Tuesday, August 30
The Trials of Life
Most likely, you’ve heard the age-old question, “If God is good, how can He let bad things happen?” Since the fall of man, life has always included hardship. Though trials are painful, understanding the Lord’s purpose can bring joy and hope.
The Word of God is clear that suffering is purposeful. Primarily, the Lord is conforming His children to be like Jesus (2 Cor. 3:18). When a person is newly saved, he or she still has many “rough edges.” Sanctification, which takes place from that point on, is the process of becoming holy—and few things build character like sorrow. Unfortunately, people rarely mature during pleasant times. Instead, pain brings impurities to the surface and forces people to see the reality of their life.
Another reason the Father allows trials is to test the faith of His children. Of course, He doesn’t need this for His own information—it is the believers who benefit. Tested faith is stronger and more reliable than untried faith.
Furthermore, God allows hardship in order to reveal His character, love, and power. During life’s storms, people who cling to their heavenly Father will find Him trustworthy and real. When the next difficulty arises, they’ll remember His faithfulness during the previous trial and will rest confidently in Him.
While no one wants to suffer, experience and sorrow will mature the believer. We can learn certain things from books and other people’s stories, but most growth occurs during trials. So, when problems occur and sorrow seems piercing, thank God for His purpose in your suffering.
Monday, August 29
Where do you go for advice?
1 Timothy 4:4-10
Because thinking shapes beliefs, and beliefs in turn determine our lifestyle, a biblical mindset is vitally important in our sanctification. Each day we choose to let either the world or God’s Word shape our thoughts and actions. Although most of us are quick to say we believe the Bible, sometimes our actions do not match our words.
Where do you go when you want advice about a big decision or lifestyle choice? Websites, blogs, and the media offer a wealth of information that can be either beneficial or harmful. Coworkers, family, and friends are also readily available sources of counsel, but do they speak with worldly reasoning or godly wisdom? Our only sure resource for true and wise guidance is Scripture. Yet sadly, we do not always seek direction in its pages but instead often rely on human intelligence and personal preferences.
Hebrews 4:12 describes God’s Word as “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword,” which pierces into the deepest parts of the soul. Those who refuse to surrender to its penetrating work essentially dethrone God from His rightful place in their life. But those who are willing to be nourished by Scripture, accepting its reproof and correction, will discover the riches of a life of faith.
Letting the Word be your guide requires costly changes in thought, attitude, and behavior. Yet any lifestyle adjustments or disciplines that produce godliness also result in eternal profit. A solid foundation of faith and wisdom starts with going to Scripture for direction.
For more Biblical teachings from Dr. Charles Stanlely, visit www.intouch.org