Monday, June 7, 2010
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
God is in control of all circumstances that surround the believer. The devil can do nothing in the life of the believer without the express permission of God. But why would God give that permission? Because Satan's attacks will show what you are made of.
A faith that cannot be shaken is a faith that has been shaken. And if your faith is real, it will even endure through the worst of circumstances, because character is not made in crisis; it is revealed. For example, when tragedy struck Job, we find him worshiping God, but we find his wife saying, "Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die" (Job 2:9). Trials, temptations, and crises separate the wheat from the chaff, the true from the false, and the real from the unreal.
Suffering helps us grow spiritually and makes us stronger in our faith. James reminds us, "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" (James 1:3-4).
Suffering takes our faith from the realm of theory to reality, and suffering brings glory to God. Anyone can be happy when the sky is blue and the sun is shining. But when a storm is hitting, it is a different matter. Satan claimed that Job only worshiped God because God was blessing him. But Job proved that he really did love God, because he worshipped Him before, during, and after the crisis.
God allowed the tragedy in Job's life to strengthen his faith and to prove Satan wrong—and Job passed the test with flying colors. What a rebuke to the enemy. And what a powerful example for us today.
Copyright © 2010 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
- This life will have its sorrows
- God loves us
- Jesus weeps in our times of pain
- God can be glorified through human suffering
Hope for Hurting Hearts, Pastor Greg Laurie's new book, examines these truths, revealing God's love and care for us, and shows how we can find hope, even in the midst of the most unbearable pain and sorrow.