Saturday, March 22, 2014

Why Trials?

Trials are hardships that try our faith.  Have you had some hardships that tried your faith?  It would be a rare person that could say no they haven't.  Trials are allowed for several different reasons and so I thought it would be good to see what some of these reasons are.

Remember the story of Abraham and Isaac, how God told Abraham to offer up his only son as a sacrifice and Abraham was willing to do it even though there was heartache involved and Isaac was a willing sacrifice.  You can read about it in Genesis 22.  How God tested his faith and supplied a bullock for the sacrifice instead of Isaac.  That would be a terrible test of faith.  But Abraham loved God enough to trust Him with his only son.

1 Peter 1:6-9  "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tested by fire; may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love, though now you do not see Him, yet believing , you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls."  Trials come to test the genuineness of our faith and bring glory to God and in the end the salvation of our own souls.

James 1:2,3  "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."  Trials help us to produce patience, which most of us can use a lot of, right?

Psalms 66:10  "For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as sliver is refined."  The refining process is not always a pleasant thing but the end results is purity, isn't that so with silver?  It is the same with us, we just need to understand the love behind it all.

Trials are hardships to try our faith.  We don't like trials or hardships, do we?  I don't and I am pretty sure that most people don't, but there are reasons for them and if we understand the reasons, maybe, just maybe we can thank God for them.  What do you think?  Is it possible to appreciate trials?  That's a hard question, isn't it?  Remember the Bible story of Abraham and Isaac, and how God spoke to Abraham and asked him to offer up his only son Isaac as an offering on the altar.  Abraham didn't question God and Isaac was a willing sacrifice and when God saw Abraham's faith, He provided a ram in the thicket in place of Isaac.  Do you think Abraham wanted to do that?  Do you think he was glad that he obeyed God's command?  I think he was and God blessed Abraham abundantly for his faithfulness.  Will He bless us for our faithfulness?  You can find this story in Genesis 22.  A good story of faith to read.

Psalms 66:10  "For You, O God, have tested us, You have refined us as silver is refined."  Testing us with
trials refines us as it purifies silver, it purifies us.

James 1:2,3  "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."  When our faith is tested, it should produce patience.  I need patience, do you?  I think we can all use more patience, so when our faith is tested we can praise God for helping us have more patience.  Hard to do?  Yes, but necessary for our own souls.

1 Peter 4:12,13  "Beloved , do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy."

We can thank God for the trials because after all is said and done, we will be a much better person than before.  Isn't that right?  No one likes trials but think of it this way, do you think Jesus liked the trials He was put through?  A crown of thorns on His head, spit in His face, slapped in the face and flogged twice with His back lacerated terribly, and then a heavy cross put on His bleeding back?  I don't think He 'liked' it but I think His thoughts were thoughts of love and joy for those who would be saved because of His sacrifice.

Maybe someone will see you go through a severe trial and be blessed by how you came through it.  Maybe they will be in the kingdom because of your witness to them.  We never know how others will be affected by how we come through our trials and hardships, I pray that I will be a good witness to those around me.  Grandma Joan

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