Friday, January 24, 2014

Do you need encouragement?

Hi Friends,
I am currently going through a difficult trial, and
today I wondered if maybe you are too?
If so, maybe this devotional that was sent to me
by a Pastor in Ireland
may help you too? I hope so...
Dear All,

Today's verse is 1 Peter 1:7:"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."

Any true child of God knows that the Christian life is not "child's play."  It is not a long, unending string of fun reverie and pleasant pastime.  Any new Christian who has this false impression had better study the Scripture and find the truth, or else he will soon be disillusioned.  Though Christians have spiritual "rest," since they are not trusting in their own works anymore (Hebrews 4:9-11), and though they often have periods of great joy and manifest blessings, they also must face many fiery trials.  Christians must make it a daily habit to "gird up the loins" of their minds--to think seriously and soberly, and to discipline their minds in accordance with the doctrine of Scripture (1 Peter 1:13).  Christians must be prepared to put on the "armour of God" every day, and to fight against a ruthless enemy who never sleeps or lets up in his attacks (Ephesians 6:10-17).

However, Peter has good news for us.  First of all, the "trial of your faith" is precious to God.  Not only does He care about your trials; He cherishes them, as something precious and invaluable.  He is, in fact, the very One who sends them (or allows them).  Whether a trial be directly from God, or from the hand of Satan, with God's permission, trials are designed to teach us to rely on God--something that we are very slow to do otherwise.  It is for this reason that our trials are precious to Him.

The second encouraging truth about our trials is that some day they will be "found unto praise and honour and glory," when Christ appears in the clouds and takes us to heaven.  The word "found" means just what it sounds as though it means.  It means "to be seen," or "known," or "realised."  Apparently, God will, at the Judgment Seat, reveal to us exactly how our earthly trials (when properly responded to on our part) brought praise, honour, and glory to Himself.  We tend to think that our trials will remain in the dark, buried and unknown; but to God, every godly response to a trial, no matter how seemingly small or even unknown to any other human eye, is exceedingly precious to Him.  He is keeping track; and though it may never be seen, known, or recognised by anyone else in this life, your righteousness will be brought forth "as the light," and your judgment "as the noonday," when you stand before the Lord (Psalm 37:6).  He will show how your patience through a trial caused a lost person to begin thinking about the Lord, and about salvation.  He will show how your choice to die to self, and to respond with love and kindness to someone who has done you evil, was used of God to prick the consciences of both lost and saved people around you.  Though you may not, during this life, have had any idea what God was doing, the Lord will reveal it all.  God's purpose in making known your right response to trials will not be to bring glory to you, but to reveal how your trials, which were designed by God, brought glory to Himself.

Don't be discouraged at the trials you are going through.  God wants to use them for His glory; and some day, He will give you the privilege of knowing exactly how He used them for His glory.  As the old song says, "We'll understand it better by and by."

In Christ,


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