The cool thing about breaks from school, when we are freed from the busyness that university life brings, is that we actually get a chance to think things over. There’s been a lot that has happened this last year. Life has a lot of things in it that aren’t easy, things that make it hard to breathe because of the grief, and yet I believe that God uses it all for good.
Fortunately, I had a great reminder emailed to me. I subscribe to a blog written by Anthony Svajda who is a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary at the moment. He’s got some good stuff on there, so you should check him out. This post was a particular Godsend. Thought I’d repost it.
When the waves of trials come…#James1:2-8
by Anthony Svajda
It has been a while since I have made a post on here. To be frank, life has been a little crazy. Between everything going on at seminary with classes, the things going on in the ministry at church, & trying to keep my priorities straight at home. There really has been no real time to process my thoughts well enough to get them down. In all honesty, this post may even be the result of God slowing things down for me to an extent.
I don’t want this to come off as me complaining. I am just letting you know that I believe that sometimes God will bring times in our lives that do not make sense to us in order to slow us down. These things or events may even be seen as a negative situation or trial because we do not understand it on the surface. But I would like to encourage you and remind you that we can take comfort in the God who is sovereign and in control of all things to care for us.
A Biblical Example:
For those who do not know the story of Joseph, Joseph was one of many sons of the patriarch Jacob. And Joesph was unique among his brothers; he was his father’s favorite & he had prophetic dreams. Well one day Joseph dreamed that his family would bow down to him & because of this dream, his brothers devised a plan to get rid of Joseph. They sold Joseph into slavery. Joseph’s new masters then took & sold him to Egypt. And once in Egypt, Joseph worked in the house of Potipher and then was wrongfully thrown in prison.
Now you have to admit that at this point in time, Joseph has some pretty large trials or hangups in his life. One minute he is seeing visions from God for the future and the next he is sold into slavery. Then he finds himself living in a jail cell away from home & none of his family know or care where he is. In this time I would be willing to bet that he had some serious questions for God. Because he did not understand why God had slowed him down with these trials.
It is not until the end that we see the roller coaster of Joseph’s life then begins to make sense. You see, as time went on and Joseph endured, God gave Joseph a vision of a famine which eventually lead Joseph’s family back to him & also provided for the remnant in which God made covenant with. It was not until these last events that Joseph understood what God was doing. This is further confirmed in the words of Joseph when he said “But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. “ (Genesis 50:19-20)
Some Biblical Instruction For Dealing with Trials:
So the question that you may be asking yourself is…What are we do while we are in these trials?…
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:2-8 ESV)
1) Count your trials joy because they are a test of your faith and they produce steadfastness which builds you as a Christian.
2) PRAY! Ask for God’s wisdom in the trials. He will give you wisdom to endure and He will determine your path even when you do not see it.
3) Do NOT Doubt Him who is working for your good.
I hope this is a blessing to you and that you can take courage in the faith that God has given us.