My brothers and sisters, think of the various tests you encounter as occasions for joy. After all, you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let this endurance complete its work so that you may be fully mature, complete, and lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4, Common English Bible).
I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity C.S. Lewis.
Today, I write for me. I hope you get something from it too, but I write for me. You see, I have a trial coming up this week. I am not going into the nature of my trials, but, for me it will be a trial. It is something I have experienced before. Just because I know what is coming, it doesn’t settle the apprehensions I have.
Trials are an inevitable part of life. No one ever promised life would be easy. No one said life would be easy. Difficulties will happen, for all of us.
For many, there is a thought that when we become Christian, the trials and difficulties of life will go away. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some of the things we may have included in our lives without thinking about them become huge temptations. Things we did without thinking become issues requiring a great deal more thought.
When the trials do come, we are tempted to ask, “Why me, Lord?” I had a church member many years ago who fought a long battle with cancer. He would ask, “Why me?” until one day the thought occurred to him, “Why not me? What makes me so special that I shouldn’t have to go through this?” He also said that in that moment of clarity that he could be a witness to God’s goodness, even during the most difficult times life presents to us. And, that he was. I will never forget Don or his courageous witness. Cancer may have won the battle, but faith won the war.
In my days ahead this week I need to remember Don and his witness. What I face, though unpleasant to me, is nothing by comparison. I need to remember James’ words to look at this trial as an occasion for joy. Once completed, I will be stronger for having done it.
C.S. Lewis’ words also come to mind. It is not God’s function to take away all in life that makes me uncomfortable just because of my faith. I need to remember to allow God the room to use the event to strengthen my faith.
I also need to remember the words of my favorite hymn.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
This day, it is well, it is well with my soul. Further, when all is said, done and over with this week, it will be well once again. It will be well with my soul.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Grace and Peace,
Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved