April 18, 2009

Peace Amidst Trials

God's word is so timely. After six trying months of Jimmy's joblessness due to the global economic meltdown, it feels as though we've been put through the ringer. As God would have it I teach tomorrow on Romans chapter five which focuses on the reasons we have to rejoice, even amidst great trials. Let's take a peek.

Reason #1 - We have peace with God! Romans 5:1 "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ..." When we have peace with God, that God-sized hole planted deep within each of us is satisfied, making us complete, content, and quiet in spirit.

Reason #2 - Trials prompt spiritual growth. Romans 5:3-5 "...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." 

Trials offer 3 spiritual benefits:
  1. Perseverance: The opposite of panic and the thing we all respect and honor in others. God desires this quality in each of His children as well. It is the supernatural fuel that enables us to withstand any and all trials that comes our way.
  2. Character: Learning to trust God during the most pressing times. Joseph is a perfect example of a man with godly character. While in Egypt he experienced false imprisonment and false accusations, yet amidst his trials he grew closer to God and in the end was exalted by both God and men.
  3. Hope: Faith against the odds. Trials in life will either snuff out your faith or kindle a new fire. The choice is ours and hinges on how we choose to view our challenges and respond to them. Viewing them as opportunities to grow brings victory every time.
David called his trials by name and noted God's deliverance,"The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:37) Isn't it interesting that rather than wearing him down, David's challenges served to strengthen his faith? Choosing to view them as opportunities to see the hand of God move in his life, the "lions" and "bears" energized him for the next trial. Now, this is what you and I need girly girl!      

So, what lion or bear is threatening you and how are you viewing them? Through the perspective of a victim or the eyes of victor? Thanks to Christ we have peace with God and victory over any trial we face here on earth. With this in mind we have great reason to rejoice. May we lift our eyes to Jesus and what He has done for us and rejoice in the glory of God who lives and dwells in our future home...heaven!


Cheryl Barker said...

I learned a new way to say perseverance over on Annette's blog this week --persedangverance. Love that word :) Have been waiting for an opportunity to use it :)

I pray that your husband is able to find a job soon. So many are being affected by this economy. Someone in our family recently lost a job, too -- boy, that's when it really hits home...

katiegfromtennessee said...

Mrs. Nancy, this lesson is timely for me...I need perseverance badly. The Lord is good to work with me and strengthen me no matter what I am facing...



Abba's Girl said...

Timely post for me. Thank you sweet sister!