Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Friday, September 27, 2013

When Trouble Comes...

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. 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.
Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort!, He comforts us in all our troubles so that we will be able to comfort everyone who is in any trouble with the same comfort we have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort comes abundantly through Christ.
May Our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who has loved us, comfort your hearts, just as He has given us everlasting consolation and good hope through His grace .
YES!! Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me!

God good, and He is the giver of every good and perfect gift.  We live in a world of trouble and sorrow.  These two things often set themselves against each other, so we look at God our dear Father on the one hand, and on our troubled lives on the other, and we think, "WHY??" The short answer is that God does allow trouble, and that Satan is alive and well on Planet Earth, and Satan hates mankind--all of them/us. However, God is able to transmute our pain and sorrow into something else, and comfort us in all the difficulties we face, if we allow Him to minister to us.  It takes time.  Sometimes He seems quite absent, and our sorrows just overwhelm us, but then as time goes on, He reappears, and brings an armload of comfort and consolation with Him. Trials do strengthen us, even though they make us feel weak.  They work to our benefit, as they demonstrate that our faith is real, and they change us into better people, even as they build our relationship with God. They also make us far more sympathetic with other people in the same situations, and create in us the willingness to put an arm of comfort and kindness around those who suffer, so that we may give the same comfort we receive from God. These things only happen, though, if we do not get angry with God, and only if we seek Him in sincerity when the trial comes. We are always encouraged to pray for an end to difficulty, and God grants this in one way or another, based on His own decisions--for our lives are ultimately under His control.  There are several different potential "endings" to your problems; one is the deliverance that often comes, and is simply God intervening in your trial with healing, deliverance, or a complete change in your circumstances; another is Him ending the trial in heaven, with you entering heaven with Him; another is Him being with you in an extended trial, and holding your hand, as you walk through the valley of the shadow of death.