Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Adversity - Part 2 - To Mature and Complete

James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Continuing from yesterday: Thirdly, consider that in the use of adversity, trouble and sorrow, the Lord is using this time and these circumstances to equip us to help others. They make us compassionate and able to reach out to those in need. The best person to reach and comfort someone who is going through an adverse situation in life, is someone who has “walk a mile in their shoes”, meaning that a person who has experienced that same adverse trial in their life - (i.e. the best person to counsel and console a person who has lost a child in some manner, is a person who has lost a child in the same manner). Fourthly, adversity, trouble and sorrow draw us to God and drive us to our knees. They make us long for our real home, Heaven.

1 Peter 1:6-9 “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

It is mankind, by our sin, that brings most of the trouble in this world and the rest is brought by the consequences of “the Fall” in the Garden of Eden. As Christian Philosopher Blaise Pascal stated: “We do not realize just how great a fall that was.” As long as we live in this world, we will have trouble. The fifth and greatest use of adversity is maturing us in faith and making us Christ-like. If we are able to be like Jesus, we will have to pass through the valley of the shadows. Sometimes you must go through the valley to reach the top of the mountain. Figuratively, the valley is what we call the times of adversity.

Romans 8:18-21 ”I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.”

Although unpleasant at the moment, often out of the greatest suffering comes the greatest love and beauty.

In Christ, Brian

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