Wednesday, December 19, 2012
HOW DO TROUBLES TRANSFORM?
By: M. Butler
I heard someone say one time, “Testings will last as long as it takes to change our mind, attitude, and actions.” But isn’t it just like our human nature to respond with the “knee jerk” reaction of “Yeah, but I really can’t see the value or purpose behind all of this trouble and all of these trials”?
Our carnal mind is as shrewd as a lawyer looking for a loophole. Let’s face it: we don’t like tribulation one bit, and if we had our way, it would be “us” on “easy street” from here on out! But God’s Word tells us a different story.
“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
The mind of Christ knows that the servant is not above his Lord. The disciple is not above his Master, who learned obedience through the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). God is even now preparing a people who cannot be moved, upset, or frustrated by anything. The cry of His heart is for His sons and daughters to share His throne and shepherd the nations with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:26-27).
We have to be a people whose character is unshakable. Can we walk around in the furnace of testing without complaining? Can we still shout praises in the jail at midnight? Tall order, I know, but there is always a purpose in our trials, a purpose in our affliction, a purpose in our tribulations. All the temptations, tears, heartaches, unfaithful friends, loss of property, loss of business, peril, hateful neighbors, fiery furnaces, dens of lions, rugged crosses—all things too numerous to mention—are working for the good of God’s elect and are adding, though unseen now, an exceeding and eternal weight of glory to us.
“O Majestic heavenly Father, we know that all things work together in Your hands, and nothing comes into our lives without it first coming through You. All that comes to us is for our good and Your glory. Your desire for us is that we be refined and purified, even through fire. And at Christ’s return, we will be part of His bride, without spot or wrinkle, ready to reign with Him in glory forever. In all things, no matter how trying or difficult, teach us to rejoice and always trust in You.
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:19)