CONSIDER IT A SEMINAR
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. James 1:2-3
Have you ever been to a really good seminar? One that not only encouraged you but also provided you with hints and helps that you could implement to make your life and work better? Seminars are worth every penny if there is an "AHA" moment that really ends up making a lasting difference.
I remember a doctoral seminar that I went to years ago. It had much more UGH moments than AHA moments. The instructor actually fell asleep in class. YIKES! But one thing was said in that week that made a difference in my life and ministry. The professor talked to the class - mostly Pastors - about being especially attentive to the children in the church. "Parents notice how you treat their children," he said. "Focus on their children and you will win the hearts of the parents." That was an AHA moment for me, and I have consciously sought to engage the children every time I talk to a family.
IN TOUGH TIMES
Tough times are never fun times. None of us like to go through trials. Yet the Bible tells us that we should consider them all joy. HUH? Why does God tell us to do that? The reason is simple: trials are a seminar to teach us valuable lessons. Trials are an opportunity for an AHA moment from the Lord.
As much as we do not like to admit it, we learn better in adversity. Prosperity tends to breed pride and independence, but adversity brings us to our knees and causes us to seek God with more fervency and earnestness. God can get through to us much easier in the storm than He can in the calm. It is just the way we are wired.
BUT I AM PERISHING!
In Mark 4, the disciples are in a boat with Jesus. The Lord is sleeping, and they are rowing across the Sea of Galilee. All of the sudden a violent storm attacks them. They are certain they are going down. They wake Jesus and accuse Him of not caring that they are perishing (every done that... accuse Jesus of not caring for you in your terrible storm?). Jesus takes His stand at the front of the boat, rebukes the wind and brings a perfect calm to the perfect storm. The disciples are awestruck and said, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" (Mark 4:41).
What an AHA moment for those guys! AHA... He is able. AHA... nothing is too difficult for Him. AHA... He really does care for me. AHA... I can trust Him!!
WHAT DOES HE WANT YOU TO LEARN?
I do not know what trials you are going though today, but I do know that God has some valuable lessons He wants to teach you through them. There are some AHA nuggets from heaven that He is just waiting for you to receive.
Why not thank Him right now for the storm you are facing? Why not see it from His perspective - this situation is necessary to help you grow stronger, to help you see Him in a brighter light. It is a seminar that the Lord has signed you up for... not because He hates you, but because He loves you... and wants to grow you... so He can use you in an even greater way to make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ.
From His Heart Ministries can be seen on LightSource.com. This is another opportunity to reach people throughout the world with the love of Christ. Tell your friends and check us out.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast. Click here to become a ministry partner.