The Reason For Trials

Before facing a major trial, most Christians seem to believe they have a pretty good grasp on Romans 5:3-4 and could easily apply it to their lives when difficult times come. Then everything changes. In this verse Paul lists “tribulations” as one of the blessings of our salvation in Christ. The word “tribulation” refers to all kinds of trials which may press in upon us. This includes such things as financial or physical need, trying circumstances, the pressure of sorrow; sickness, persecution, mistreatment, or loneliness. In the midst of these afflictions, God’s grace enables us to seek His face more diligently and produces in us a persevering spirit and character that overcome the trials and troubles of life. Instead of driving us to despair and hopelessness, tribulation brings forth perseverance, perseverance brings forth proven character, and proven character results in a mature hope that will not be disappointed.

God’s grace enables us to look beyond our present problems to a fervent hope in God and a certain hope for the return of our Lord to establish righteousness and godliness in the new heaven and earth (1 Thessalonians 4:13; Revelation 19-22). In the meantime, while on this earth, we have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit in order to comfort us in our trials and bring Christ presence near (John 14:16-23).

You may experience the loss of a loved one, start having problems in your marriage, or get a phone call from the doctor saying, “You have cancer”. It’s in these moments that we often realize how weak we are… and those can be some dark times. But in these moments, we have a choice. We can turn our backs on Christianity, run from reality, or accept that our circumstances are from God. We have to persevere. We have to trust that God–Who knows the number of hairs on our head–cares enough about us to take care of us, no matter what. And we have to remind ourselves of that each morning.

Every day that we endure trials we grow in our abilities to persevere through difficult times. Persevering is something we’re commanded to do often in Scripture. So growing in perseverance is nothing to take lightly! Paul tells us that perseverance we gain from suffering also produces character. As we face our suffering and live through them, we become stronger people. We develop firm beliefs and we are reminded of our own strength. People who have endured suffering can be less easily swayed by the opinions of others. They can persevere through difficult moral conflicts and temptations because they have persevered through struggles. That’s a precious gift that each of us receives as we go through storms in our lives.

Finally, we are told that character produces hope. We have hope for the future and for each day because we know that our God is watching out for us. And Paul tells us this hope will not disappoint. All our suffering is ultimately producing a hope that is fulfilled every day in Jesus. There is nothing better for us to glory in!

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for using my suffering to make me more like Your Son. Help me to persevere, grow in my character, and find hope in You. Give me faith that You are building me into a better person through my trials. Thank you for Your grace when I fail. In Jesus name. Amen

How Important Is Your Faith?

How is important is faith? It takes faith to even believe in Christ. It takes faith to believe that what God says is always right and true and it takes faith to trust and walk in that everyday. However, if your faith doesn’t continue to grow in your relationship with Christ, then you won’t have the faith to see God’s Kingdom; not only in your life, but in the lives of those around you. If you don’t have faith for God to move, there’s a good chance you won’t be looking for anything to take place. Do you realize that the message of your life is what you spend your time, money, and energy on will scream how much faith (belief) you have put in Christ?

When we read all through the Gospels, we see how Jesus loved and always responded to anyone that had faith. He loved it! He loved it when those placed their full trust in Him (Matthew 8:5-13, Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 5:21-24, Luke 19:1-10). Also, what’s so amazing is that Jesus said you don’t even need a lot of faith. Jesus, in fact, said that just a little amount can move mountains. In other words, just a little faith can do amazing things in your life and in the lives of those around you. Jesus said our faith could be compared to a mustard seed. What’s interesting is that a mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds. But it is also a seed. A seed is worth more when it continues to grow. You water and feed the seed of your faith by giving it nourishment. We get nourishment by reading God’s Word; worshipping and praying. All those things feed the seed of faith in your life (Matthew 17:20).

