.
~ Read 1 Peter 1:7 ~
At a difficult time you need to remember that trials are a precious promise from God. Trials will fade away but God WILL NEVER fade away and even when trials are hard, try to take it as a blessing God.
But how can anyone take a trial as a blessing if they do not fully understand why these things happen?
Think of trials as body building. If you spent your whole life lifting 1 kilo weights you would never advance, you would never gain strong muscles. But if you build yourself up gradually to lift more and more weights, although it will be hard at times, you will gain so much more in the long run.
When you first become a Christian you often spend your first few weeks reading and trying to understand the Bible and learning that Jesus is your saviour. The only way to make your faith grows over time, is to gain strength. God uses trials the same way a bodybuilder uses weights with the sole purpose of gaining strength. God does this for us because he does not want us to be weak Christians. We need trials to build us up.
When a trial comes through your life, it’s only what God in His sovereignty has allowed. God knows how strong you are even if you don't.
God's trials are progressive. Something you can handle today you may not have been able to when your faith was still new or not as strong. God builds us up, even if we don't always like his methods.
If God is to build character, you need trials and these vary in intensity at times. Some trials you face will be manageable, while other times they will test everything you have, but remember this is not intended just to hurt us but to help us grow in our faith and build character.
Do you want great faith or child-like faith?
A reason why God sometimes allows trials is to bring to the surface things in our lives that we need to deal with and that are detrimental to us. God allows trials to show us things that are damaging to us, our relationships and of course to Him. Sometimes the only way to help us to realize this is to cause us to hurt. But we must remember that God's ultimate purpose is to allow us to grow stronger in faith, being hurt is a result not the reason. Once we recognise this and that God may be awakening us to things He wants us to repent of, we can be free to do that and walk away from it.
If God brings things back to the surface in your life which you don't think is important, probably it’s important to God. If you dealt with it a long time ago but the issue resurfaces, this is because God wants you to deal with it the right way. Do not think “time will heal things”, only God can heal things.
God treats believers and unbelievers in different ways.
Non-Christians have themselves, the devil and the world.
Christians are children to God, and He is our heavenly Father. God loves us and does not want us to sin. To sin is to cause death: death to our happiness, to our peace and so on.
Other times God puts trials in our lives to test our faith
How much faith is needed? you may ask.
Have faith in God to see you through everything. Do not stop trusting the Lord halfway through a trial, instead say and remember, "Lord, You have led me this far, You will lead me the rest of the way."
Trials also test our devotion to God.
Your way of thinking, your way of life, your habits, are all to be lived to be obedient to God and are not to be a shadow to Him. God will never call you to do anything He will not help you do.
If you are devoted to God you will obey Him no matter what.
You know when you disobey God because you have the Holy Spirit in you and He does NOT SLEEP. The Holy Spirit allows us to put trust in the faith He gives us.
God's ultimate goal is not to punish us but to conform us to the likeness of his son.
Read Romans 8:21~
You can always find an excuse for disobeying God, but whatever you do will have consequences. Why suffer these consequences when God can take the same pain, same hurt, same loss and do something awesome with it. ITS A CHOICE.
Say, "Lord, I want You to accomplish Your plans and purposes in my life no matter what."
God wants us to live holy and clean lives. You would not go out in a white dress and cover it in mud because that would be embarrassing and it would not fit who you are.
We should wake up everyday remembering who we are in God. We are representatives of Jesus: just as we do not want to go out in a white dress covered in mud and instead we clean it, so God cleanses us though trials.
It’s okay to ask God “why?”. Even his son Jesus at the cross asked, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Keep bringing your questions to God but do not always expect and answer.
Remember God is in control of every trial.
Read 2 Corinthians 10:13 ~
God designs each trial to fit us. He knows the exact intention, your purpose and will in life.
He calls your name and speaks to you specifically.
~ Read Hebrews 12:5-6 ~
Nobody is immune to God’s trials. We can be living a very Godly life and we can still get sick, have trials and so forth. This does not mean God is against us, rather it means he has something else in mind or to bring us to Him.
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 ~
God measures our progress to build Christ-like character. For example, if we did not have strong faith, dying would be terrifying to us, but over the years we build up faith and know through that that one day we can meet the Lord and say, “I know I was not perfect by a long shot, but I did my best to live a Godly life and was willing to accept what You sent into my life for whatever purpose You had.”
God never does anything without a purpose, which is ultimately to grow us in Christ-like character.
When trials come don't let them pass without learning from them. You want to learn everything you can from it so when it’s gone you’ve become a better person for it, greater in faith.
Lord do I want to grow in my faith?
Do I want to be Godly?
Do I want you clean up everything and anything you don’t want me to have in my life?
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Wow, isn't that challenging and yet encouraging at the same time? Thanks so much to my friend for allowing me to share this with you all!
God bless & I don't know about you but I look forward to reading more of her posts in the future!