These have come so that your faith of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. ~~ I Peter 1:7(NIV)
Many Christian women today are questioning whether God really cares about them. The burden of work, stress of family responsibilities, the need to maintain personal well-being, the desire for spiritual development and the expectation of others can all add up to overwhelming burdens.
My message to you today however, is never judge God’s love and care for you based upon life’s circumstances. Jesus made it clear that in this world, we will have tribulations (John 16:33). The pages of scripture are full of men and women who had to endure life’s negative realities; yet, they came through them victoriously. How do you make it when life seems to bring you interruptions? Job gives the answer in his well known statement “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him!” (Job 13:15).
Job understood that all events in life, including the negative ones, have to pass through God’s fingers first. Although this was not a negative event, it illustrates my point. A few Sundays ago, my grandson Jackson, looked up and noticed Tony preaching. In mid-sentence, my husband heard little Jackson, yell out in excitement, “Poppy.” It was so funny because each time Tony began to speak, Jackson would interrupt Him with “Poppy.” Everyone laughed and got a real kick out of little Jackson. His father finally took him out and Tony was able to go on with his sermon.
Sometimes as we are going through life, trying to get on with the things that the Lord has for us, there is one interruption after another in the form of trials that seem to stop us and keep us from moving forward. Be of good cheer and despise not the trial. If God allows trials to come your way, then that means He has purposed them to expose, correct or develop something in you.
Job also determined to trust God in spite of his circumstances. The difficulty in trusting God during bad times is that the problems seem much more real than God. The visible elements dwarf the invisible. It is precisely during this time that you, like Job, must keenly focus on the God of all circumstances rather than complaining about the circumstances. Pray to God about His purpose for allowing them.
The apostle James says to ask God for wisdom during times of trials (1:5) and God will answer. When you focus on God, you will see how God wants to use your trials for your spiritual growth. When Jobs’ trials were complete, he said “now I know God with the seeing of the eye and not just the hearing of the ear” (42:5).
It’s one thing to learn about God in a church service or bible study. It’s quite another thing to experience the reality of God through the problems and pains of life. The Lord is with you not only on the mountaintops but in the valley as well. He is teaching you perseverance, so, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for in proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Gal. 6:9).
God wants to give you a fresh experience of His reality in your life. So if times are tough, keep your eyes looking up. Just beyond the overcast skies of your trials is the shining sun of God’s glory, ready to be revealed to you and take you to the next spiritual level.