Date: March 3, 2019 ()

Bible Text: 1 Peter 1 |


1. God is not Ignorant of your trials
2. There can be joy in your trials
3. Your trial is not Eternal
4. Your trial can bring glory to God

In our Bibles this morning, we are turning to First Peter. It is towards the end of the New Testament if you are not sure of where that is. Hopefully you have a Bible. It is very important to bring your Bible to church. If you do not have a Bible, there could be a few in the hymn book area. We call them pew Bibles, they are Black and it says Holy Bible on them. Towards the back of that you will see a book called First Peter.

There was a missionary, many call him the founder of modern missions named William Carey. William Carey, again known as the kind of the founder of modern missions. He went to India in 1793. And he worked there in India for about 40 years. He never once return to his native England. He translated a lot of scripture and portions of scripture. In India there are a lot of languages and dialects. And so William Carey was able to translate portions of scripture in over a dozen Indian languages. In 1793, he went over to India, and one afternoon in around 1813, about 20 years after he had been working in India, a fire broke out and raged. It went through Carey's printing plant and his warehouse. All of William Carey's printing equipment was destroyed. And most tragically many of the manuscripts. This was, if you are not familiar, remember this is in 1813. So this is before smartphones. It is before a lot of you, he did not have a jump drive that he could just pop in and record all of his translation work. So all of the manuscripts that he was working on went up in flames, 20 years of labor and gone within a few hours.

Carey had a good friend back in England, you might have seen some of his books, we have some of his books down in our bookstore. HIs good friend was Andrew Murray. Carey wrote Andrew Murray, a little bit later and this was what he said. "The ground must be labored over again, but we are not discouraged. We have all been supported under the affliction and preserved from discouragement. To me, the consideration of the divine sovereignty and wisdom of God has been very supporting. I preached on this affliction last Lord's Day from Psalm 46:10, 'Be still and know that I am God.' I presented to our congregation two ideas. God has a sovereign right to dispose of us as he pleases. And secondly, we ought to submit in all that God does with us and to us." So here is 20 years of work and labor and it is all up in flames. And what does he do? He submits to God, and said, God must have had a plan.

First Peter chapter one, notice in verse one it says, "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia." And so here we see right away that Peter is the author. Most people, there could be I guess some debate on it, but Peter is the author of this book. But it is written to the strangers scattered, scattered throughout. Most believe that this was written, the book of First Peter, was written between 64 and 67 A.D. It is written to strangers scattered abroad. And so most believe that it was primarily the Jewish Christians that were dispersed abroad because of persecution. At this time, Nero was in power, most believe because of the writings that, are within the book of Peter, Peter seems to reference some of the Pauline Epistles. So it seems to indicate that Peter had read some of Paul's letters, because he has some of the wording and even references some of Paul's writings. But it is before Paul dies under the hand of Nero.

So here we see Nero and he is stirring it up and the persecution is reaching out from Rome, stretching out. And most of these, cities that are mentioned are in Asia Minor, which is modern day Turkey. And so here it is written to these churches, more than likely churches that are there, he says strangers, but it is Christians that are in this area of Asia minor or Turkey. That is just kind of introduction, so you at least know what the context is. You go down to verse five, and this is what Peter is writing to these guys. He says, "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time." Look at verse six and seven. It gives us kind of the context of what we are going to preach on all day to day, "Wherein ye greatly rejoice,..." Why are you, why are you so happy you strangers? Why are you so happy? "...though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:" That idea of manifold means a lot, so through various or a lot of temptation. So wait a minute, "ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations." Look at verse seven, "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." So this morning we are going to look at, and then tonight and actually through the month of March, probably a little bit into April as I have been studying it. We are going to be talking about an idea or subject, that I am entitling, "Let's Get Over It." And part of it is we need to get a biblical understanding of trouble and trial.

