5/31/2011

Trial by Faith

1Peter 1:6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
 8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. (NLT)

I admit, this scripture scares me a little bit. Though I want my faith to be strong and mountain-moving, I am reluctant to walk right into faith-building trials with open arms of joy! I hear about what some Christians have had to endure in this life and the pain is unfathomable to me. Would I survive the heart-rending pain of loss?

The scripture about God giving us only what we can handle is not referring to trials, necessarily. (1 Corinthians 10:13) It is referring to how we shall be tempted. I suppose you could apply it to the temptation to lose faith amidst trials and in that case God wouldn't allow so much that we wouldn't be able to see Him through the pain. But I have heard people refer to 1 Corinthians 10:13 as "God never gives us more than we can handle," meaning suffering. But I think God always gives us more than we can handle, or rather He allows it. I think He allows it on purpose to show us we can handle nothing without Him and everything with Him. Satan is after us incessantly waiting for his opening to hit us in our weakest areas. God uses the enemy's attacks as a way to make us skilled in battle. It is always more than we can handle and therefore God always gets the glory. He provides the way to bear up under temptation and He provides the comfort and strength to make it through whatever tragedies life throws at us. We could never handle it alone.

So I suppose I shouldn't be so scared of the 1 Peter 1:6 scripture. When I lose sight of reality because of the powerful illusion all around me, that's when I fear the abrupt change or the sudden shock of bad news and tragedy. LORD, help me keep my perspective and see beyond the creature comforts You've provided to the real reason I am here: to do Your will. May I embrace all of my trials according to the faith You are building in me. Even if I do receive greater honor for applying that faith, may You get it all back from me in adoration. Thank You for letting me be a part of Your bigger picture. Thank You, Jesus.


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