6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you have to suffer various kinds of trials, 7so that the genuineness of your faith, which is more valuable than gold that perishes when it is tested by fire, may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:6
God puts us through trials to discipline us. Does God spank His children? You bet! He does this for our own good and the purpose that we might gain discipline enabling us to fulfill His will. Several times in my life I can reflect on courses of events that tested me to the edges of my will. In retrospect, each time I can recognize something positive that could only have come to pass through what I had experienced.
Regardless of the events in our lives, it is important to recognize when we are being tested. There is comfort in knowing that God does not give us a trial to over come with out also providing us with the means to get through it. It’s God’s way of getting our attention. Those of us who feel righteous could use a good test. Adversity makes us humble as well as teaches us that which we need to carry out God’s will if we choose. Living without the fear of God is foolish. It is with humility that we win God’s favor.
Why are there natural disasters, death, and starvation? What my humble mind can tell you is that if there weren’t strife this would be heaven. Any pain or suffering you may experience pals in comparison to the pain and unimaginable horror experienced by a baby that is being aborted. This happens everyday, while we focus on ourselves. In fact over 1,000,000 babies go through this pain and horror every year. Those deaths never even make the news.
God created us. He loves us all equally. However, it is His prerogative to allow us to choose His kingship. While we are on this earth we have free will to act in a way that is pleasing to God or to abandon Him as did satin. In the end, it is our choice as to whether we will be with God or be separated from Him. He does not force His will on us. Neither are we to force others. Those who force their views on others are not of God. They are manipulative, as is satin.
There seems to be the notion that if our lives are not filled with bliss, we are to be unhappy. The world tells us we are unsuccessful. There are those of us who subconsciously fabricate an atmosphere of defeat arising from our own internal definition of success or failure. This world does not guarantee happiness. It does not guarantee success based on our definition. Somewhere during the course of human events, society has structured in the expectation of ease in life. The notion of constant happiness void of adversity has come to be expected, less we are destine to defeat.
In years gone by, there were times when we were cold according to nature. Things smelled of natural occurrence. When did we get derailed jumped track to one that expects perfect circumstance in life? Life on earth is a preamble to eternity. What we do or do not do is of no consequence in regards to us successfully being accepted into heaven.
The gift of eternal life is free from God. It is a gift that we do not have to pay for. The trails we are subject to are trivial in comparison to what we stand to gain or lose throughout eternity. We do however have to make the conscious decision to accept Jesus dying on the cross as payment in full for the sins of all mankind. The choice is not easy. We have to give up our own desires, in fact our lives to Him. We have to accept His challenges and remain loyal to Him regardless of the heart ach involved. We need to involve ourselves in spiritual matters deep enough that we come to realize and live on the precept that He is God; that eternity is a long, long time. In that arena, what is the importance of our daily concerns, much less who is winning the super bowl?
The trials of this life are many. However, God’s hand is in each. There is war in the Middle East. Men, women, and children are dying. God states clearly in his word what is necessary. Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us:
10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Is it clear that we need to pray? When we watch the news do the Democrats or Republicans stress that above all, regardless the plan, first and foremost, it is imperative that we pray for God’s blessing? That He might interview in spite of our sin and spiritual neglect to save us in such a way that only He is able to. It may very well be that the solution is incomprehensible to man. Here we have a bunch of guys in Washington trying to understand and figure out only what God can. It is outrageous that with such dire eminent consequence there are those who have the audacity to leave God out of the equation. When I surrendered myself to the Lord, all that perplexed me in regard to salvation vanished. As I tried to understand the mechanics of salvation before being saved I seemed to be cast farther yet farther away from understanding. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” This is not just a good idea. This is the word of God, creator of the Middle Eastand the rest of the Universe and its entire people. He is telling us clearly, in no uncertain terms what we need to do. Yet we make feeble attempt to find within the mind of man a solution.
The enemy is not Islam, nor the Taliban, nor Iran, nor any human being. The enemy is the spirit of hate that dwells in ALL of us. Our sins are no better than theirs. God is the omnipotent creator of the Universe. He is perfect love, pure white light. Nothing that is came to be without Him. All sins are equally detestable to God. ALL sin, yours, mine, Mother Teresa’s.
Though we need to defend ourselves in war, we also need to pray and pray hard. Yes there’s many awful things in the world that the Lord lets happen. If not for strife, how else is he supposed to get our attention? You tell me! Apparently, we are not getting the message. With so much at stake, it is a sin against humanity not to pray.
There are people in my church who come dressed in their suits, put on a smile and act out the perfect Christian. I call them “better-than-you” Christians. They look down at average Joe who may be there simply to worship as a humble servant. They certainly look right past or down their nose at him. I guarantee, most people don’t comprehend or just don’t consider the dire consequences of not praying. Those of us who should be defending life with prayer are quite content looking into the mirror being pleased with what they see. Jesus Christ is the light of the World. Only He can illuminate the darkness. Only He can shed light on an otherwise endless void of darkness and evil.
As you look around do people really care if you or I are being witnessed to concerning the most important issue of our lives, our personal eternal salvation? God loves us. He loves us equally. He wants us to spend an eternity with Him in Heaven. Does it really matter 100 years from now what hardship we are experiencing now? It does matter whether or not we know Him personally. It matters if we make a decision to get to know Him and ultimately surrender our lives to Him as well as lead others to Jesus Christ. In return He wants to give us a new life that knows no time or hardship in heaven. We can look forward to that life right now. All we need to do is to ask the Lord to come into our lives. He is knocking at the door of our hearts. All we need to do is open it.
33I have told you this so that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble, but be courageous—I have overcome the world!”
18Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.
Don’t fail to correct your children. They won’t die if you spank them. Physical discipline may save them from death.