James 1:2-8,12 NIV
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
God never promised us that our lives would be free from hardship or trials. He did promise however, that He would always be with us with sufficient grace to meet our needs.
Those that preach and teach the “prosperity gospel” or some version of it, claim that there will be nothing but success and good days. Nothing is further from the truth.
A person once told me that they were told they didn’t have enough faith, otherwise their mother would not have died. Again, nothing is further from the truth.
God’s children will face trials in their life. It is nice when we are on the mountain top, but valleys will surely come.
As believers, we are certainly not immune from hardship or trials. In fact, God teaches us great things during these times.
Those of you who have been through personal trials fully understand the lessons you learned during the trial and the spiritual growth you experienced.
One example we have used before is the Apostle Paul. He prayed three times for his “thorn in the flesh” to be removed, but God said no. It was to remain for Paul’s benefit and service to God.
Maybe you are going through a trial now or have been through trials. When trials come our way, it is easy to ask God the question “Why me?”
Why did I have to lose my job? It will ruin me financially.
Why do I always seem to have problems? If it can go wrong, it does so for me.
Why did I get sick? I’m too young to be afflicted with disease.
Whatever your trial, there is a lesson that will be learned and YES, God cares.
People who have suddenly lost their jobs, have found new doors opened for them. Yes, they had financial difficulties and yes, the situation was difficult and trying for the family, but the new doors opened to greater blessings. They learned to be patient and trust in God realizing that He sets the timetable.
People who have succumbed to illness have gone on to testify how God blessed them through their sickness. Some who recovered from heart attacks or cancer have stated that God opened their eyes during their trial and their faith/trust grew stronger as they depended more on God. They stated that God sent them a "wake-up" call. In the end, they grew spiritually and closer to God.
Yes, many have gone into nursing homes with what seemed unbearable maladies or circumstances and some have died young or earlier than expected. Yet, in these cases we have seen God working through His children during their trials. In instances known to the author, we have seen people going through these trials who were a blessing and light to all around them. We know without a doubt, that God’s grace is sufficient for ALL the needs of His children.
What Is God Teaching Me?
What lessons do we learn as we endure trials?
We learn and realize that God is in total control.
We learn that our faith and trust must remain sure and steadfast… and it can.
We learn perspective; that is, what is important in life and what isn’t.
We learn to be thankful for all that God has done for us in our life.
We learn that each day is a gift. Not a guarantee.
We learn that God’s grace is sufficient to meet our needs.
God Is With Us On The Mountain Top, As Well As In The Valley
The God that is with us on the mountain top, is the same God that is with us in the valleys of life. Often on the mountain top we take Him for granted, but in the valleys we realize our need and who can supply our needs.
When trials come, look to Him. You will never walk alone, as He is with you each step of the way.
Joshua 1:9 NIV
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
We will close this lesson with the following scriptures. Let us learn to praise God for ALL things.
Romans 12:12 NIV
12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 5:3-5 NIV
3 Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
John 16:33 NIV
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.