Posts Tagged With: God

No one can offend you without your permission

“No one can offend you without your permission.”

English: Neal Boortz at a FairTax Rally

English: Neal Boortz at a FairTax Rally (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I heard that today on the radio listening to Neil Boortz.

We live in a world today that seems to think that there is a God-given, constitutional, moral RIGHT to never hear or see anything that offends them.  It’s as if everyone has developed a case of overly sensitive ears!

I’ve read the Bible –

I’ve read the constitution –

You have NO right not to hear things you don’t like.  You have no right to silence people you disagree with.  And the only way you can be offended is if you decide to give your permission by taking offense.

Jesus said offensive things to people.  Moses said offensive things to people.  God said offensive things to people.  And if you listen to enough people, you will find people today who say things that are offensive.

So what should you do?

1) You can become an offensive jerk like everyone else. – I do not recommend this but chances are someone already thinks that about you anyway.

2) You can engage in debate with the person about what they are saying. – Sometimes not possible and sometimes you don’t have the time.

3) You can ignore it. – One of my favorite methods.

4) You can listen to it and consider that what is being said might be true. – Often a good idea.

5) You can go to God and pray blessings for the person.  Excellent!

6) You can go to God and ask God to show your own flaws and ask for his guidance.  Again, excellent!

The Fruit of the Tree

The Fruit of the Tree (Photo credit: Josh Kenzer)

Remember that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,  peace, patience (long suffering – kjv), kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control.

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A god of no judgment

The best place to find criteria for talking about ethics and interpretation will be in Christian discourse itself… I take my stand with a quotation from an impeccably traditional witness, Augustine, who wrote, “Whoever, therefore, thinks that he understands the divine Scriptures or any part of them so that it does not build the double love of God and of neighbor does not understand it at all” (Christian Doctrine 1.35.40).

c. 1480

c. 1480 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By this light, any interpretation of Scripture that hurts people, oppresses people, or destroys people cannot be the right interpretation, no matter how traditional, historical, or exegetically respectable.

I came across this quote recently from another blog.  While it may sound “nice” and “good” – I believe that it is fundamentally flawed.

The book of Jeremiah tells us that “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (17:9)

Now that may hurt some people.  Most of us like to think that we are honest, that we have good intentions, that our hearts are pure.  I usually think I am a pretty good guy.  I try to be honest and obey the law and do good things.  I like to feel good about myself.

BUT – when I am really honest, when I truly examine my soul, I find that Jeremiah is right.  I am not really that honest.  I even lie to God on a regular basis (how dumb is that?) with prayers like, “God, the thing I want most is to follow you.”  I’m terrified that God will say one day, “Fine, if that is what you want the most, I want you to give up coffee, fast for 40 days, sell all your possessions and give them all away to the poor and follow me.”

We are not honest people.  If you have ever been pulled over by police for speeding, you know that they ask you a question like, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”  How many of you have answered that honestly?  “Yes office, you caught me on your radar gun.  If you have shot it at me last night though, you would have gotten me for 20 miles an hour over – not just 10.  And by the way, I didn’t use a turn signal as required by law and I tailgated the person in front of me.”

How about good intentions?  Do you have good intentions in everything you do?  At best, you might honestly say, “Sometimes” or “Well, they are not intentionally bad.”  Usually our intentions are neither good nor bad, they just are.  We are not thinking about glorifying God or helping others – we just want to get our own way.

Let jump to another thought. “ any interpretation of Scripture that hurts people” – Jesus made all kinds of hurtful statements.  John the baptizer called people a bunch of snakes.  Wow!  I guess we better cut those things out of the Bible.  It hurts people to be called out for sin and evil.  We can’t say anything that might make Hitler or Stalin feel bad.

Mussolini (left) and Hitler sent their armies ...

Mussolini (left) and Hitler sent their armies to North Africa and into Egypt against the British (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you take out all of the commands to REPENT and TURN FROM YOUR WICKED WAYS from the Bible, you are basically left with a bunch of stories and a message like, “I’m OK, you’re OK”.

Jesus Christ Crucifix

Jesus Christ Crucifix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Bible is clear – I’m not OK before God and you are not OK before God without God’s work and intervention.  In fact, we are so bad and so guilty – the only thing that would make it right is the death of Jesus Christ, the lamb slain before the foundations of the world.

Will God ever pass judgment?  Will God ever hold a person to account for their sins?  Will God be the one to decide right and wrong – will we continue to swallow the lie that was first told in the Garden of Eden, “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5).

