22 April 2009

How Are You Doing Today?

Where is your heart today? Is your Christian walk a persevering one?, or is it one full of doubt? Maybe its even unbelief because of a certain situation or circumstance going on in your life?
When you fall into trials, what do you do?
1. Do you lose your cool?
2. Do you take it out on others? (Family, friends, Co-workers
3. Do you break things, us fowl language?
4. Do you get angry with God?
5. Do you throw in the towel, give up?

Better yet do you:
1. Rejoice
2. Praise God in it?
3. Persevere through it?

We always need to remember, our Heavenly father is always with you through each and every trial, and He will always see you through, if you have genuine faith. (Luke 8:15) As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. John Piper said “When God calls you to be free from fear as you do evangelism, as you take a test, as you face an interview, as you take a stand against an unjust business practice, as you confront someone with sin in their life, when you leave a secure position and take a risk in a new venture, when you face an operation or a treatment, when you lose a spouse or a friend--when God calls you to be free from fear (to overcome this natural emotion and have peace, he does not leave the command hanging in the air. He puts pillars under it. Five of them. That's the nature of all Biblical commands. They come with divine support.
Fear not . . . God is with you;
Fear not . . . God is your God;
Fear not . . . God will strengthen you;
Fear not . . . God will help you;
Fear not . . . God will uphold you.

What do you do when you’re faced with trials? Where do you turn for wisdom and guidance? George Muller says "The only way to learn strong faith is to endure great trials." Scripture mentions at least 8 Purposes why the LORD allows trials in the Christians life

1. To test the strength of our faith demonstrates the strength or weakness of our faith

(Exo 16:4) Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.

2. Trials are given to humble us, to remind us not to let our trust in the Lord turn into presumption and spiritual satisfaction

(2 Cor 12:7) And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (Means uplifted, or elevated up).

3. Allows us to suffer trials in order to wean us from our dependence on worldly things

(John 6:4-6) Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?" He said this to test him, for He Himself knew what he would do.

4. Purpose of trials is to call us to eternal and Heavenly hope

(2 Cor 4:14) knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.

(Rom 5:3-4) More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

5. Purpose of trials is to reveal what we really love

(Luke 14:26) "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

6. Trials are given to teach us to value God’s blessings


(Heb 12:2) looking to Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

( Ps 63:3-7) Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise You with joyful lips, when I remember You upon my bed, and meditate on You in the watches of the night; for You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy.

7. The Lord uses trials to develop in His saints enduring strength for a greater usefulness

(2 Cor 12:10) For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

(Heb 11:33-34) who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.

8. The Lord uses trails to enable Us to better help others in their trials

(Luke 22:31-32) "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."

(Heb 2:18) Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

So since trials are so productive. It is essential for Us to respond rightly to them.

1. Well how do we do that?
2. What is the proper response to trials that come into our life?

James says “we must count it all joy, when you fall into various trials”

“...count it all joy” The word “count” (means) to consider, or evaluate. Our natural response is not to rejoice in times of trials. It’s usually the opposite; James says trials are used to “test our faith” What does he mean? Various trials are meant to test a believer’s faith, by asking the question!Is it real? Is it fake?or Is your faith genuine?

“Let patience have its perfect work...”

Patience
(means) persevering endurance and continuance
Perfect work (means) does not refer to sinless perfection, but to spiritual maturity

1. Testing of faith drives believers to a deeper communion with the Lord.
2. A greater dependence and joy in our Lord.
3. Which produces a . Stable
. Godly
. Righteous Character

(1Peter 5:10) And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

We need to understand what James is saying through various tests and trials; A Christian will learn to withstand the pressure of trials. ONLY Until God removes it at His appointed time.
Charles. H. Spurgeon said "By perseverance the snail reached the ark."
So what are we to do?
1. Count it all Joy
2. Rejoice in our trials
3. Praise the Lord in our trials
4. Persevere though trials with joy

Warren Wiersbe writes “ Our values determine our evaluation. If we value comfort more than character, then trials will upset us. If we value the material and physical more than the spiritual, we will not be able to ‘count it all joy” If we live only for the present and forget the future, the trials will make us bitter, not better” (Rom 8:25) But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. So we must persevere with all joy in every situation!

1. Persevere with a joyful attitude
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trial (v2)
2. Persevere with an understanding mind
“Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance ( patience) (v3)
3. Persevere with a submissive will
“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect (mature) and complete, lacking nothing (v4)
4. Persevere with a believing heart
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally... (v5). “But let him ask in faith.... (v6)
5. Persevere without doubt
“.. he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind” (v6)

Can you do that?

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