Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Problems Have Purpose

Chuckle: “More than ever before, Americans are suffering from back problems -- back taxes, back rent, back auto payments.” --Robert Orben
Good Quote: “Quit thinking that tomorrow your problems will go away and life will begin in earnest. The Lord is waiting to help you cope today if you will lay your human-size needs at his divine feet.” --Paul H. Dunn

" . . . . because you know that the testing of your faith develops (produces) perseverance (endurance)" (James 1:3 NIV).
Someone has said that Christians are like tea-bags -- you can't really tell what's inside until you drop them into hot water! Problems in a Christian's life are like a test -- like purifying metals in the fire. How we handle problems is an indicator of how real/genuine our faith is. Job said in 23:10 NIV: "When he has tested me, I will come forth as purified gold." Trials will help us to mature in several ways.
Trials solidify our faith. It's during these difficulties that our faith is purified and we become solid Christians. When everything is going well, it's easy to praise God and be thankful. However, difficult times reveal who we really are. A faith that is never tested is suspect, but a faith that has endured the testing of trials becomes beautiful and inspirational to others needing encouragement in their faith.
Trials teach us patience. "Testing produces endurance or perseverance." Trials teach us to hang in there without wavering. Endurance literally means to keep on staying even under extreme pressure. Just keep on trusting God even when there is no obvious answer. "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" (Job 13:15 NIV).
Trials build character. God set us apart as his special possession when we placed our faith in Jesus Christ, and he desires that our character reflects a unique dependence on him. "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:4 NIV). When you pass the test by enduring, you become a more mature Christian. Remember, God's purpose is to make us like Jesus. In His life on earth, Jesus became fatigued, hurt, rejected, and endured extreme pain and heartache. As we learn to be like Jesus during trials, we will always trust God and stay true to Him. God wants to make us like Jesus by:
1. His Word. How often do you spend time prayerfully reading and studying God's Word, in the power of the Holy Spirit, looking for answers in your times of trials and difficult problems?
2. Circumstances. You may say, "God, I'm doing my best to live for you, follow you, and make you Lord of my life. Why am I going through this trial?" God may be taking you through a crash course in growing up, spiritually. He may be teaching you to trust Him completely even in the most difficult of times.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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