Tuesday, December 07, 2010

On Trials

God’s blessings don’t always come in nicely wrapped packages to healthy people, but as a bowl of broth to a dying man. He blesses amidst pain.

If we didn’t know that every additional trial was ordained by an infinitely loving God, what hope would we have? If we didn’t know every additional trial was our greatest good, what hope would we have? If we didn’t know that every additional trial was ordained by a sovereign God who deemed us fit to suffer for his name sake, what hope would we have? If we didn’t know that every additional trial was only a part of a masterfully crafted plan to maximize our joy and give God the greatest glory, what hope would we have? We would have none.

If, in the midst of trials, we allow our eyes only to be glued to the immanent things to come and to never gaze into what we have in eternity, we will meet fear and despair face to face every time. If the eyes of our heart are not faithfully trained to simply gaze into the face of our savior while the goings are good, don’t believe for a moment that when God brings a trial, brings pain and affliction, into our lives we will find solace in him. If our eyes are cast down, fixed on what we see, when there is no pain, they will remain there when there is. The eyes of our heart must be fixed looking up if we hope to have peace in times of strife.

Nothing but the character and promises of God will calm the seas of a tumultuous soul. Nothing but a sight of the glory of our risen savior will bring true peace to our hearts. But we mustn’t wait until we are in the midst of a trial to behold the glory of Christ in Scripture. For if we wait it will be too late to bring lasting peace to our soul. True rest in the midst of a trial comes from faithfully beholding the glory of Christ in Scripture before you are put through the furnace. It comes from knowing and loving the character of your God before you see what he has ordained for your life. For a Christian who has beheld glory will realize that his present conditions has never been the means by which he received his joy, it was only in beholding Christ. We must be content with our present condition, but be satisfied in Christ alone. When you lack joy in the midst of pain, know that these positions have been switched.

We must rest in the character of our God. We must rest in the promises of our God. The assurance of a promise is only to the degree of immutability of the promise giver. And, oh, how immutable is our God! Our God “is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).” He has promised to work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). He has promised to never withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11)-the trial is the best thing for us. He has promised that there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”(Romans 8:1)- the trial is a divine grace. God has promised that he is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.” He has promised to do all of this-and he will. Upon this rock will we stand.

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