Truth in trials

Sometimes I’ll be reading through a book in the Bible and something will pop out to me as something to write about.  Other times I use a site called that returns a random scripture.  When I use this, I normally then go read the entire chapter that was referenced (not just the one or two verses).  Most of the time, what I’m drawn too had nothing to do with the scripture that was referenced, it’s from another section of the chapter.  But today, the verse was perfect.

Times of trials are tough but necessary.  They can be necessary for a variety of reasons, and part of the struggle is to determine what that reason is each time.

  1. Sometimes is just a fact that sin is in this world and because of that, stuff happens.  This one is usually the hardest to swallow.  It means there may not be a specific reason that this trial occurred.  However, these are the times when we need to turn to Him even more.  God will take even a bad situation and make something good of it.  That could be the people you meet and impact as a result, it could be the character you develop through the process.  It could even be the experience you gain that allows you to consult others in the future through the same process.  Lean on Him no matter what.
  2. Another possibility is to force you to change.  Perhaps God has better plans for you in another career and until you get out of your current one, you just won’t be open to hear it.  Much like the early church.  At first they were comfortable staying close to Jerusalem to build the church among other Jews.  But Jesus had told them to go further.  So the intense persecution of the early Christians forced them to scatter.  As a result, Christians found themselves in surrounding nations and beyond.  The Word continue to spread as Jesus had commanded it.
  3. Still other challenges that come your way could be God’s way of getting your attention, like giant waves crashing over the boat that Jonah was in.  Until you have yourself thrown overboard, He can’t send a giant fish to “rescue” you.
  4. There’s also the chance that this experience is designed to convict you of your own weakness so you can become humble, like David being convicted of all the events following his affair with Bathsheba.

What ever the cause to your current circumstances, one thing that will help you through the mess is perspective.  This is where I come to my verse of the day.

My wife and I face struggles daily with the kids we adopted.  Some of those challenges are just the normal challenges of kids their age (we’ve been there before with our other two).  But some are a result of the trauma they faced before we were blessed with their addition to our home.  Some of these challenges seem small while others can seem to consume us at times.  But this verse really helps me to put it all into perspective.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth”  3 John 1:4

This is so true.  My youngest son is often a significant struggle for us, but the fact is… he IS walking in the truth.  He knows the most important thing in life is that we are Christians.  And hearing his own definition of what that means tells me that he gets it.  When the neighbor girl asked him what being a “Christian” meant, his answer was simple (and perfect for an 8 yr old).  “It means that we Love Jesus and believe in the Gospels”.

Yes.  I have no greater joy than that!!!


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