Trials are never pleasant within themselves and sometimes difficult to process. Each trial carries its on degree of mental, emotional, financial, physical and relational pain, whether it's a personal sickness, the death of a loved one or some other personal trial. In facing trials we should do so like anything else, and that is we should begin with the end in mind. What should we expect to be changed in us on the other side of the trial?
The end result of trials should be that they produce faith, purity, Christ-likeness, and steadfastness within us. The path of trails is never easy to follow. This is the path that our Lord Jesus Christ calls all of His DISCIPLES to follow. This is the path of true OVERCOMERS. First I want to say that there are no shortcuts. We all have faced the same things, are facing the same things, or will face the same things. There is nothing new under the sun. However, some will fall away from the faith because of the trials, tribulations, and persecutions.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 ESV (12) Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (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.
Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 ESV (9) What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. (10) Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? It has been already in the ages before us.
We live in a society that tells us to get rid of pain and discomfort as soon as possible. We have a pill for almost anything that can attack the body, the mind, or the emotions. It is only “natural” to want to escape discomfort. But in life there is no real way of escape discomfort. Many have fooled themselves by wrapping their pain and discomfort up in a package of drugs, alcohol, sex, work, entertainment, family, or anything else that can used to “MEDICATE” the body, emotions, and thoughts.
Trials will come to the saved and to the lost person. Trials come to those who are Children of the Most High God and trials come to those who are children of the enemy. Our Lord Jesus said that God causes the rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous.
With that I can only leave us with this thought. ANYONE CAN COMPLAIN, IT DOES NOT TAKE TALENT TO COMPLAIN: we are called to REJOICE in and through our trials. We need to trust God that we stand through the trials so that we grow in faith, instead of seeking temporary relief as we seek to escape the trials. My new book "FAITHFUL?" addresses how to stand fast in the coming trials. Jesus was about to leave the disciples to go to a cruel cross to die. He spent a lot of time, which is recorded in John 16, preparing the disciples for His departure. The two areas that He keyed in on with the disciples were; (1) That they would not fall away from the faith and (2) That they would not be overcome with a sorrowful heart. Click link to order your copy and learn how to walk as an overcomer. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1650184034/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
James 1:2-3 ESV Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, (3) for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV (16) Rejoice always, (17) pray without ceasing, (18) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Romans 5:3 ESV Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
Life is about making choices. Some we make are good and some are bad. However, whether we make good or bad choices we need to guard our heart from being a victim or martyr to those choices and the struggles that come as a result of those choices. Some of the struggles from bad choices last years and years, long after the choices we have made. Such as a Christian woman marrying an unsaved man and then finds herself struggling with the decisions and lifestyle of her lost husband.
What can happen is our struggles, trials, and emotional depressions from our bad choices make us a victim or martyr and thus it becomes our identity. It is no longer what we chose or did, it is who we are.
Example: Debby and I have moved a lot and have lived in a lot of different States. Some of those choices were made by the jobs I had and some made by me. Some of the places we can say was definitely the will of God and some was the will of man. Debby and I must choose each day to live in the present with the presence of God and look forward to the future by His grace as overcomers. Otherwise we could use the current struggles generated from our past decisions as an excuse to be a martyr or victim, instead of the spiritual overcomers the Word of God calls us. We must not allow our struggles and trials from our past choices to become our identity.
The martyr or victim syndrome is based on if my current decisions or choices are made based on my unhealed past. Too many believers justify their current emotional, mental and spiritual condition on what decisions were made years ago. Over and over in our minds we struggle with the "What if" or "Only if" statements. Having been raised in a physical and verbal abusive alcoholic home, I went through this. What if I were born to different parents? Only if so and so had not happened to me? It took me over 8 years as a believer to deal with my past so that I no longer lived in it and used it to make excuses for my current emotional, mental and spiritual failures.
If I am currently struggling from my bad decisions or choices or the bad decisions and choices of others that affected me, then I can excuse my words, deeds, and thoughts as a victim to my past. If I am currently struggling from my past decisions or choices, or those of others that affected me, I can excuse my current words, deeds, and thoughts as me being a martyr to my past.
What would be the final outcome if I made the choice of walking as a martyr or victim of my past? FAITH starts being affected. Walking as a martyr or victim goes against the Word of God, therefore the Father will seek to correct us because we are His children. The correction process, which is in Heb.12, if not embraced and acted upon with a repentant heart will cause the heart to grow colder and callous.
Then there comes a drifting farther away. Then there comes a justification as to the spiritual condition. Then comes a moving away from or repositioning of one's self from those that maintain the integrity of God's Word and their Christian walk. Then there comes a deepening of the love for the world and the ways of the world and justifying it by calling it Christian liberty. Then there comes spiritual idolatry and adultery by going after the pagan ways of pagan gods. All of this because of us allowing the past to still drive the school bus of our thoughts and emotions.
Whatever our past, God's Word is true and heals. It took me 8 years to see the truth of it. We can roll those struggles of our past on the Lord Jesus Christ, place them under the blood, and choose to be an overcomer.
1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, (7) casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.