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,
Have you ever had the joy of leading someone to Christ? Remember the joy as you prayed for and with someone who was calling out on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness, salvation, and a new life? Then the joy of watching that new believer grow up in the things of our Lord into maturity. I tell you there is nothing like it.
We are still setting the introduction of the Book of Philippians before diving into chapter one. I wanted us to see how Paul came about being there are starting the new church and the joy Paul had in seeing that young church mature in the Lord. The group of believers in Philippi may have been Paul’s first converted group in Europe which is recorded in Acts 16:6-40. He had the joy of seeing them come to Christ and then he watched as they grew up in the things of God.
Acts 16:12-13 ESV and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. (13) And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together.
It would seem that the woman Lydia was his first convert, who continued to play an important role in the church after Paul left Philippi.
Acts 16:14-15 ESV One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. (15) And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." And she prevailed upon us.
However, many times the joy of seeing someone come to Christ is followed by persecution for preaching the Gospel of Christ. Paul and Silas were imprisoned in Philippi for casting out demons from the fortune-telling woman who practiced divination. The imprisoned two were supernaturally delivered and they ended up speaking the gospel message to everyone in the prison including the jailer.
Acts 16:22-23 ESV The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. (23) And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely.
Acts 16:29-32 ESV And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. (30) Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (31) And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." (32) And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.
This proves that if we rejoice even in our darkest hour, God will turn our mourning into dancing and joy.
Psalms 30:11-12 ESV You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, (12) that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
Jeremiah 31:13 ESV Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.