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Day 2- A Fruitful Christian Life Requires Trials

What Older Christians Want Younger Christians to Know
Day 2- A Fruitful Christian Life Requires Trials
Ruth P. McDonald

“For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” (James 1:3, ESV)
“Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” (1 Peter 5:9, ESV)
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12, ESV)

One of the bigger lies believers often buy into is that we shouldn’t experience hard trials since we are God’s children. We begin to think we are entitled to a good life and can easily fall into the thinking of the prosperity gospel where doing good means we should live comfortably. Nothing could be further from the truth! Rather, we must learn to accept that our life in Christ will not be without hard seasons. Jesus Himself experienced rejection, betrayal, discomfort, temptation from Satan and, ultimately, death. Why should our own life be sheltered from similar trials?

As a young believer, it’s important to arm yourself ahead of the spiritual battles that are sure to come your way. In order to grow, we have to experience the problems that come with living in a broken world. We will face our own seasons of illness, loss, heartache, rejection, and betrayal. There may be brokenness in your family unit, crippling your day-to-day peace and security. Whatever you are experiencing or have yet to experience, decide now to ready yourself.

God is so gracious in opening up 24/7 communication with Him through prayer, and He is our source of help in trying times. He is always listening, He always cares, and He wants to give us the help we need to see us through. Start a daily rhythm of prayer now so that it’s already a healthy part of your connection with God when you encounter a trial. Ask for wisdom and courage. Wait on His leading and refuse to make choices outside of scriptural principles. Ask other believers for help, and read His Word to give you direction and clarity.

As His children, though, we will also be disciplined. We must receive correction in order to mature in our faith and experience growth. The Bible discusses our need to be refined as silver in a fire, meaning we must walk through hard times to come out stronger and better. If we never experienced the fires of life, we would be weak in our faith and have a less impactful testimony. We can see through Scripture and history that our predecessors who did the most for God’s kingdom work here on earth faced hard seasons that molded them for better spiritual use.

It’s tempting for all of us at times to spout off with “It’s not fair!” Maybe we even wrestle with why God is allowing us to experience pain, heartache, and disappointment. We could choose to be angry at God for allowing us to fall into hard times and experience loss, but that won’t help us grow. Instead, it will turn us bitter and unsuitable for the work of God’s kingdom in our own sphere of influence. Those of us who are older in the faith have walked through a fire or two ourselves, and what’s always so amazing and humbling is that in those seasons we felt closer to God. Why? “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8, NKJV). It’s a promise!

If life is good right now, rejoice! But a word of warning—it won’t always be good. Some days and some seasons are going to be hard. Acknowledge that now and come to terms with the fact that we don’t live in a peace-filled world. Trials will come, of that we can be certain. The real question is, what will you do when they come your way? How we handle the trials of life is a reflection of our connection with God. Our best defense today is to deepen our relationship with Christ, and trust that whatever comes He will give us what we need to sustain us.


RPM

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