So we are going to take the book of First Peter this morning and tonight and look at the biblical concept of trouble and trial. Because there are a lot of different ideas, but I like to know what does scripture have to say. And Peter, especially first Peter is written specifically for those that have manifold temptations, manifold trials, trouble comes into your life and you are saying, all right, who is mad at me? I guess I sinned. That is what we are going to try to touch on this morning and look at some truths about trial. What are some truths right from the book of First Peter and try to understand biblically what the Bible has to say. The truth is that all through scripture there is a lot to say about trouble and trial. Alright, let me just give you a few if you want to jot them down, I have a list of them. You can catch me afterwards because I am going to go quickly through them.

But all through scripture, the Old Testament and New Testament, you read about a little bit of struggle. For instance, even Psalm 23, the psalm that we love to quote and love to think about says in Psalm 23:4 it says this, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me..." What is it saying? Even if I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, just so you know, that does not sound like a happy time, right, that does not sound really exciting. But God says, I will be with you. He addresses it even in Psalm 23. Psalm 34:17, "The righteous cry and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their" (guess what) "troubles." John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." And Romans chapter five, I am going to read this one a little more in the context. Because it says this in Romans five because normally, we think about the book of Romans as a lot of talk about salvation. Verse 1 says, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed;" What is he saying, that we are justified and we have peace with God and this peace with God helps us through the grace of God endure tribulation. You know what the word tribulation means? Problems--trouble. Second Corinthians chapter 12:9. "And he said unto me," this is God talking to the Apostle Paul, "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." I forgot one verse, a verse most of us know, Romans 8:28 where it says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." The Bible says in Romans 12:12, "Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation;..." and Second Thessalonians 1:4, "So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure." James chapter 1:2, "My brethern, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations." And that word, temptations is the word for trial or trouble or tribulation.

Alright, so we started way back in Psalms and these are not all the verses about trial and tribulation. So you know what you are finding, as we are just doing a little bit of introduction. Wow. There is a whole lot in the Bible that talks about trouble and tribulation. Because guess what you are going to find, in this life you are going to have trouble and tribulation. And so we need to know a biblical perspective of how we can deal with it and get over it, because trouble and tribulation is going to come in your life. Heavenly father, I pray as we look at this topic this morning and get some truths about trials, I pray that the word of God would do what was already testified, and that is the word of God can build and strengthen a life and we can rely on it. I pray that when we have troubles and trials, some even sitting here probably are facing that. And say, well, I am glad he is finally touching on it. Lord, I pray that it would be a help biblically to strengthen us, to see God's perspective in regards to trials. As always Lord do that, which I can't, that is speak to hearts. We ask and claim your power in Jesus' name. Amen.

And so a couple of truths this morning about trials from our text. Notice what it says in the context we are going to take them all from Peter, from the book of First Peter 1:5-7, "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of (notice what it says) your faith, being much more precious than gold..." So truth number one about trials, God knows about your trial. God knows about your trial. I can take you to John Chapter 16, where it says, hey, if you are in this world, you are going to, ye shall have tribulation. This is not a shock to God that you are having a trial or in trouble.

Okay, it is not a shock to Him that you are, maybe it could be a shock to the doctor. Guess what you could walk in tomorrow. You may have walked in this week and the doctor comes out and he is despondent because maybe he has known you for a long time. You have been going in to see him for decades and you have been just a bastion of health. So you can see it on his face. He is like, what are you talking about? The doctor can be shocked, I don't understand it. More than likely the doctor is not going to say that right. Just so you know most of them are not going to admit that they ever don't know anything. All right? But a doctor comes out and says you know, this is really odd and it may shock him. But guess what it is not a shock to God. Right.

If you are a Christian, if you are saved and you are a child of God, He has a purpose for your life. He has a planned out for you. I know we have choices. There is a great fight and balance as far as theology as far as the elect of God and does God make people do this? But I understand a little bit of choice and will, but God is not shocked when things go bad here on this earth and God is not shocked when there is trouble in your life. I think that is helpful in some sense. I know this, it is not in some sense if you are a child of God. There are times he has authored the trial. He is the originator of the trial. There are times that, yes, in our own stupidity, our own weakness because of sin and different things, many times we can look through scripture and we can see not many times, but a few times that, hey, you know what? Somebody brought it on themselves, but this is what you are going to find, and this is just a little challenge to you through the month of March. Go through scripture, find people that had trial in their life and what you are going to find is the majority of time that trial is in their life it is not because of sin, it is because God authored it. You are saying Joseph was a big sinner, yeah he was a sinner. But those trials and troubles, even Joseph at the end of his life said, God meant it for good. God knows what is going on.

