Trust in Time of Trial
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28.
The Christian’s hope does not rest upon the sandy foundation of feeling. Those who act from principle will behold the glory of God beyond the shadows, and rest upon the sure word of promise. They will not be deterred from honoring God however dark the way may seem. Adversity and trial will only give them an opportunity to show the sincerity of their faith and love. When depression settles upon the soul, it is no evidence that God has changed. He is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). You are sure of the favor of God when you are sensible of the beams of the Sun of Righteousness; but if the clouds sweep over your soul, you must not feel that you are forsaken. Your faith must pierce the gloom. . . . The riches of the grace of Christ must be kept before the mind. Treasure up the lessons that His love provides. Let your faith be like Job’s, that you may declare, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). Lay hold on the promises of your heavenly Father and remember His former dealing with you and with His servants, for “all things work together for good to them that love God.”
The most trying experiences in the Christian’s life may be the most blessed. The special providences of the dark hours may encourage the soul in future attacks of Satan, and equip the servant of God to stand in fiery trials. The trial of your faith is more precious than gold. You must have that abiding confidence in God that is not disturbed by the temptations and arguments of the deceiver. Take the Lord at His word. . . .
It is faith that familiarizes the soul with the existence and presence of God, and when we live with an eye single to His glory we discern more and more the beauty of His character. Our souls become strong in spiritual power, for we are breathing the atmosphere of heaven and realizing that God is at our right hand. . . . We should live as in the presence of the Infinite One.
That I May Know Him p. 257
—–This morning I’m going in for surgery on my left hand. It is a bit more complicated than simple carpel tunnel. They are going to remove some arthritis and bone at the same time. It should dramatically improve the use of my hand. The surgery is scheduled about 8:30. I ask for your prayers. Shari
I bought Ronnie Jay’s first gerbil when he was eight years old. It was a “spur of the moment” decision made as I was walking by a pet store and saw the cutest black and white baby gerbil in the window. Ronnie Jay was delighted! He played with the creature for hours each day. That first one lived to be nearly five which is very old in gerbil years. (The average lifespan in captivity is a year and a half.)
To soothe Ronnie Jay’s sadness at the death of his pet, we went that day and bought another one. I’ve lost count as to how many he has had over the years until he remarked that he guessed he was too old to enjoy playing with gerbils like he had when he was younger. Other interests, the pressures of college life, etc. had kept him from fully enjoying the tiny rodent. I knew how he felt. I had stopped playing with them once I started working full time.
Each of those little rodents had some common traits that amused us the most. The way they would eat M&M’s never ceased to make us giggle. When given one of these coated chocolate candies, they would carefully shell it and eat the chocolate inside. Not one of the gerbils he had had would eat the outside of the candy. They must have thought that the candy coating was the shell of a very sweet seed. They approached life in the way they had been taught, even though it did not make sense when eating a sweet treat.
How often we react in the same way. Our thought patterns, our actions, our words are largely developed by what others have taught us and from life’s experiences. They do not always make sense, but we stick to them because they are familiar. So it is when we approach God’s Holy Word. How many times we open its pages with our mind closed by preconceived ideas. As we read, we attempt to fit the scripture to what we have been taught instead of letting the Bible interpret itself.
Isaiah gives us the secret of Bible study: “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” Isa 28:10 Paul adds, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1 Cor 2:12, 13
Truly allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us will cost us something. It will cost us our preconceived ideas, the fleeting pleasures of sin, sometimes it will even cause us to be hated by those we love. Yet it is worth giving up all for the One Who loves us so. Jesus told a parable to illustrate this fact. “The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Matt 13:44-46
May we set aside all preconceived ideas and follow a “thus sayeth the Lord”. May our Dear Saviour control our thoughts, our words, our actions, as well as our study of the Scriptures. May we, each day, “study to show [ourselves] approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth” is my prayer.