Trials Are Problematic – April 6, 2016

1 Peter 4:12, Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

1 Kings 19:9, There he went into a cave and spent the night.  And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”  11The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”  Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

1 Corinthians 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

This week, we’ve been looking at what James the brother of Jesus says about trials in our lives. James was no stranger to trials in his life.  He was eventually martyred for his faith.  James 1:2 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds…”  Yesterday, we said trials are inevitable, but James also said trials are problematic.  James said to consider it all joy when you fall into various trials or many colored trials.  James was saying that our trials can come in various shapes, sizes and colors.  He was also saying, our reactions can be just as different.

When we go through trials sometimes we get depressed, other times we get mad, other times we get envious of others and think we are the only ones experiencing problems, and still other times we withdraw from other people when we experience a trial.  In 1 Kings 19, Elijah is on the run from Jezebel who wanted to kill him; he’s separated himself from everyone else and has become despondent.  God shows up to Elijah and says, “What are you doing here?”  And that was a great question God was asking Elijah, why he was so despondent, depressed and why he had isolated himself from everyone else. In other words, “What are you doing here?”

I think there are a lot of times that God asks the same questions? Why are you so down? Why have you isolated yourself? And, why don’t  trust Him more?  So yes, our trials are problematic, but the way we respond to our trials can be more problematic.  Join me tomorrow, and I’ll share the third thing James says about our trials.

Think about it and have a blessed day!

John Mark Caton, Ph.D