Trials bring you closer to God!

Ever wondered why bad things happen to good people?  I have, especially during the spring of 2007 when I had an emergency appendectomy.  Though I was doing all I could to please God, sickness invaded my body.  In retrospect, however, I’m thankful for that experience.  My sickness gave me a new revelation – God is a healer – which drew me closer to Him!

Today’s recharge features a man named Jairus.  Mark describes him as a leader of the local synagogue, meaning he, like many of us, lived to please God.  Though he aimed for holiness, misfortune still found his address: his daughter became sick enough to die.  Ironically, this same trial brought him to Jesus.  Later, Jairus had a personal experience with Jesus’ healing power.

Maybe the madness in your life isn’t the result of bad deeds.  Maybe it’s there because of what you don’t know.  God is too awesome to reduce to a few characteristics, so He allows trials to reveal more of Himself to us.  Let this season of madness teach you more about God and bring you closer to Him.

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.  Instead, be very glad – for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world (1 Peter 4:12-13, New Living Translation)

Trials bring out the best in you!

I’m sure that lifting a car isn’t on anyone’s list of things to do.  But stories have been shared about women who have lifted cars off of trapped family members.  Something about seeing their loved ones helpless underneath a vehicle generates supernatural strength within these women.  In other words, trials bring out the best in them.

I’m sure Peter hadn’t planned to walk on water; the thought probably never crossed his mind.  But something about the storm he and the disciples encountered that night catapulted him to a new level of faith.  When he heard Jesus’ invitation, immediately, Peter stepped out of the boat and onto the water.  Though he certainly dreaded the strong wind and waves, he had a reason to be thankful for the storm.  The same storm that seemed like their demise brought out the best in Peter.

I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful for the madness in my life.  Somehow, someway, it always brings out the best in me – faith, patience, self-control, etc.  So just hang in there, and wait for your best to shine through the mess!

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment … (Romans 5:3-4, New Living Translation)

Trials improve game-day performance!

Have you ever thought that your current trials are preparing you for future success?  I decided to improve my basketball skills a few summers ago, and my friend Lloyd helped me understand this principle.  He had me sprinting up and down the court and shooting until I couldn’t shoot anymore!  To make matters worse, he made me shoot free throws after barely surviving the shooting drills.  I thought, “How can I shoot free throws when I’m gasping for air and barely able to hold my arms up?”  That’s when he gave me a nugget of wisdom: “If you can shoot free throws when you’re tired, then you’ll make them when you’re fresh.”  He understood that my current pain would help me in the future.

David helped me understand that even spiritual trials help us perform better in the future.  I’m sure he had no idea why God allowed a lion and a bear to attack his sheep.  Although the lion and bear probably seemed like bizarre occurrences, they served a vital purpose.  They increased David’s faith in God’s conquering power!  And his experiences with the lion and bear gave him courage to confront Goliath (see verse cited above), who was at least twice his size!  Notice the assertiveness with which David addresses Goliath: “Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head …” (1 Samuel 17:46, New Living Translation).

I know the madness in your life may seem rough, but remember, it’s just practice.  And the good thing about practice is that it improves game day performance.  David is a witness, so am I, and soon, you will be too!  Keep the faith!

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! (2 Corinthians 4:17, New Living Translation)