Having a strong faith in God should compel you enough to share God with others. If you don’t share your faith in Christ, something is completely wrong. God is looking for faithful people. God is physically, visibly, and actively taking the initiative to look for faithful people He can bless. 2 Chronicles 16:9 states; “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him”. This has been one of my life verses and I’ve learned that if you make yourself useable, God will wear you out. If you get blessable, He will bless your socks off! God is looking for faithful people He can use. A lot of people talk the talk but they don’t trust God. They trust their credit card instead. They say they believe in God but they don’t trust Him when it comes down to their finances, health, kids, or job.

Psalm 53:2-3 says this; “God looks down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back; they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no , not one”. The Bible often speaks of the importance of faith in knowing God. For example, Ephesians 2:8 teaches, “For by grace are ye saved through faith”. And that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. But why does God require faith? One way to answer why God requires faith is because He is our Heavenly Father. Our relationship to Him is like other relationships in the sense that it includes trust in the other person, time together, love and respect. Because we cannot fully know another person, let alone an infinite God; all relationships require some degree of faith (trust).

God is our Father and it takes faith to believe that He loves us and that He provides for our needs. Faith is important because God is not visible to humanity. Faith is necessary to please God; it leads to reward; eternal life, heavenly rewards, and experience of fullness of life on earth (John 10:10). Faith is important for believers to obey the Lord. For example, Adam and Eve had been given a command to not eat from a particular fruit (Genesis 2:15-17). Because their faith wavered regarding this command, they ate the forbidden fruit and sinned. God requires faith because it allows humans the ability to choose or reject Him. Without the ability to make choices, humanity would cease to be human as we know it. People can choose to have faith or not to have faith but there is a way for God to know those who have believed in Him and those who have not.

Faith in God is not “blind faith” as some argue. Instead, it is a choice based on the available information. The Bible, the created world, the changed lives of believers, Jesus Christ, and other ways God operates in our world; provide sufficient evidence for people to choose faith in God. A belief is rooted in the mind. Faith is based in the heart. We act in faith when there is no guarantee, no certainty. No one knows what kind of life an infant will have, yet, people continue to have children. Many people are doubters that don’t believe that they will receive what they asked. And when He does not answer, they wonder why, yet, they keep praying and praying even fasting days and nights. Mark 11:22-24 states; “For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore, I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them”.

Faith is a shield from world wickedness and it is a sure victory and freedom from fear, worries, danger of sudden death and pain. By faith, God forgives sin. The truth is that though we are justified by faith alone; the faith that justifies is never alone, it produces moral fruit; it expresses itself “through love” (Galatians 5:6). It transforms one way of living, it begets virtues thus works. Our faith laid upon what the Word of God says. If you don’t have the Word, therefore, you cannot have faith in God. The Word of God is the very fuel that propels our faith in God. It’s the very thing that we turn to whenever we feel like our faith is down due to life’s bad circumstances, which clearly underlines how we should rely on the Word on a constant basis. One of the key aspects that stands out to me the most regarding our faith is that it cannot fail since the person in Whom our faith is placed can never fail. Faith can transform people’s lives from the inside out in a marvelous fashion. Believers are a clear example of what faith can bring about.

If you start believing God today for those little things that need changing, before you know it, you will have faith that moves mountains in your life. Faith is developed over the years by the various trial and testings’ that God allow in to our lives. Many Christians have wrongly chosen to associate faith with their feelings. This kind of emotional faith can survive only if life is understandable and within their control. But what happens when the rug of human understanding is pulled out from under them and events in their lives turn chaotic or uncontrollable? When you choose to wallow in fear and doubt; however, faith is weakened. All unbelief and all debate concerning the integrity of God must be repented of and all argument and controversy concerning God’s promises must be abandoned. You must choose by faith to believe that God will forever be true to His Word. God is not only the AUTHOR of our faith, but He is also the FINISHER of our faith. Faith begins and ends with Him. It is not something that we can manufacture within ourselves but something that resides in our personality or something that is determined by heredity, intelligence, or even religious belief.

