Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fiery Trials

            Do you ever get the feeling that you've been outdone by someone else?  Maybe that's not exactly the right way to phrase it...Has there ever been a time that you have felt down-in-the-dumps depressed and then you come across a story or some news that is far worse than what you are going through?  When you hear about someone whose life is harder than yours, do you feel upset with yourself for feeling down about your own situation?  Or maybe it's the opposite: Do you ever feel like other people have it too easy and barely have any problems?  Of course, there are many different levels of pain both emotionally and physically and each of us handles things differently, so I guess we can't really put our trials on a scale. 

            God knows everything about us, so He knows what we can and cannot handle.  Maybe, when you are in the midst of the fire, you may not feel like you will make it through the flames.  But, if you call out to God for help, He will not let the flames completely consume you.  He discerns and assesses your situation and knows exactly how much oxygen you have left and when to pull you out.  I've heard it said in church that God uses the trials in life to refine us.  Just like pottery, we have to go through the fire to become a finished piece.  1 Peter 1:6-7 says, "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while 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." 

            Christians will all go through trials and tests of their faith.  I'm speaking to myself when I say there is absolutely no reason for us to compare our troubles to one another.  Each person is unique and struggles with different things.  Romans 12:15 says, "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."  So, instead of trying to judge what seems fair or who is better off, we should just be encouraging and comforting to one another regardless of our own situation.  And when you feel like the flames are surrounding you, just remember all the blessings God has given you. 

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail."
-Lamentations 4:11

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
-James 1:2-4
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