We began this Living So That chapter with Wendy Blight reminding us that “circumstances come into our lives that destroy everything we know to be good and true.” For Wendy it was being raped shortly after graduating from college. For others it is the loss of a spouse, a child, a tornado, a fire, a chronic illness, and today even tragedies like 9/11. We can find ourselves in a lost place, in a valley, with wave after wave crashing in on us. Have you ever been there? Do you sometimes just want to give up?
We can be in a sea of troubles and crashing waves, but I am reminded of the story in Matthew 8 where Jesus calmed the seas. Storms in our lives are mighty with mighty waves like the storm that day, but there is one that is mightier than any storm.
One of my favorite parts of the chapter was when Wendy said “God allows trials for many reasons. Sometimes He needs to refine us to make us more like Him. Sometimes He seeks to strengthen our faith. And sometimes another person may need to see Christ’s character demonstrated in us in order to grow his or her own faith. one promise of which we can be certain….when we respond to trials with faith and trust God will use our suffering for good, and it will point people to God and bring glory to Him.”
“It’s not the trial itself that we consider a joy. Rather the results that will come from the trial are what we consider pure joy”. pg 153
Sometimes trials come because of our sinful nature, our pride, responding in ways we shouldn’t. Our words can cause many trials in our lives with others.
Sometimes our trials come as a result of God authoring them for a purpose and that is to refine us. Our faithfulness will point others toward Christ.
We have a choice when trials come. We can either “count it all joy”, obeying God, walking confidently through them and being God’s vessels, or we can allow Satan to get a stronghold and devour us like a lion.