Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter
various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And
let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking in nothing.
 James 1:2-4
A familiar passage of Scripture greets us today. It seems that we all have
enough troubles on every side, don’t we? As I think about the depth and
severity of the “various trials” we encounter it is very easy to
become depressed and morose.
Our world is in trouble financially and in an even greater crisis our
world is in trouble spiritually. Our country is also dangling on the edge of
disaster with our economy crumbling, and the threat of socialism becoming more
of a reality. Add to this is far left liberal politicians that desire unchecked
power and I would say we have a major catastrophe waiting in the wings.
What sort of trials will we endure as a nation? Will we lose personal
liberties and come under greater persecution from those elements that want to
remove “In God We Trust” and “So help me God” from our
national language? It could happen, for the forces of evil are mounting a
enormous offense against God and His people.
Yet, God is on the throne. God is sovereign, and all that comes to pass
will be an unfolding of His plan, determined before the foundations of the
world were set in place. These trials will indeed develop perseverance among
God’s people. It will help us to see who is of us, and who is not.
1 John 1:19 – They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if
they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went
out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
This is in reference to those who claimed to be believers, but were really
not regenerate. They were speaking lies and heresy regarding the Gospel and
Christ. We could also make application to those who, when things get tough and
hardships come abandon their faith. These are people with shallow faith and no
foundation in biblical truth. It is the stuff that dangerous emotional
decisions for Christ are made of.
Trials are intended to weaken us in our humanity and strengthen us
spiritually. Never am I so weak as when all that I count on in life is shaken.
When my earthly comforts and pleasures are stricken and threatened, and when I
feel as though I am alone.
God is carefully whittling us down during those times of loss when it
seems as though the ground were removed from beneath our feet. He does not want
us to count on ourselves, or our friends, or any device of mankind. Our great
and glorious God is taking us lower and lower to the place where there is
nothing other than Him. He removes kings and sets them up (Dan.2:20-22), and
gives and takes away(Job 1:21). It is all with a purpose, it is all
intentional. There is no other time when I am stripped so naked and so
When I am done “solving” the problem and I throw up my hands to
heaven in surrender our God simply rejoices.
Trials are intended to remind us that God keeps us. You have heard me say
this before because it bears repeating! Once, I was so distressed at
circumstances I was ready to walk away from God. Surely, had He not been
keeping me I would have walked away in those hours. I would have walked away
from all that I know and believe in my soul to be truth. I had to ask myself,
if I walk away from this, from Him what else is there?! I knew there
was nothing- but in those hours of black, horrible despair as I wrestled with
my circumstances I realized I truly could not walk away from God. I could not
because HE would not allow it. I was reminded over and over of this passage:
But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator…And He who formed
you…”Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name;
you are Mine! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you When you walk through the
fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. “For I
am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;… “Since
you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you…”
Isaiah 43:1-4 (not in context)
It was He who was holding on to me, He who reminded me over and over of
His love in spite of how it all appeared to be. He showed much mercy that night
for He could have struck me dead for my treasonous heart. He put His
overwhelming grace on display as He waited me out and reminded me that though I
thought I was leaving, He had never let go.
In this way, trials are to prove to us that once found we cannot be lost,
and once bought we will never be given away. We have been bought at great price
my friends… Oh the matchless and wonderful grace of God!