Sunday, January 6, 2013

Faith Made Stronger Through Trials

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:  -I Peter 1:6, 7 (KJV)

This is a difficult time of year for countless people.  The days are shorter, sunshine is minimal, and the cold air can just about cut you in half.  If you are anything like me you may find yourself longing for spring and the warmer, longer, brighter days it brings.  The Bible speaks of being in heaviness because of many trials and difficulties.  Often times our problems and struggles hang over us like the bleak days of winter.  We have a choice to make; we can surrender or we can rise up and move forward.  As I have said many times, faith moves us forward, but fear holds us back.  Christ calls us to arise, not in our strength, but in His power and face the challenges before us.  I know from personal experience that avoiding our problems only makes them worse.  Facing them head-on makes us stronger in the end.

No doubt you are going through many challenges and difficulties right now.  The trials we encounter can begin to pile up in our lives leaving us feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.  The promise of God is that in Him there is hope and strength.  The Lord knows exactly what we are going through and He is willing to provide help in our time of need.  Have you ever heard someone say, “Someday we will look back on this and laugh?”  These days I often think, “Why wait until some uncertain time in the future to laugh about all the stress and problems I am facing?  Why not smile and laugh about it all right now?”  As difficult as this may sound, the Lord provides wonderful peace in the middle of life’s storms and when we trust the Lord completely we can smile and find joy right now rather than in some distant time that may or may not arrive.

The Word of God teaches in I Peter 1 that our faith, which is more precious than gold, is made stronger and even more valuable when tested.  Again, I understand how challenging this is, yet when we stop and realize that the difficulties we face will eventually make us stronger we begin to make sense out of it all.  Stronger faith equals greater peace, which makes for a happier, contented, more productive person. 

Do not give up, my friends, for the Lord is with us.  Walk forward today in faith, hope, and victory.

God bless you today.