Joy in the Trials - Sunday, April 10th 2016
2 Corinthians 7:4
"Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation."
It's hard to think of a trial as a good thing, but in 2 Corinthians 7, Paul indicates that we can find joy in our trials. How can this be? After all, trials are painful. Trials may be painful, but they are also great opportunities to see how God has changed our lives. Remember in school when you took a test and knew the material? You looked forward to it. It was a chance to exercise what you were learning. The same is true in our faith. We can see what we are learning through our trials.
Another joyful purpose of a trial is to learn from it. God will use difficult situations to teach us about ourselves or about other people. We can learn how to respond in a situation or how not to respond. Sometimes when we don't learn the lesson, we repeat the trial. We waste time, energy and effort by not 'getting it'. In our relationships, we often think we should part ways at the first sign of conflict. When we do this, we are responding carnally or unspiritually and miss out on a great opportunity to love one another. If every time you have conflict you flee, you will never develop love and maturity in your Christian life; therefore, leading to trouble in your church relationships, in your marriage and your friendships. Use each trial that comes your way to grow in Christ. As you grow through them, you will be able to rejoice in tribulation because it will draw you closer to God.
Life Lesson: Trials can be our chance to show what we know or what we have learned.
Thank You for the difficulties in my life. While they are not easy to walk through, I know that they are being used to teach me new things. Help me to depend on You during these times and to learn the lessons You have for me, the first time. In Jesus' name, amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee
Cross the Bridge
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