It’s amazing how much we learn when we study the Bible and how some of the messages jump right out at us when we read with a hungry heart. The scriptures are God’s own inspired words that He’s given to us so we can learn about Him and become better disciples. As we study, our faith grows and we feel confident that God loves us and will help us through anything. Yet—it’s not until we attempt to put our faith to work that we really know how much of what we have read is in us. It’s not until trials hit that we often discover who we really are.
It’s easy to say, “Oh, I would never do that”, or “If that happened to me I’d do this”, but it’s not always the way we react during an actual crisis. When we look at any conflict from the outside with an analytical eye, most of us would make a proper and calm decision. But when we’re under pressure with unexpected trials, it’s often an entirely different scenario. It’s these trials that show us how much faith we have and what we believe—and what we’ll act on.
Too often, it’s that down-to-earth, high-spirited and Bible filled person that shows a different face under pressure. The same guy that attends church on Sunday and leaves everyone envious of His remarkable faith and walk with God, can become a tyrannical monster on a busy highway during rush hour. He demonstrates a nasty temper and allows his mouth to resort to old worldly habits as he shouts out threats and jerks his car forward to cut off surrounding traffic. How different is this from the Christian we know on Sunday!
As we press forward to know God and serve Him with a whole heart, He allows trials to come that will test us along the way. And in each of these situations, we have the ability to turn to God for help and to be the person we think we are—or not. Without these trials, we will never really know what we believe in our heart or how we will react to them in relation to what we’ve learned in the Bible.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.—1 Corinthians 10:13
If we are short of money to pay a bill and we get angry and frustrated because we believe that we won’t get it and that we’ll face a bad outcome because of it, that should tell us that we don’t have faith in God to provide our needs. He said He would, but we don’t trust Him.
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.—Philippians 4:19
If we receive bad news and let depression take over with a sense of hopelessness, then we don’t have the joy in our heart that we thought we did. And we become weak and sorrowful because of it.
The joy of the Lord is your strength.—Nehemiah 8:10
If we are sick and we give in to the reports of the doctor and don’t seek God for healing because we believe the bad reports, this tells us that we don’t trust God to heal us even though He said we were healed at the cross. It’s one thing to read it and accept it; it’s another thing to believe it and act on it.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.—Isaiah 53:5
It’s the trials that we face that present us with the ability to choose what our actions will be. We can worry over the situation and be defeated, or we can pray about it and trust God to hear our prayer and answer it because we believe Him. It’s during these times that we discover if what we thought we knew actually got down into our heart.
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.—Matthew 21:22
Many Christians believe that once they’re saved life becomes one of good health, prosperity and only blessings. This is not what the Bible says because Jesus tells us that we will have trials and tribulations in life. We can expect them because we live in a corrupt world, but also, we need them to teach us and show us where our faith level is in the Lord.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.—John 16:33
When situations happen and we lose our temper or react badly, instead of getting angry with ourselves we need to look at each situation as it happens and thank God that He is allowing us to see what truth is in our heart and what truth has yet to get there. With each circumstance, we can pray and ask God to forgive us for our bad attitude or actions, and then ask Him to help us become more like Him. We can ignore the lessons from these trials and stay the way we are, or we can grow from them so that we can truly be the person we think we are when life is going along smoothly. We can ask Him to let His words dwell in our heart and not just in our mind so that they will be part of us and so that we can be effective disciples for Christ in the good times and in the bad.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.—Colossians 3:16
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