Your choice to believe is based upon the character of God. We are asked to believe in, act upon and walkout God promises by faith. Even if you may not see them being fulfilled in the way you thought, He still call us to believe. #TheFaithWalk

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How To Discover Your God Given Purpose

In life, we all have been created with a specific purpose in mind for God. God has a plan for us all. Are we just living or existing? Since we were created with a divine purpose, we must take steps to define and live in that purpose. One of the best ways to discover God’s purpose for your life is to simply read the Bible on a daily basis. Growing up, I didn’t know what I wanted to be but I knew that there was something more and I wanted to experience what that more was. It’s amazing to me how so many people want to discover God’s will for their lives, yet, find little or no time reading about Him in His Word.

We will never fully know the mind of God because God is infinite and we are infinite. God reveals Himself in His Word. Discovering God and His purpose for your life is discovering His Word. You will never know God’s purpose for your life if you are not reading God’s textbook written to mankind; the Holy Bible. Some people wander aimlessly in their Christian life not knowing what they should be doing for God. The better we know the will of God, the more likely we’ll find God’s purpose for our lives.

When God is revealing bits and pieces of your purpose through the seasons of your life, remember that even if He has told you how you will ultimately serve Him, it doesn’t mean that the fulfillment of your purpose will happen in a straight line. Instead, you might feel like you are going in loop-de-loops and circles; like you are wandering. This is OK. God won’t waste any of your experiences. In Romans 8:28, it says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose“. And even if some of your “circles” seem unrelated to God’s calling, He will weave them into His purpose for your life. Rest assured, He is still in control and will perfect that which concerns you (Psalm 138:8).

While God is unfolding your purpose, sometimes you may not only feel like you are wandering in circles but you will also have to do some waiting. That’s not a bad thing though. There are a few things more painful that waiting for God to reveal your purpose; especially if you wait without hope. Without hope, waiting for God to act can feel like torture. But with confidence in Him waiting can feel like joyful anticipation. Isaiah 30:18 says, “And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all who wait for him.” Waiting on God shows Him where we belong in serving Him.

God has graced us all with unique gifts and talents to be used to glorify Him and serve others. Our shared and primary purpose is to become disciples of Jesus Christ. Our secondary calling is unique and birthed out of our submission to the primary calling. Do you find yourself struggling to find your God-given purpose in life? If so, you’re not alone. Years ago, I found myself questioning why I was here on this earth. God has left us a wealth of knowledge in the Bible to help us. I’m sharing the knowledge of what has been revealed to me through my personal lessons in life. I must admit, I don’t have all the answers but I can point you to the source that can help you find your God given purpose.

Many people ask themselves, “What is God’s will for my life”? I’ve asked this many times. We want to know why we are here on this earth. We desire to know what our unique purpose in this lifetime since we are on this earth. When you look up the word “purpose”, it says; “the reason why something exists”. All people realize sooner or later that there has to be a greater purpose in life than just to be born, grow up, get an education, work on a job, have a house and a family and just die. The answer is, of course but only God and the Word of God can give us the answer to what our God given purpose is here on earth.

Let us be women and men who act. Let us plan and make concrete goals. Many people spend their lives trying to create a lasting legacy on earth. We want to be remembered when they when we are gone. Yet, what ultimately matters most will not be what others say about you but what God says. We were not put on this earth to be remembered. You were put here to prepare for eternity. Living to create an earthly legacy is a short-sighted goal. A wiser use of time is to build an eternal legacy. Remember, one day, you will stand before God and He will do an audit of your life, which is the final exam before you enter eternity. Your relationship with God on earth will determine your relationship to Him in eternity.

The purpose of our lives is far greater than our own personal fulfillment; it is far greater than our peace of mind or even our happiness. It is far greater than family, career, or even wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were paced on this earth, you must consult God. We were all born by His purpose and for His purpose. Purpose is the essence of life; it directs us in the course of our journey through life. A life without any purpose is like being lost at sea or lost in the desert. When your purpose in life is not the same as the purpose of God, even though you may have a purpose; you are still lost because the wrong purpose directs you in the wrong direction. You may be going somewhere but it is not where you are supposed to be Our salvation through Jesus Christ leads us to our true purpose in life.