“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
James 1:2-8 NKJV
I have known trials. When I look back at almost sixty years, I see a long trail of broken dreams, of wasted opportunities, of pain, of sin, of life not lived for my good. I also see the faithfulness of God, as any one of many situations I found myself in, could have led to the end of my life. In the past, the trials were fruitless for my living, but were used by God to prepare my heart to receive Him.
When I came to Christ, those trials were converted along with my soul, and suddenly they had value, as they showed me the sovereignty of God in my life, even before I knew Him. I look back at those times through triumph, having seen how God drew me to faith in Jesus, as my stoney heart was made raw, and the message of the Gospel was able to sink in.
The trials did not end, though, as we live in a fallen world. However, trials I face in Christ, have a different purpose as they have allowed me to experience real joy in the pain. I truly count it all joy, as I see the work that God has done in my life, through all that I have experienced.
I have learned to be patient.
I have been blessed with trials that are long in duration. Some of the trials are constant, with no end in sight. I cling to the Lord, and call on Him daily for the strength to enter each day. In the testing, I have seen how the Lord has matured me, and refined me. I feel a greater intimacy with the Lord. Instead of expecting the discomfort of the trial to pass quickly, I have developed the patience to endure. I find that I am thriving through the pain.
There are times when I need little more for the journey, a special touch, a lift on the day when the darkness is encroaching and I feel like I can’t go on. I have found that God is faithful, as He reaches into the darkness and draws me into the light. I know that I can call on Him, because He has been faithful time and time again. i know that I can ask, because I ask knowing that He will deliver.
Believers, know that you have a Father in Heaven who knows what you need. He loves you and He cares for you. If you are in a dark place, and struggling to find the next step, call out to God with the faith that He will help you. Know that the testing has a purpose, and the trial will have an outcome. I learned during my cancer trial sixteen years ago, that even if the disease had taken me, I would have had the greatest outcome imaginable. My last breath would have been on this side of eternity, and my next with Jesus.
I am reminded that I know in whom I believe, and what I believe about Him. I have not placed my faith in a mysterious god, I am not casting my faith on the wind, but on the solid Rock of Christ. Because I ask and seek knowingly, I receive liberally, meeting all of my needs.
We are in a time of testing in our world today, seek the Lord and know that He is faithful. Go forth and tell others of the great God, who is a great anchor in the turbulent sea. Tell of the testing you have endured, and the presence of an all loving God in the midst of it. The testing ofthis present time has given us a golden opportunity to go out and show the world what salvation looks like. God has given me story in the trials, an opportunity to testify of His greatness! He has given you a story to tell too!