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Lectionary Thoughts July 15 2 Samuel 6

The lectionary passage for this Sunday skips a very important section.  It is 2 Samuel 6:1-5 and then it skips down to verse 12b and continues.  I think we really ought to focus on this part that is missing.

The Chastisement of Uzzah

The Chastisement of Uzzah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David again brought together out of Israel chosen men, thirty thousand in all. He and all his men set out from Baalah of Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim that are on the ark. They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it.David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before theLord, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals.

When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God.

Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah.

David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” 10 He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it aside to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 11 The ark of theLord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lordblessed him and his entire household.

This is exactly the type of passage that people wonder about.  “Why was God so harsh?” peoople wonder.  “Is this the same God as the God of the New Testament? ” “Why can’t God be more understanding?” “What did these people do that was so wrong that made God so angry that he reached out and murdered this man Uzzah in cold blood?”

This is not how I feel about this passage, but it is the way many people look at God in America.  God can be love but he cannot be holy or just -not if these things cannot be put into ‘Hallmark’ cards.

The Scripture says that what Uzzah did was an irreverant act.  Let’s think more about this.

What is the background to this passage?  In Exodus 25:10-16, we are told this about ark of the Lord:

10 “Have them make an ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. 11 Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. 12 Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. 13 Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14 Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it. 15 The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed. 16 Then put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law,which I will give you.

Numbers 4:5-6, 15 says,

When the camp is to move, Aaron and his sons are to go in and take down the shielding curtain and put it over the ark of the covenant law.Then they are to cover the curtain with a durable leather, spread a cloth of solid blue over that and put the poles in place. 

15 “After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move, only then are the Kohathites to come and do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy things or they will die. The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the tent of meeting.

The ark of the Lord was to be carried using the poles through the rings on the ark.  God had been very specific on this.  In addition, only Kohathites were to carry the ark.

English: The Ark of God Carried into the Templ...

English: The Ark of God Carried into the Temple Español: El Arca introduciéndose en el Templo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now some folks will look at this and say, “How petty of God.  How could he kill someone because they didn’t follow some simple instructions.”  But is this really that petty?  Yesterday on the radio news, I heard about two children who were electrocuted while swimming.  It seems that some simple wiring had gone wrong.

We are all familiar with situations that seem small, but result in death.  And many times we rebel against God’s laws.  But cry as much as we want, God’s laws are still there.

Uzzah made the mistake of thinking that the ark of the Lord would be defiled by touching the dirt.  But this is a fundamental flaw in understanding the nature of the world.  It is not the world that is in rebellion against God.  Dirt does not defile the holy things of God – people who are in rebellion against God defile the holy things of God.

Matthew 15 tells the story of Jesus and his disciples eating wheat straight from the field.  The pharisees complain that Jesus didn’t wash his hands first (this was not a health issue but a tradition of the elders).   Verses 18-20, Jesus explains:

18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

Categories: Lectionary | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

A sermon on James 1:2-4


Sermon by Geoff Thomas, 14 June 1998 evening. – Edited by standrewscumberland

English: Pagans kill Christians in Pliska.

English: Pagans kill Christians in Pliska. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

James is both blunt and realistic in this statement.  Facing trials of many kinds is what happens if we are normal Christians. Nobody in the 1st century thought that becoming a Christian meant health, wealth, and prosperity.

James says two things in these verses: one is a command and the other a reason for the command.

First the command, “Consider every trial pure joy.”

This is a command not a suggestion.  It’s our duty and we are sinning if we disobey.

You consider with your mind, not your feelings.  You do it with your thought processes.  James is not saying, “feel joyful,” but learn to think joyfully in your trials.

Let’s look at some examples:

1] Paul tells us he learned to be content in whatever state he was in.  He understood that being discontented was going against the belief that there is a loving Father God in charge of everything in his life. So he learned, as his Christian life progressed, to be contented. Each day he might have said to God, “Thy will be done” and when Paul knew that something was God’s will he could stop his self-pitying or sulking.

2] In the early church, the apostles were preaching the gospel in opposition to the Jewish leadership. The Sanhedrin had them arrested, and decided to have them flogged. Some died under a flogging.  How did apostles respond? We are told [5:41], “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.”  They considered their sufferings in the light of the sufferings of Christ for them. Christ had considered these men worthy to bear shame for his sake. This was an honor! So they weren’t depressed and angry about this turn of events. They considered it pure joy.

3] Paul and Silas in the prison in Philippi had been roughed up, given an unjust trial, lashed, put in the stocks in the dungeon.  But they considered it as a cause for praise. They had been faithful servants to the great Servant. He suffered innocently and triumphed over his enemies. They were given the same confidence. Europe was going to hear the gospel.  At midnight they were not sulking.  They were singing psalms of rejoicing.