Here in this passage, it says in chapter one in verse seven, "That the trial of your faith, being much more (look what it says) precious than gold." I looked through the book of Peter, and that word 'precious' is used a couple of times. In fact, it is found later in verse 19. Look what it says, "But with the precious blood of Christ." Okay, look at chapter two and verse four. "To whom coming, as unto a lively stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious," okay? Peter likes this word precious. He says that our salvation is precious. In fact in Second Peter chapter one he says, we have precious promises in Second Peter chapter one. So there are things that are precious, but I would not have said that my trial is precious. I do not really connect those two words. All right, I am not thinking precious and trial are supposed to be in the same verse. Somebody messed up. No, God is the author maybe of the trial. Why? Because "the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth." And he is talking about your faith too. That is your faith that is precious, but also I think there is a little bit that the trial is. God brings it in and don't look at it and just start turning and hating God and saying, God, why are you doing this to me? That is a fleshly attitude. Do not deal with a spiritual problem in a fleshly way.

If you want a spiritual outcome to the trial, then deal with it spiritually. Because sometimes you get a trial and you deal with it fleshly and there is a fleshly outcome that is not God's intent. God has authored it. Why, in verse seven "to be tried with fire." Why, that you "might be found unto the praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." That idea, and I think many of us have read or maybe not many, but I would think there is some of us in here that have studied this idea of gold and the refining process of gold. And gold was put into a fire and it was heated up and what came to the top of that fire? Most of us know, what is it called, dross. That is the impurities. The only way impurity is cleaned out is with fire. You know what, fire in that sense was it friendly to the gold? It wasn't massaging it like, nice little gold piece. It was stoking it up. Why, because it had dirt and impurities in it. God, authors, these things, why? He wants our faith, pure and clean and good. He has authored this. If God is the author of the trial, that means there is a purpose.

Scripturally you can see a couple of purposes. Look at, we are in First Peter, so First Peter, 1:4 look at one of the purposes. Look what he says in verse one, "For as much then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings and abominable idolatries:" So what was he saying that Christ suffered and sometimes we suffer and some of it is to get the sin out. All right, that can be true. But as I mentioned in the Bible, as you study a lot of trial and tribulation, yes, I would admit I have read the book of Job. I have read, it dozens and dozens of times. I know that at the end there was a little bit of sin that Job had to get rid of, but mainly Job was tested to purify his faith, not necessarily to get the sin out. And I think most of us would attest to that with the book of Job. We see that with Joseph. I see that with the Apostle Paul. I see it over and over in scripture that good men, that God authors a testing a trial. And instead of turning to God and saying, hey, you know what? I do not think I deserve this, I mean that was not that big of a sin. Instead of doing that, saying, all right, God, you purpose this, you are the author of this. What is your benefit? Because God wants me to be pure gold. His purpose, is not to ruin your life. The truth about trial is that God wants you better. He wants you more perfect. And all of us kind of know this. A trial and a struggle helps us become better. Suffering, helps us to recognize sin. I understand that. That helped with the prodigal son didn't it? But it is not always that. In Hebrews 12, we see that, there is some chastening and scourging that can be done and it helps us through that discipline, through that scourging to become better.

