Trials = Opportunities
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Facing trials, obstacles, opposition or changes in life are normal. Not only normal, we are told to expect them. How we come out the other end however, is completely up to us.
Job of course had his problems. He chose to dig in his heels. He also began to question God. Not in a good way, but in a way that showed mistrust in God’s actions and a penchant for self confidence and lack of humility. In the end all was well with Job, but only because he was personally and severely rebuked by God. Judas also faced a trial; should he give up Jesus or not? Will it further his ambitions and cause, or will it make things worse? These examples and many more show us that what effects a trial may have on us are determined by our actions. We can embrace the trial, and see it as an opportunity for growth and an open door, or an action of restriction and pain, from which we learn nothing, regress in our faith, and suffer the consequences of our choices.
Thomas a Kempis said in his book, the Imitation of Christ, “It is good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing. It is good for us sometimes to suffer contradiction, to be misjudged by men even though we do well and mean well. These things help us to be humble and shield us from vainglory. When to all outward appearances men give us no credit, when they do not think well of us, then we are more inclined to seek God who sees our hearts. Therefore, a man ought to root himself so firmly in God that he will not need the consolations of men.”
Good advice for us all. If our roots are not in God, everything will become a trial, and all things ‘Godly’ will fail. We must sieze each trial as an opporunity for us to break out into the next area of service that God has for us.