“Focus on the fruit, not on the pain.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 9, 2021
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. James 1:2-3
I recently spoke with a woman named Linda whose husband was unexpectedly convicted of a crime and put in prison for a year. During these 12 months, the Lord revealed Himself to Linda in ways she hadn’t experienced before in her life when things were going well: when she lived in an expensive, beautiful home and when her husband was her earthly provider.
During her husband’s imprisonment, Christ became everything to Linda. While talking with her, she said the Lord prepared her for her trial. She learned things about Him and her faith deepened, not in spite of her trial, but because of it. She was put to the test, and He proved faithful.
We will all go through trials. Some of them may be less difficult than Linda’s trial. Some of them may be more difficult. Regardless, God always wants to bring good out of our trials; in fact He wants to give us gifts of tribulation. In addition to becoming more convinced of the faithfulness of Christ like this woman experienced, we can experience other blessings too.
When we focus on the fruit of our trial and not on the pain, God can bring good out of our hurt. Here are 3 gifts of tribulation.
Our deepest trials can bring great clarity about who God is to us and who we are to Him. We can become more convinced of His love for us as He shows up in ways we couldn’t have imagined. We can gain clarity about His sovereignty, power, and care for us. There are things that we simply can’t learn about Him during the good times that we can learn about Him during the difficult times.
Not only can trials bring clarity about who God is and who we are to Him, but they can also bring clarity about what’s truly important in life. We may find that money or the career that we thought was most important pales in comparison to higher virtues like love.
I recently read a quote that said, “There have been things that have broken my heart but have improved my vision.” How true this can be when it comes to trials!
Sometimes when we experience a trial, we might be tempted to stop hoping. But God wants to give us hope when we experience trials. He wants to give us the hope of knowing that He will never disappoint us no matter what we experience.
Hope comes from seeing that He has been faithful in the past. When we trust His faithfulness, we can say, “I went through difficult things before. I will get through this too.”
We are not born with internal fortitude and strength. This kind of strength is only purchased through difficulty.
In his book, “From Dream to Destiny” pastor Robert Morris shares, “I searched high and low in the Bible to find all the ways that we can obtain perseverance. But in all my searching, I found only one thing. That thing is tribulation.”
We often want to be able to grow strong some other way. But that’s not how it works. We get strength from being tested. It’s the only way. And when we are tested, we grow from strength to strength and experience hope upon hope so that we grow in perseverance. Perseverance will give you the strength you need to trust God when times are tough.
As you experience your trial today, remember the gift of tribulation. He wants to help you see the good He is giving you.
“The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all (Psalm 34:19).
Lord, help me not to despise the trials you allow into my life. Help me to see them as the way you deliver your precious gifts to me. Thank you for trials and I trust you for the days ahead . . . knowing that you always have me in your hand. Amen.
Ask the Lord to show you the ways that your most recent trial—or current trial—has given you priceless gifts.
John 16:33; 1 Peter 5:10; Deuteronomy 31:6
Instrumental Soaking Worship: He is Faithful
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