So one day these scattered Christians of the 12 tribes were sitting in their seats on the Lord’s Day gathering and this letter from James was read to them. The very first thing he told them was that they were to use their minds, and consider it pure joy whenever they were in the middle of any and every trial. “First of all learn this great lesson” they were told.

Then they were told that the trials were “of many kinds?”

James mentions some of these in his letter: sudden death (v.11), being an orphan or a widow (end of chap 1), exploitation and also illness (in chap.5: vs.4 & 14).  Trials are common to us all, but the way they settle on one church or another and go from one believer to another varies. We may be slandered, our human ambitions might be crushed, we may be ostracized, there might be some thorn in the flesh, some personality problem, or unrequited love, intellectual problems, domestic heartache.Suffering is so diverse. We’ve got to face the reality as Christians that our faith is likely to be tested by God in such ways. There is no immunity for us as disciples from the Valley of the Shadow, whatever form that valley takes. We may be working under the most unpleasant management – men who make our lives a misery. We may face constant articulate opposition to our Christian convictions. The whole operating style of our place of work may be aimed at the embarrassment of Christian believers. We meet people who contradict our beliefs and mock our faith and we have to stand absolutely alone. There is not one class of trials to which God is limited. so that in them alone we can rejoice. These trials are “of many kinds”.

A Christian can’t say about anything, “That will never happen to me.”   Check it out: did it happened to Job, to Simon Peter, to Noah, to Abraham, to the apostle Paul ? One thing God knows about each one of us – what load we are able to bear. It is God who puts the load on us and he knows our breaking point. God won’t allow us to carry more than we can bear. That is the great limitation, and the ONLY limitation. No Christian is exempt from trials of many kinds. The one guarantee is that our faith will not fail.

In the NIV, James says about these trials, “you face them”.  It would be better to say that you fall into them. The word is used in the story of the Good Samaritan about the poor man who fell among thieves.  So trials come upon us, as unexpectedly as the ringing of a phone. You don’t need to go out of your way to look for sufferings or to create difficulties. It is inevitable that we are going to bump into these testing times. There have been Christians who have deliberately provoked the world’s hostility. Others have actively sought martyrdom. That’s foolish. We are going to face it. “Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). Walk along the narrow way, keep in step with the Holy Spirit and you will meet enough to test your faith.

If you think, “I can’t be a Christian to have to go through this,” then think of Job and how at first he himself was spared but he lost family and property. Then God allowed his health to be touched, though his life were spared. God is in control of the degree of hardship at every stage. With Job it stops at the taking of his life, but with Stephen he even forfeits his life.

Don’t think that Christians are always suffering although it is a possibility.  It’s just that it is common for Christians to meet trials.  The Christian life is “the fellowship of his suffering.” Every single Christian is tested.

Then, James says, that whenever it happens, “consider it pure joy.” Consider it 100% joy – all of it, nothing but joy, not a mixture. You can’t cut out 90% of a trial and count that part as joy. Everyone of us can look back with thankfulness to some aspect of every difficulty we have experienced. We can think of the wonderful support we had from our family and friends, and count those memories as joyful. We can say, “it could have been worse, and you can always see someone in a worse condition.” That is not what James is saying here. He says, “Face up to the whole thing.” Don’t leave any of it out. All of it is to be accounted as joy.”

That sounds crazy!  You have lost a sense of the love of God. Your body is racked with pain. You have just lost a loved one. You are being persecuted. The lives of your family are in danger. There is no earthly hope at all.

Imagine all that, and then this great word comes to us, “Consider it pure joy.” Regard this trial as a reason to rejoice. Account it as being “pure joy.” Because it does not seem to be joy. It seems terrible. But account it as joy that you are facing a trial. Your heart is breaking, and it is difficult to keep going, but you account it as joy that you are being faced with this trial.

How can we do this?  Only by leading your mind toward the right biblical considerations. By thinking about trials from God’s perspective. You can in this way reach the point when you rejoice in them. You consider the God of providence, your Saviour the Lord of love, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and the promises of his Word. Consider all that – as you face trials of many kinds. Pure joy does not just happen. It takes a deliberate act of will. It may mean getting back under Biblical preaching again. It may mean being more diligent in personal devotions. It may mean getting wise counsel from godly people. It means everything that a true consideration of these most important events that have come into your life requires. You pay that trial that measure of respect. Bring it into the presence of Almighty God and reflect on it there.

It doesn’t mean you rejoice in cruelty, suffering, shame, injustice, destruction, or waste. It does not mean saying, “Well, Hallelujah anyway.” It does not mean no tears or sense of loss. “Consider !” means setting the trial in the whole mighty picture of a reigning loving God.

