Have you ever heard the age old saying, “The Lord is testing me”? It’s usually said during a situation where your patience is being tried. Ever locked your keys in your car? Ever had a flat tire? Random fender bender?
During such instances the thought might cross your mind, “The Lord is testing me.” But what does that mean?
Is He testing our patience, kindness, faithfulness? Or maybe it’s a mixture of all of those things.“Sometimes a change in perspective can bring a change in attitude, and a change in attitude can bring a change to your spirit.”
How do you react whenever the going gets tough? What if it is more serious than a flat tire? What if you go through a natural disaster and have to start over? What if one of your loved ones becomes seriously ill?
In this devotional I’m going to offer some short tips that have been a blessing to me over the years and that I hope can help you better understand the meaning of trials and the trying of your faith.
The Testing of Your Faith
One of my favorite books of the Bible to read when I am struggling (and perhaps feeling a bit sorry for myself) is Job.
One of my favorite verses is Job 2:10b…
What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.Job 2:10b (KJV)
This verse was a balm to my soul and a prick at my heart because I noticed that yes, in a naive way I had been expecting that if I was good that I would only receive good things. I noticed I had this “why me?” attitude whenever I went through trials.
And then I was reminded of this verse in James…
2) My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3) Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4) But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.James 1:2-4 (KJV)
It’s always been easy for me to look back and realize that the personal trials I’ve gone through were anything but joyous.
However, now that I’m older I’ve been able to reflect further. I’ve learned that those trials taught me to become a better person.“The joy I felt from those trials was never in the trials themselves. Rather, it came from the peaceful realization that my Heavenly Father could overcome whatever might happen to me in life.”
Without having the lessons of loss and heartbreak, I wouldn’t have realized that I was not the one in control. As a matter of fact, I never was.
I felt like I was clinging to God like a sparrow in a hurricane during those times. Yet when the storm was over I looked back and realized He had been holding me as well, I was never alone.
The joy I felt from those trials was never in the trials themselves. Rather, it came from the peaceful realization that my Heavenly Father could overcome whatever might happen to me in life.
It was my faith in God that brought me joy in trials. I believe that was what the testing of my faith was trying to teach me all along.
With that said, I would like to challenge you today. I challenge you to think of a situation in your life where you’ve questioned ‘Why is this happening to me?’ and change that thought to ‘What are you trying to teach me Lord?’.
Sometimes a change in perspective can bring a change in attitude, and a change in attitude can bring a change to your spirit.
I challenge you to ‘let patience have her perfect work’ in your life today and to leave all of the burdens you’ve been trying to carry alone. (Jas. 1:4) Instead, lay them down at the foot of the cross.
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