Thursday, September 9, 2010

Joy in trials?

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
And let endurance have its perfect result,
so that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4

"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you,
which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were
happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ,
keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory
you may rejoice with exultation." 1 Peter 4:12-13

How often have I found myself surprised by trials. Surprised by the pain, the depth, the doubt. Surprised by my sinful, untrusting heart. Surprised by how the trial draws my eyes away from my Saviour and His refining hand.
Then His grace brings repentance, forgiveness, restoration and comfort.
Then my heart can find joy.
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good
to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the
image of his Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called,
He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
What shall we say to these things?
If God is for us, who is against us?
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all,
how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
Who will bring a charge against God's elect?
God is the one who justifies;
who is the one who condemns?
Christ Jesus is He who dies, yes, rather who was raised,
who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us."
Romans 8:28-34
Praise God for His sovereign, tender, loving care for His chosen ones.

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