Posts Tagged ‘trials’

Coming through stronger

May 23, 2018

James 1--2-3

In a challenging message delivered during a midweek Bible study called “Hour of Power,” Bishop Charles Mellette encouraged the congregation at Christian Provision Ministries in Sanford, NC that as we face trials on every hand, we are “Coming through Stronger.” In unfolding the opening verses of James 1:2-4, he reminded us that we will encounter various trials; however, “The problem is not the problem but our perception of the problem.”

He went on to explain what he meant by trials which are the “trying, testing, the putting to the proof of something.” They are experimental actions applied in order to obtain results. Trials involve being subjected to intense and challenging times that test our motives and values. In the same way that God sent the Children of Israel through the wilderness for an extended period of time in order to test or to prove what was in their hearts, the trials we face prepare us for the next level of service to God. He went on to say, “You will shorten your season of testing or trials if you will only allow your trials to make you stronger.”

The time of ministry in the Word of God brought to mind a previous blog post based on a similar teaching by Bishop Mellette discussing the same passage from James 1:2-4, rendered here in the New Living Translation:

Faith and Endurance

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Included in that teaching was the whole idea of trials as tests, the inspiration behind this poem written from the perspective of a “student/teacher”

All Tests

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and

Challenges come at you from all sides.” [The Message]

 James 1:2

 

With zeal we make our calling and election sure,

As we attempt to complete yet another test.

As ever eager students, we will do our best.

You promised good to us, your Word our hope secure.

Search us and know us—discern that our motives are pure.

Our souls now anchored in hope; in You we find rest.

You are our light, even when times seem their darkest.

Just as a patient father seeks to reassure

Children, so the Master Teacher shows His design:

All tests are formed not to punish but to refine.

Despite shortcomings and failures that we have made,

You are gracious and generous each time You grade.

Knowing this, trials we face we resist no longer.

This too shall pass, as we are coming through stronger.

The message concluded with a reminder of the blessings and benefits of trials which are a way of life for every believer. Trials forge humility and give birth to perseverance. Indeed, we have the capacity to persevere to see God’s promises come to pass in our lives.

Hebrews 10:36 also offers this reminder in the New Living Translation:

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

Knowing this, we can count it all joy when we encounter various fiery trials that test our faith and build patient endurance.

We close with this scripture memory song based on James 1:2-4:

No temptation

January 18, 2016

 

1 Corinthians-10-13

The Verse of the Day speaks of our response to “life’s temptations,” as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT):

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

Here is the rendering in the New Revised Standard Version:

No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

Logos Research Systems speak of “temptations” not in the limited sense of allurements to sin, but trials or distresses of any kind which test and purify the Christian character. . . . Every possible trial to the child of God is a masterpiece of strategy of the Captain of his salvation for his good.”

A similar expression is used in James 1:2-4 (KJV):

2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

The expression “divers temptations” can be translated the testing or proving of your faith, In Romans 5:3 we learn that tribulation, another word for temptation, works patience, and patience experience.

In James 1:12 we learn that those who patiently endure trials or “temptations” will be rewarded. A “crown of life” awaits the individual who endures trials while carrying out the purposes of God’s plan:

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

As I was reflecting upon “temptations” as trials or tests, as I recalled a poem that was written from the perspective of a “student/teacher”

All Tests

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and
Challenges come at you from all sides.” [The Message]
James 1:2

With zeal we make our calling and election sure,
As we attempt to complete yet another test.
As ever eager students, we will do our best.
You promised good to us, your Word our hope secure.
Search us and know us—discern that our motives are pure.
Our souls now anchored in hope; in you we find rest.
You are our light, even when times seem their darkest.
As a patient father who seeks to reassure
Children, so the Master Teacher shows His design:
All tests are formed not to punish but to refine.
Despite shortcomings and failures that we have made,
You are gracious and generous each time you grade.
With each assignment, we seek to excel, not just pass,
But graduate with honors, the first in our class.

The temptations or tests or trials that we encounter are common to humanity, as we learn to patiently endure. Hebrews 10:36 also offers this reminder in the New Living Translation:

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

Knowing this, we can count it all joy when we encounter various temptations or fiery trials that test our faith and build patient endurance.

From the CD “Thank God for Jazz” Tony Monaco offers a jazz vocal interpretation of 1 Corinthians 10:13