“…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…” (1 Pet 1:6,7 NLT).
God is allowing something right now to happen in your life to observe and evaluate your confidence in the truth and promises of scripture. He wants to see if you can face life’s challenges that normally would cause depression, anxiety, fear, loneliness and guilt. The sense of danger always seems to be our reaction to serious problems. Hey, problems are problems and that never changes-but what is the solution? What is the way out? The Teacher knows the answers to the test He is giving and He grades you according to your correct or incorrect response. God knows how we will react, but we do not know. We think we do, but we really don’t. What we believe is seen in how we react to trials just verbalizing our statement of faith.
As we trust him in the storms of life we will see more of his power and nature, not our achievements. God does not polish our trophies he purifies our being and shows us who He is. We say we know what it is to trust in God, much like knowing the answers to a test. God tests that assertion. God is in total control of the test and as a child of God, he is not out to destroy you but remove the unwanted element of self reliance. tested faith, perseverance in full blossom in the ratification of our faith. It is now faith with some muscle. It is my conviction that the test depends on what level you are, every test is adjusted accordingly-and you will walk past the real danger not realizing until later, it was on a chain.
I have paraphrased a story from the classic book Pilgrims Progress in which the traveler named Christian came to the top of a hill and saw two men running at full speed the wrong way. The name of the one was Mistrust (which means full of fear) and Timorous (which means full of doubt). They were on their way to the Celestial City but they had seen blood thirsty lions and were on their way back to their homes in the City of destruction.
Christian became afraid when he heard this, but there was no where to go. He knew the only place of safety was moving forward towards Celestial City. Mistrust and Timorous ran down the hill, and Christian went ahead. But realized he lost the scroll of God’s promises somewhere earlier that day. After a long search he found them but now it was dark and he still had to face those monsters of which Mistrust and Timorous had warned him.
As he walked he saw on the side of the road he saw a beautiful palace and as he began to walk toward it there was a narrow passage. Then he saw the Lions. They were growling and vicious. He did not know how he would get past them and he was about to turn around when a man named Watchful yelled to him, “Don’t be afraid of these lions for they are chained up and they are left here to test if travelers have genuine faith. If you stay in the middle of the path they cannot touch you.”
He walked right through them and they roared and clawed at him but did not injure him at all. Christian was not only relieved but he started clapping and shouting!
All of your trials and difficulties are chained. There is a divine restraint on your difficulties. That should bring great confidence in God. Oh trials are real, this is not a game, but they are on a leash. No matter how difficult the trial, God has restrained it from destroying you. Already you have seen others run away from something that you faced. You were no better than them, but you knew you had no other choice but to serve God. You thought, “I cannot go back because there is nothing to go back to.” You kept your eyes on Jesus and walked past the danger on a chain.
You went on thinking that you might fail but that did not stop you. You kept going and saw God was true to his Word. You thought you might lose everything and instead you gained more than you could have dreamed. You even thought you might die, and you are still alive. All things are designed by God for his glory in your welfare and nothing that happens to you even though it hurts you will not harm you (Rom. 8:28). All God requires is forward motion. Keep going. Keep believing. Stay on the path. Walk past the danger on a chain.
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