Trials, deprivation and persecution are so beneficial that we should thank God for them.
There is a strange paradox in the scriptures: that trials, deprivation, and persecution are so beneficial that we should thank God for them. We should gladly accept them rather than resist them and complain.
Do you know anyone rejoicing through a trial?Maybe it’s not you or me, but it’s common with men and women of God in the scriptures. They teach us how to behave when hard times hit. To behave differently, we must think differently. Let’s recategorize ‘Hardship’ as ‘Blessing’. Ironically then, much of the pain subsides. We see the upside; its purpose and result – both good. People of God, who knew bigtime trials, even martyrdom, wrote these scriptures:
James 1:2: ‘Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing* of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.’
1 Peter 1:6-7: ‘In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.‘
1 Peter 4:12-14: ‘Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you. But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of
glory and of God rests upon you.’
1 Thessalonians 5:18: ‘In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.’
Romans 8:28: ‘We know that all things work for good for those who love God,* who are called according to his purpose.’
Romans 8:35-39: ‘What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? As it is written: “For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things,* nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth,* nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
Acts 14:22: ‘They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” Love God; be busy with His purpose. Then EVERYTHING combines for good. It doesn’t feel like it, but scripture is Truth. Accepting it is ‘living by every word from the mouth of God’. We also support others through trials – to accept the hardship as a blessing. The result: Enter the Kingdom of God. If trials are necessary, they must be
good for us.
Author: Joe Cox
Photo Credit: cathopic.com