Trials and difficulties are just a part of life that we need to understand so we can deal with them better. The first chapter of the book of James sheds some light on the topic. When reading my Bible, I like to use three versions; the NIV, the Amplified version and the Message. I will be pulling scriptures from all three sources today. I have come to understand that trials and temptations as bad as they sound, are not here to destroy us and we shouldn’t let them derail us. Hold on to one of my most favorite quotes by Jesus Himself. Memorize that verse. In John 16:33, He said ““I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”(Amplified version). When problems arise, we have the right to have perfect peace in the Lord. The world will push you to lose control and to panic but Jesus has a totally different plan. He doesn’t think like the world. You can have confidence in Him. He has stripped the world of its power to harm you. It may feel like the fire is burning under your feet for a moment but just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, you will come out unscathed. I promise you. God does that. It’s part of His job description. He is in the business of getting us out of trouble intact. What appears to be wounds or scars will soon vanish because He guarantees that what’s to come cannot be compared to your present suffering. Romans 8:18 says “That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times.” (The Message). This promise alone should get you through the rest of this week. I know it helps me every time I read it.Now, James explains that trials and temptations are meant to help us grow and get stronger in our faith; “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-5/ NIV). I have noticed that when something comes up in my life that tries to rob me of my peace, God always gets the final say. I have not come to this conclusion easily. It has taken trial and error to get to that point. The harder the challenge, the bigger the breakthrough. It is those challenges in life that put me where I am now in my faith. The way I react now compared to six months ago is tremendously better. Last October I found myself at a crossroads where I wasn’t sure how to deal with a few situations. I found myself in the toughest predicament of the year. I kept praying and I kept saying that God would make a way. Thoughts of defeat would come to my mind but I stood my ground. I held on tight to my Jesus and He made me stronger. I am being built to face harsher times and the preparation phase takes place while I am facing problems. It’s in those times that God molds me and forms me. Friend, if you are facing a challenge today, you are being trained. Count it all joy because God is doing a work in you that will get you through the next storm. Just think how easier it’s going to get. In the meantime just rejoice because God’s got you in the palm of His hand and He is going to do something amazing in your life. He has blessings for you that you thought only belonged to others. Something is happening right now in the middle of your trial and it’s all for your benefit. Keep on keeping on. Persevere. The maturing process might be trying at times but it is worth the next level of blessings it will direct you to. You are more blessed than you think!
Suggested reading: Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 41:13; 1 Peter 5:7