So we have looked at the command with which James begins this letter, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” Now we come to the second part, the reason for the pure joy.


James says, Consider it pure joy … because This is not an irrational statement. It is not a “Cheer up old man.”  How can they be prevented from being hopelessly idealistic ? “Consider it pure joy when my worse fears are realized” ? “Consider it pure joy when my heart is breaking ? It’s nonsense without a “because” and there has to be some pretty massive explanation for considering it joy.

1] The first reason James gives is this, that the trial is testing our faith.

This word ‘testing’ is found in just one other place in the NT in Peter’s first letter and it’s found there in the context of the refiner, who tests and tries gold with fire. It is a great verse for casting light on this verse. “you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (I Peter 1:7) The fires of trials are there to prove that your faith is genuine faith and prove the reality of our beliefs.

All sorts of things are tested to prove that they are genuine.  Do you want your drugs tested?  Do you want to know that they are genuine and will do what it says ? Yes.  If you love antiques and you collect brass, then when you go to an antique shop you take a magnet with you and test the brass. If the magnet sticks to the brass then you know that it is simply gilded iron. You wont buy it because it is not the real thing. Currency. The cashier runs a special pen on that note or holds it to a special light. You are glad she does because you don’t want a forged note given to you in change. Household appliances. They have a seal to show that they have been tested and they are safe and effective. Cars. They are tested for their safety. Rivers and beaches and air and food and water – all are tested.

Everything important is tested. Trivial things are not tested.  But shouldn’t a Christian’s faith in God be tested ? Isn’t that worthy of testing ? Think of all we say hangs on true faith in Jesus Christ. Eternity with God in heaven for all who believe. “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And it’s true ! Then, do I have that faith ? Have I got the real thing ? How terrible to go through my life assuming that I did, but at the end discovering that I didn’t !

In the Pilgrim’s Progress there is a character called Ignorance and in the very last paragraph of the book we are told that it is his turn to come to the river of death, and he has no difficulty crossing it – a ferryman called Vainhope rows him over. But the shining ones at the door of heaven ask him for his certificate, that is, they ask him for the proof of real faith. He fumbles for it but cant find it. Then they bind him hand and foot and take him away. And you know how Pilgrim’s Progress ends ? “Then I saw that there was a way to hell, even from the gates of heaven, as well as from the City of Destruction !”

Do we have genuine saving faith? Such faith is tested and tried by God Himself ! He puts our faith under all kinds of pressure. He places our faith in different circumstances. We have this faith that means that we believe in the over-ruling providence of Almighty God We believe that God works all things together for our good. We believe that God is in control. We believe that God loves us. We believe that God cares for us. We believe that if we cast all our cares upon the Lord that he will sustain us, that he will look after us, and provide for us in all our needs, in every conceivable peril. That is our faith. yet there are these times when God puts us to the test. He places us in situations where it is difficult to believe that that is God’s attitude, that that is the way God regards us, that he is really in control. We have these great Christian convictions We have the assurance of God’s providential care, We have the assurance of God’s love. We believe all that and we act upon it. We base and structure our whole life around this great conviction – God is in control. God cares for us. Yet, time and again, we find that what is happening to us speaks of something very difficult. We find ourselves in so many situations where it is almost impossible for us to believe that God is in control, and so difficult to believe that God cares for us.

That is what James is teaching here. We have the great convictions of our faith. God is going to test our faith. God is going to do it by placing us in situations where it is going to be hard for us to go on as Christians, where discipleship is going to be costly, and where God’s own sovereignty and God’s shepherding and his own love is obscured and almost contradicted by the circumstances of our day to day lives.

“Do you really believe that all things are working together for your good ?” We are not sure. So God tests us with a trial, and we did keep trusting him through it all ! We passed the test ! “Do you truly believe that you have a wonderful loving Shepherd who watches over and protects you in all that happens ?” We are not sure, but when the test comes we find we have looked to God for help and grace. We have passed the test and are stronger because of it. Such trials then become means of grace to strengthen us. It is that kind of testing James is concerned for here. Consider it pure joy because it is God himself who is so concerned that your faith is genuine that he is testing it in all kinds of circumstances.

