Summary: A look at the trials in our lives, why we have them, how we should use them, and keeping a proper perspective as we go through them.
How many of us have found ourselves with burdens that affect our lives? In reality, we all have our hardships, don’t we? Have you ever wondered why God lets His children suffer such unpleasantries? Let me give you a little hint. It has to do with our huge egos that think we are the ones in charge.
When we act like we are the ones who must take care of us, we actually deny a place in our lives, and we must learn how to go back to putting Him first in our lives. So, I guess we could say that by experiencing a storm in our lives becomes a teaching experience.
I want to talk to you this morning about hardship in our life, but first, let’s open in prayer.
Open your Bibles to JAMES 1:2,3 and read with me.
‘2- Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3- because you know that the testing of you faith develops perseverance.’
The first thing you will notice is that James does not say we should rejoice “if” we have trials. He said “whenever” we have trials. I think that pretty much means that all of us can expect to have troubles come into our lives on a regular basis as long as we live here on this earth.
There are three points I want to bring out today about having problems in our lives.
1. WE WILL HAVE PROBLEMS – GET USED TO IT.
It has been said that all of us occupy only three positions in life: Getting ready to go into a storm, being in the middle of a storm, or just coming out of a storm. And, if we are just coming out of a storm, we can be sure that before long, we will be starting to go into another storm.
I asked you why God would let us go through our many trials. I think the answer is quite obvious. The most important word in the human language always seems to be “I”. That’s like the man who could not focus on anyone else because his “I’s” were always too close together. He would always be thinking about himself. All of us tend to be like that, don’t we? The problem is when we are thinking about ourselves, we don’t have room enough to think about anybody else, especially the Lord.
There are some who teach that if you have a problem in your life, it is because you do not have great enough faith. They always say that the amount of faith you have is directly proportionate to the amount of problems you have in life. I do not believe that. Let me give you one very clear example of why I do not believe that.
Nobody could have had any greater faith that the apostles, yet every one of them suffered untold calamity and persecution in their lives. Am I supposed to believe that the Apostle Paul had problems because his faith was not in order? Not for one second.
The Bible clearly teaches us that we will reap what we sow, and it is a fact that when we make bad choices, we often have bad consequences, but that is not the only reason we have trials. God uses these trials to mold the willing believer into a stronger believer.
In DEUTERONOMY 8:1-8, we find that the Lord wants us to remember that the most important thing in our lives are the Words that come out of the mouth of the Lord. He is disciplining us as we discipline the children we love – all so they will know right from wrong and live accordingly.
We don’t seem to be able to read God’s Word and fully put it to use in our lives, and we certainly cannot seem to hear His Word and put it to full use in our lives, so we need another way to learn how to be humble to God. That way is to be taught. And, that is the reason we have trials in our lives – to teach us how to become more reliant upon Him in all things. And, if we are able to rely upon Him during the bad times, we will be able to do it in the good times, too.
We all have problems, and I have some good news and some bad news for you. The bad news is you are going to have more! The good news is, we can start putting our trust and faith in God now, and He will get us through them with far less damage than we have ever incurred before.
2. HOW WE REACT TO TROUBLES IS OUR CHOICE
Now, you might be thinking that we are supposed to be elated whenever we have a problem, but that is not what James meant. James meant that when we have a problem, we can react to that problem in only one of two ways.