We left off with the notes from Dr Stanley’s wonderful sermon on the TRIALS of LIFE. I don’t pretend to be a preacher or to even get all my notes right but I do pray that what I write tonight would make you understand that everything you go through has a purpose. He further expanded on that today and I hope to get to it tomorrow.
- First question: What is the right thing to do in the light of my past circumstances?
- Second question: What is the right thing to do in my present circumstances?
- Third question: What is the right thing to do in the future as far as my goals?
- Fourth question: What would God have me do in this situation?
We need wisdom to discern the source of our trials. If we don’t figure that out, then we won’t know how to respond. And it is so important to respond in obedience, recognizing His Lordship, recognizing His Character, etc. If we don’t respond correctly there can be negative results and we will miss the blessing of understanding who God is and how He operates. (Pretty heavy duty stuff, huh?)
- The testing of faith is important because it is unreliable until it is tested and it grows as it is tested. Tested Devotion
- Purifying our life is “what are you saying to me, Lord”. Pain purifies
- Providing God an opportunity to show Himself strong in our lives. Is a Witness
- Produce Christlike appearance and here is where my verse came in again. Comfort others as I was comforted
And then there was just a little more…I need wisdom to discern the proper response to my trials–which would be the result–the benefit. God says in James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. To do that, you need to know trials will upset you if you value comfort more than the comforter. That if you value material and physical things more, you won’t be able to count it all joy (James 1:2-4) Count it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. God is in control of time and intensity of the trial. He has special purposes for allowing it. It is designed for a special need in my life. All of this is part of His equipping me to do His work.
Now I just know that many, many of you are saying “Cindy are you not the girl who asks why sometimes? Who rails against the circumstances?” Absolutely I am. Why do you think I was so very compelled to go to hear this message?? And now as I look at my past year, even more, I see the heavy, heavy trials we have gone through, physically, financially, emotionally and I think I am so sorry that I am so stubborn and thick-headed that God couldn’t deal with me any other way to get me to where I am today. Not that I am through all my trials, I am not. I know that some things will be with me, life long. but this message struck deep into my heart. It was certainly my Father speaking to me saying “relax and let me really take over what’s going on! Remember I am the one in charge and everything comes through my fingertips before it gets to you!” You see the “giving over” is a daily, sometimes moment by moment thing. It is so easy to go, willy, nilly out on our own, just being caught up in the moment and suddenly, well, I do anyway, realize, I am out here on my own, doing my own thing, not HIS thing.
so that’s my story right now. I am excited about what God is doing in me, period. Because even though others might look at me and say “poor dear.” I say, I am counting it all joy!!