2] The second reason James gives for considering our trials to be pure joy is that these tests develop perseverance, and maturity and fulfilment

The test is an exercise, and every exercise strengthens. Troops go out on military exercises and they become tougher men. A young athlete runs for longer and longer distances, and he prepares himself for the marathon race. His exercises produce constancy. A young couple in the early years of marriage are sustained by their feelings. Then their child gets sick, or the husband is made redundant, or his job takes him away from home for weeks at a time, or she meets someone else and is drawn to him. There is a test and they go through it biblically, that is, they deal with it as the Bible tells us to handle these trials, trusting God, seeking help from him, honoring their marriage vows under fire. They are grittily determined to save their marriage – and as a result they get stronger, because their love is now a tried and tested love. They appreciate their marriage vows as never before. A student has a ‘mock’ exam before the real thing. The ‘mock’ helps him, he’s gone through that test, so that he is not so ill-prepared when the big external exam comes.

So God tests us with a little test, and we pull through it. “Oh,” we say, “So I have that amount of faith.” We doubted whether we had that much faith. Then God brings a bigger test into our live, and we pull through that. So on and on. There comes a time when we bury our parents, our husband or wife – it comes to all of us, and we are not bitter because our faith is a proved faith. We say, “I don’t know how I could have coped without God.” We have been given perseverance and staying power and heroic endurance.

There are two graces very close to one another that we must have. One is patience, and that is what we must show towards other people. Then there is the word mentioned here, perseverance, and that is not a passive submission to circumstances, it is a strong active challenging response to the difficulties we have to face. We conquer this trial, we are more than conquerors, by perseverance, keeping going and keeping going, day after day. That isn’t passive is it ? Shakespeare says, “Though patience be a tired mare yet she will plod.” What do we need as Christians more than the grace to keep plodding on ?

The testing of our faith develops perseverance. How else can anyone learn staying power ? I don’t know. But it doesn’t end there. There is a chain reaction. v.4 “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” Now where does all this start ? It starts with trials of many kinds. No other door to someone being “mature and complete, not lacking anything” except the door marked ‘trials.’

What do we want to be in the future ? First priority, “mature and complete.” Who wants to be a kid for ever ? You hear of the behaviour of some of these TV presenters and football players – vast salaries, travelling the world, surrounded by admirers and yet behaving like spoiled kids. What do you want in the future ? “That I be mature and complete.” Of course. The door to that is the door marked “Trials.” And the road to that is Perseverance Road. Keep persevering and you become mature and complete. You have to finish each stretch of the road. to reach maturity.

So to Christians under trial – “Don’t interfere with God’s plan for your life.” Don’t give up on your marriage when the first trial occurs. Don’t run out on your wife when a handicapped child is born. Don’t give up on the course when there is only one year to go. Don’t resign from the church when your conscientious beliefs are rejected by others. Persevere! Finish the work ! So you may be mature and complete. There is a growing period for a fruit, maybe five months from the first small fruit appearing to the time when they are ready to be picked and sold to the shops. You have to go through the whole growing period – finish the work so that the fruit are complete.

When we are in a trial God says to us, My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Believe God! Don’t give up. “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Aren’t there people in the Christian church whom once you had great hopes in ? That in the future they would be mature and complete, leaders in the work of the gospel ? Yet they have been a great disappointment. There was a testing time in relationships, or in their trust in the truth of the Bible, or in their understanding of the gospel, and they failed the test.  Think of Jonah failing the test, cutting it short by doing things his way, heading for Joppa, running away from God. Instead of going east to Nineveh he tried to sail across the sea west to Tarshish. he heaped misery on misery by doing things his way. But in the end he had to do God’s will in God’s way.

Every trial you pass through you must consider it joy because it can make you mature and complete. Are there any weak points in your life? Do you have an irritable spirit? Quick to retaliate? Not gentle enough? Then God will permit trials to come into your life to strengthen and exercise those graces. You don’t pray privately as you should. God will send some trials into your life to cause you to pray. When a trainer looks at an athlete he spots areas of weakness in his life. he does not say, “Your arms are weak. Wrap them in cotton wool and put them in two slings.” No he exercises that person at the point of his weakness. God does the same to us where we are weak. He strengthens our weakness by trials, by perseverance to make us mature and complete

How do we end up in this wonderful state of “not lacking anything” ? Not lacking in love or trust or concern for others or spiritual energy? It starts with trials, and facing them maturely, recognising that the Prime Mover of all that touches us is Almighty God, submitting to them with joy, and letting the testing of our faith produce maturity.

This is the only way. Paul says it in Romans 5:3 & 4, “we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance’ perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

And Peter says it, “all kinds of trial have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise glory and power when Jesus Christ is revealed” (I Peter 1:6 & &0.

The result of the trial is new hope that does not disappoint. You have become a stronger and more useful person, with a closer relationship with the Lord and more loving relationship with other Christians. All this only comes when trials come into our lives and we respond to them as we should.

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