So point number one, the truth about trial is God is not ignorant of your trial, God knows about your trial. Point number two, look at I Peter 1:6. All right, so we said, "Wherein ye greatly (what's that word?) rejoice..." So let's get back there again. Chapter one, First Peter one and verse six "Wherein you greatly what? So secondly, first God knows about our trial. Secondly, there can be joy in your trial. All right? Again, the suffering of the believer you would say produces joy--if dealt with properly. This can be accomplished not in ones own strength, but through the help of a triune God wherein ye greatly rejoice. This verse places two words that really do not belong in the context, rejoice and trials. You would not normally think of those two words being in the context. It kind of reminds me, if you have your place there in first Peter, we will come back to it. But look at Second Corinthians chapter six. Second Corinthians chapter six and Paul is speaking here and he is talking about being workers together. He is talking about the trial. Notice what he says in verse four, Second Corinthians 1:4, "But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses." Look at verse five, he keeps going, "In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed." Look at verse 10, "As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing..." There it is. It reminds me, Peter is reminding me of the Apostle Paul, where Paul also says, Hey, I am in sorrow, but I am rejoicing. Oh, wait a minute, those two words, you are a sorry, rejoiceer is that what you are saying? Now he is saying, I am in sorrow and that is kind of a sorrow, maybe it could be pain. Maybe it could be grief, grief that you experience from the loss of a loved one. But God says, I can be in sorrow and I can rejoice. Why, because the apostle Paul said it is possible and that comes through Christ. I can have joy.

In our text here in First Peter chapter one I think he gives us three clues to how to have joy. Look at verse three, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." You know how you can have joy in a trial--focus on salvation. Focus on salvation, what he is saying is you can have hope. Why, because Christ came up from the dead, resurrection power. And you know what, all that it may happen is in this life I may have tribulation, but there is heaven waiting. And in heaven I have eternal life. I will be with my heavenly Father. I will see my Savior face to face. So yes, I can have joy. I can have joy in the trial. Why? Because I can focus on my salvation.

Then notice in verse four to an inheritance incorruptible, I focus on eternity. I not just focus on salvation because I am saved. The best the devils got, it is not taking away my salvation. The best he's got, it is over with. Why? Because through Christ, through his resurrection, he is dead to me. The devil no longer has power over me. Why? Because I am saved my eternity is set. So that is salvation, but it also focus on eternity because the Bible says I have an inheritance, incorruptible. What does incorruptible mean? It does not rust. It does not go away. It is eternal. And so those of you that have been taught of a partial salvation or hey, you can be saved one day and not saved the next day. I am sorry, that does not sound like an inheritance incorruptible. It sure sounds like a corruptible inheritance. It sounds like something you can lose. And according to the Bible, my salvation, if it was up to me, it could be lost. Because I am not good and I am not a good keeper of it. But I am not resting on my laurels, I am resting on Christ and his finished work. And so my focus is not just on salvation, but my focus is on eternity.

And then look at verse three, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." And then in verse five, "Who are kept by the (what?) power of God..." How can you have joy and a trial? Focus on salvation, focus on eternity. And then just flat out focus on God. Blessed be the God, not a god, the God. And guess what he can do. He can keep you because he has power and not just any type of power. He is omnipotent. So every one of us in here, if every one of us are in a trial, all of us, it is not going to tap His power out. You know if you go to foreign nations, I have been there in foreign nations. Every once a while you are there in a place, those of you that have visited a foreign nation, especially third world countries. If you are visiting a missionarys they will come in and maybe there is some instructions and they will say, hey, in the afternoon, as much as possible, turn everything off. And every once in a while I will be at a place and I am not used to that. I live here in America. And so I am there in the house and all of a sudden 'bzzzzzzzz' they call it a brownout. Okay. And so the lights and you are like what's up, I can't see. You know what is happening, there is not enough power because other people are all tapping into it.

Now the beauty about God is, all of us here can all be having a trial and all of us are going to God and saying, hey. I have got my extension cord because my energy is low. I need a generator. So I am coming up and I am plugging in and then you are in, this person is, and this person is, and God is like, oh, my word, that is Fairhaven. What is up with them? Wow. They are just tapping me out, and you know what that is it. You, you, you, you, you, you no I am unpluging you, and you too. You were like, ahhh, I don't got any strength. God never ends up that way. He is never at a place where He says I have to go get an energy bar. That Fairhaven, man. He does not need any of that. Why, because He is energy, He is the power of us. All right, we don't even understand all that He is, because not only everything that we have, we exist because He is. That is the power of our God and just focusing on that I think will help us sometimes in our trial, instead of on the person. You know many times in a trial you want to focus on the person like, oh, that, but go to God. Are you a child of God? This was not a shock to Him. So go to Him. And guess what, God is not ignorant of your trial.

