Tuesday, November 29, 2022

           Most of us would likely say that trials are not fun.  Life’s battles are usually not enjoyable.  We might compare trials and battles to some of our most dreaded experiences or encounters in life.  But we can count on the reality of trials and battles.  No one is immune.  There is no shield that will insulate us from battles or trials.  James wrote about trials in the opening chapter of his New Testament letter.  He said that trials have some value and pay some good dividends.  We read, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).  James helps us to reframe our perspective about trials.  We learn some important truths to remember when we go through trials.
            First, we will face trials.  James used the word “whenever.”  Trials are a matter of “when” and not “if.”  Most folks fall into one of three camps—going into a trial, in the middle of a trial or emerging from a trial.  We live in a fallen world.  We are sinful ourselves.  Life is not an exercise in fairness or goodness.  We are often surrounded by trials that trip us and ensnare us.  So, James wants us to be prepared.
            Second, trials can lead to joy.  How?  Well, trials can lead to some good things in life—perseverance, faith, maturity, completeness in your walk with the Lord and your service to Him.  God works in trials and through trials.  We often learn more in and through adversity than prosperity.  Trials often put a spotlight on our hearts and minds so we can see where we stand and where God might like us to go.  We can look back after a trial has passed and celebrate what we have gained and where God was at work.
            Third, we can experience God in richer ways through trials.  Let’s face it, if life were perfect, we would probably not seek the Lord very often or walk with Him very closely.  We can take huge steps forward in our relationship with God through trials and battles. We delve into His Word.  We fall before Him in prayer.  We ask others to pray for us and we welcome their intercessions.  Trials can reveal the kind of root system that our faith has and whether we are building and living on the right foundations. 
            Fourth, trials lead to perseverance.  You develop some spiritual toughness and tenacity.  This perseverance to the end enables you to share what you have learned with others.  You can testify to God’s goodness and power.  You can tell others about how God provided for you and led you through the trial.  Sadly, the sidelines of life are littered with believers who have been tripped up by the enemy or who have dropped out of the race of faith.  Do not join them.  Trust God to see you through these trials and battles.  Let him be your strength.  Perseverance leads to maturity and completion in faith.  When we press on, we are blessed by all that God has for us.  We never want to miss a single blessing or expression of grace that God has for us.  Do not let the enemy trick you into thinking that sitting down or leaving the race is the way to go or the easy way out.  Stay in the race and let God show His power in the midst of your trials.  Have a great Tuesday and remember you can worship anytime at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.

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