Friday, November 26, 2010

Trials or Opportunites?

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love." Romans 5:3-5 NLT

Have you ever experience someone--that is trying to be kind and supportive--come up and say to you as you are going through a trial, "Now remember, God doesn't give you more than you can handle."?

Is that true? Of course, at the time, you don't feel like it's true. You feel like what you are experiencing is waaaaay over your head. That you are totally not prepared to handle this trial. That somehow, God has you mixed up with your neighbor who could probably handle this.

Sometimes, God does give us more than we can handle. And He does it on purpose. Not to punish us. Not because He is mad at us. Not because you are a bad person. Not because He is trying to pick on you.

No. Sometimes God, in His love for us, gives us more that we can handle. What!? Whatever for? Why would a loving and gracious Father do that to His child?

He does it to help us to grow in character. To drive us to our knees and seek His face and heart with our heart and spirit. To us, what we are going through may be a very big thing in our world, but in the scheme of things, it is not so.

For as we see that the Lord will help us through all our trials and tribulations, what naturally happens? For one, we become stronger. Not only in character, but in spirit and faith. Secondly, our trust in our Heavenly Father just leaped to the next level. And thirdly, what an example to the people in our path. Isn't that what happened with Job? How about the martyrs? The apostles? Jesus. When others see your faith deepen and strengthen during trials instead of cursing or turning away from your faith--what a witness!

When you are there, in the midst of your trial, are you alone? No. Of course not. Your heavenly Father loves and values you too much for that. You can be sure, He will equip you with the third person of the Trinity--the Holy Spirit.

Doesn't it seem like tradition for us humans to bond with others as we go through an life experience together. Cancer survivors. Losing a loved one. Financial despair. If we have shared the process at the same time with someone--they become our forever friend. We feel like we have a special bond with that person. Well, the same goes with our Heavenly Father. As we go through an event with Him, and He is there for us to cling to. To share the tears with. To give us the warm, encouraging, safe-harbour hugs to--we are bonded forever.

Our God is an awesome God! Be encouraged!

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