Also you can have joy in your trial. Notice in verse six, "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness..." Go to First Peter chapter five, so we are in First Peter 5:9, it says here "Whom resist steadfast" This is talking about the devil. Resist him. But notice the phrase, "resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren..." There are a couple of thoughts here that come out. The one, 'for a season' and then 'the same afflictions are with your brethren.' You know one of deploys of the devil is the say that you are the only one going through a problem. He says here, you know what? There are other brethren that are going through afflictions. Now, I guess the the great, believe it or not, this is not a biblical phrase. 'Misery loves company', okay? That is not a Bible verse, misery loves company. But here in this thing there is something that helps me out, to know that I am not the only one that struggles with trials and tribulations. Everybody has trials and tribulation. Then the point in verse six of chapter one says for a season, so God is not ignorant. I can have joy in the trial and guess what? The trial is not eternal. It is for a season. Now you may think it is eternal, like, oh, you have no idea, 20 years. I understand. So is that eternal though? No, I been at this for 50 years. Is that eternal? I know that is half a century, but the last I checked, half a century is not eternal? It is not because it will come to an end. It may come to an end when I die and go to heaven and that is sometimes what we have to understand. But that is it, then that is it, it is done. Because in heaven what do I get? I get a glorified body. So if the trial or struggle is physical and I have a disease or I have something that is kind of incapacitating me, or it is making me kind of disabled and I have been hanging on for 10 years and 15 years in 20 years. In heaven, you are not going to be disabled. In heaven you will have a new body. We are in heaven, it is done. So guess what? There is an end to it. The trial will not be eternal. Now for a season, it indicates an end to the trial. And I know of folks that have had trials for 15 years, I have known people that have had trials longer.

In fact, if you think in the Bible, the book of Revelation was written by John, okay? According to what we know historically about John, John was exiled to the isle of Patmos. I believe he died there on the isle of Patmos. Most believed that he died maybe in his nineties or around a hundred okay? So that might have been 30 to 35 plus years that he is exiled. So here is this trial and the trouble that the Apostle John even is experiencing, and it is longer than most of our trials, most of us sitting here have not had a trial for 30 years or 30 plus years. Maybe you have, but guess what? It can be that long. Not all trials are 10 years or 15 years or 20 years, but it is possible. There can be a disease or there can be an illness that lasts that long. But still when I die, if I am a Christian, it is done. That means it is not eternal. It is a season, so understand that. Most of our trials I believe, so now I have been in the ministry 27 years. In 27 years, most of the trials that I have worked with people, when I could run a gamut on it, it is probably one to two years. It is kind of the norm, one to two years. There are some, I know of some pastor friends and they have had struggles. And some of you even sitting here, I know of some that it has been 20 years that it has been a trial. But during that trial, it is not been always that it is a heavy burden because through that trial you have learned to rejoice. Through that trial you realize you turn to God and your focus was on God, and then all of a sudden you have understood that God sent this because you are a child of God. He has a purpose and he is refining your faith. That is what we need to understand as far as the truths about trial.

Then in verse five and six all right, and this one is already clear, "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith,..." I go to chapter two and verse 20, "For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently?" Look at chapter three and verse 17, "For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, then for evil doing." Chapter four and verse one, "Forasmuch then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind..." Why? Because you are going to suffer. Look at verse 12 how do I know that? In chapter four verse 12 says, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you." Guess, what? another truth. Trials are part of the Christian life. Trials are part of the Christian life.

