THE VALUE IN TRIALS
Friday, 6 December 2019
James 1 : 1-18
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, …” - James 1:2 [NASB]
Going joyfully through the agony of pains, trials and persecutions in life, is never a welcome idea for any human being, regardless of race, colour and nationality. We may even try to shy away from it, if given the opportunity to choose how life on earth should go with us.
God who is the Potter (and we are the clay), knows our frame well and allows problems, pressures and challenges in our lives to mould us so we can grow and mature spiritually. This may come in the form of trials. But in order for us to see the well-designed values in them, we must tap into God’s divine wisdom which helps us see the values and not the problems. We cannot see it if we do not look at it with the wisdom of God in display, in our hearts and minds. Looking at it from that angle, we will learn to consider it joyful when we pass through various trials.
Just as an athlete has to go through rigorous training to do well in an event, we too have to be equipped in the race of life to reach the mark of our higher calling in God. It may not be pleasant at that time, but after we have gone through it all we will say, ‘I thank God that I went through it or it happened this way.’ Because it yields a good dividend, we have to learn to count it all joy when faced with trials. It helps us know God’s will better and also shapes us to relate with our fellowmen better.
The example of Job is a clear picture of how valuable problems and pressures are to our human relationship with our Lord and King. We learn to lean on to Him in our helplessness instead of being angry and frustrated because there is great blessing ahead. "Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him." James 1: 12 NASB
Remember Joseph in the Bible - before he encountered the 3 P’s of his life on the road to maturity: the PIT, POTIPHAR’S WIFE, and PRISON; he was a quick talker and explainer of whatever happened. But after he had gone through all the problems and pressures, he emerges as the nice and quiet man with a changed language. It was a hard-earned victory that he celebrated with his family. This is what he has to say to his brothers: … "Don't be afraid; I can't put myself in the place of God. You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good, in order to preserve the lives of many people who are alive today because of what happened." So he reassured them with kind words that touched their hearts. (Genesis 50:19-21)
Have you been misunderstood, misinterpreted or even insulted by friends and relatives? Be aware that those moments of problems and pressures are God's ways of training, nurturing and grooming his beloved children towards the mark of his high calling. Beloved, God’s tailored-made problems and pressures are always valuable, and they end with great victory and uplifting.
Remember God permits us to be tried and tested for the glory of His name, as He always leads us to the path of righteousness for His name sake.
Dear Lord God, please give me the strength and courage to endure trials and the wisdom to know the values embedded in them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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