We all have trials.
Some of us even share secret trials that no one else knows.
Some of you are struggling through the deepest sorrows like death, hurting marriages or terminal illness.
And our family has trials too, beyond this one of reliving the nightmare and losing part of our house after losing it such a short time ago.
But this trial is quite visible and surreal and I’m so thankful how trials make us search intently for the truth, because if we don’t, our minds take us to a dangerous place of faulty, human logic.
Of course some trials are the results of our making wrong choices. But many others are just part of life that Scripture tells us are extremely helpful. So helpful, in fact, that we should welcome them, not be surprised by them, and even rejoice in them!
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
As humans, it’s normal to experience fear and anxiety and sorrow. In the big scheme of our present trial, losing a roof is a small thing. Insurance will pay for it, the Body of Christ has been there, just as before, to meet our every need, and we will move on.
But there are no words to describe the emotional trauma–the overwhelming terror of the whole thing as it played out–and continues to repeat in my mind in an unguarded moment, and I’m not sure yet, about all the implications of that for our family for the future. It is a nightmare I wish did not exist in my memory and for me, that’s the much bigger trial now.
But as Christians, we can move from those things into joy and peace, knowing that God is doing something bigger than our circumstances.
I love what Matthew Henry says of this verse:
“The devil endeavors by sufferings and crosses to draw men to sin and to deter them from duty, or unfit them for it; but, as our afflictions are in God’s hand, they are intended for the trial and improvement of our graces. The gold is put into the furnace, that it may be purified.”
The testing of our faith produces steadfastness. Yes! I want to be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord”. And so, we say, “Thank you, Lord, for the trials, for how You change us through them.”
Praying for you to find joy in your deepest trial, to be able to look beyond the day and rejoice in what He’s doing for your tomorrow. May you know His steadfast love–that same steadfastness that He is working out in you.