Monday, March 24, 2008
The Purpose of Trials
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. We had the kind of Easter that makes chapter 23, "The Purpose of Trials" relevant. We had just returned from a wonderful three weeks in Arizona to learn that Frank's mom had been hospitalized. We spent Easter Sunday driving to Joplin to see her. It was tough for Frank. "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him." (James 1:12) This verse is an encouragement to me as was the whole chapter in Your Best Life Now. Joel says, "We all face challenges, struggles, and times when things don't go our way......God has a divine purpose for every challenge that comes into our lives. He doesn't send problems, but sometimes He allows us to go through them." In difficult times we find what is inside us. I Peter 4:12 says, "Don't be amazed at the fiery ordeal that's taking place to test your quality as though something strange was happening." God uses trials to cleanse us, purify us, and refine us so that we can become the person God wants us to be. Joel says that God is more interested in changing us than He is in changing our circumstances. Do we have what it takes? Will we trust God to get us through the tough spots? God may be trying to toughen us up a little. Will we soar with the eagles? Joel says that without the resistance of air, an eagle can't soar. Our trials serve to make us stronger.