You may say, and this was what I can tell you, there are pastors and there are ministries that are out in America and they have taken this and that is why I think they have a strain of heresy in their ministries. Because they do not want to address, they basically give you this impression that if everything isn't flowery, if everything; if your bank account isn't exploding; if all of a sudden if you are not a picture of health and wealth and wisdom; then God is not blessing you. Then they capitalize on that. And if you give me enough money, I will give you this secret. I would love to be able to say that I would love to have this secret and get all the money and just say, I lied. Okay, but the Bible says that trials are going to come into our life. I know that might not be popular, I know it may not be that. Oh wow, that does not sell books. But guess what, "You too will suffer." Oh, that does not sound like a popular title. No, but guess what? As a Christian, you too will suffer because in the Christian life, Jesus said, ye shall have tribulation. Shall, okay, that means it is going to happen. Trials are a part of the Christian life. It does not exempt me when I trust Jesus Christ as my savior, it does not exempt me from the consequences of sin. It does not exempt me from trials. I am going to have them.

And then look at First Peter chapter four, this is our last truth I would like to share with you out of First Peter. So what are we seeing out of First Peter? God knows about our trial. There can be joy in our trial. The trial will not be eternal. Trials are a part of the Christian life. And then look at First Peter 4:14, "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy, are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he (who is the he? God and Christ) is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil doer, or as a busy body in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf." If you handle trials properly, God is glorified. God is glorified when a Christian handles a trial biblically.

And we will address, I think there is some helps in going through the trial, and we'll cover that tonight. But let's not think of trials as, God is getting at us. In fact, what did he say? You have a precious faith and that trial is making that faith pure. And I am not saying that all we should jump up and down. It is kind of weird if all of a sudden, you are like, oh man, just kill me, shoot me, beat me. Yeah, then you got issues. Okay, but guess what? When that trial comes and the suffering is there, look at it and say, happy are you, if you are reproached for the name of Christ.

What kind of the world is making fun of me because I am a preacher. Happy are you? Why? For the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you. Maybe it is because they see that God is on you. Maybe they see the spirit of God working through you and just like Steven. Remember Steven and his trial, he preached the word of God and he preach it with such conviction that they came and they nashed on him with their teeth it says. I have yet to have that happen. All right. I am just thinking that that would not feel good. And then they stone him. But what did they say? They looked at him and they said his face was as it was, he was in heaven. They saw the spirit of God upon him. May God help us when trials come to understand the truth about trial. God knows about them and you can have joy and yes, they are for a season, but it is not eternal. Every Christian, you are going to face trials, but that trial can bring glory to our heavenly father. God's goodness can be seen.

One man wrote it this way. I asked the Lord that I might grow in faith and love and every grace. Might more of his salvation know and seek more earnestly his face. Twas he who taught me thus to pray and he I trust has answered prayer. But it has been in such a way, as almost drove me to despair. I hope that in some favorite hour at once, he'd answer my request. And by His love's constraining power, subdue my sense and give me rest. But instead of this, he made me feel the hidden evils of my heart. Let the angry powers of hell assault my soul in every part. Yeah more with his own hand, he seemed intent to aggrevate my woe. Crossed all the fair designs I schemed blasted my gourds and laid me low Lord, why is this, I trembling cried. Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death? Tis in this way, the Lord replied, I answer prayer for grace and faith. These inward trials I employ from self and pride to set thee free, and break thy schemes of earthly joy, that thou mayest find thy all in me.

Did you get the point of this guy's poem? This man who wrote this poem was John Newton. Remember John Newton, the author of Amazing Grace. And here he found God's amazing grace. And for some reason he was having a hard time, a trial. And he went to God and he prayed and he said, God help me. And it seemed as though God unleashed his own hand on him. And then God answered him and said, because I want you to rest your all in me.

The hand of flesh will fail. And sometimes trials get us to turn us back off of ourselves because, oh, I'm so good. And get us again to think about God. Because it is God who saved me. And it is God who will sustain me in this life. I cannot live the Christian life on my own. And so trials, the truth of trials is that every one of us have trials because on our own and in our own strength, we start going our own way. Prone to wonder Lord, I feel it.


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