Lately I have been looking around at my friends and seeing that they have been having troubles. I’ve seen marriages struggling, people unable to find jobs, deaths in the family (my own as well) and mission trips that don’t seem that they will get funded. It’s amazing how much has gone on over the last few months of this year but it really made me think as well. I used to lead a small group for high school girls and used to deal with all sorts of questions such as ” Does being a Christian mean that there will be no troubles in your life?”.
When we come to Christ it usually focused on the forgiveness of sin and the change of your life. The decision changes your whole life and in most peoples life it makes everything feel rosy for a while. However at some point we come across some sort of troubles or challenges to our faith. At this point some people walk away from God because they thought that when they came to Christ meant that they would have no troubles or depending on the troubles that someone faces (death) they can’t deal with a God that would allow for such things to happen.
Over the last few years I’ve seen people walk away from the faith because they have had problems in their life and it truly made me ask what the Bible has to say about this. 1st Peter tells us “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you”. James 1:2 tells us “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds”. Between these two verses alone it tells us that we can expect to have trials in our lifetime on Earth but also that as Christians we are to look at the trials with eyes of joy.
Why do we have to face such trials in our lifetimes though? Roman 5:2-5 answers this very well: “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”.
Our trials grow us. They teach us about ourselves, God and faith. It is a fire that our faith is hardened in that produces those of great faith. He also provides for ways to face our trials so that we may grow and not fall back in our faith. 1Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it”.
Well if we know that we are going to face these trials and temptations then why should we not be worried? James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him”. God promises that those who stay strong under these trials will receive the blessing that God had promised to us as Christians. Romans 12:12 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
When we are Christians we expect the world to have changed or that because we are in His fold that we will never face hard times again. In reality though the world has not changed but us. We have accepted the Lord of all creation into our hearts and we have changed while the world has not. The world is just the same as before but you are not. So hold fast in your trials and pray to God. You will make it through and given high reward from Him.
What verses do you use to get through trials?