RESPONDING TO LIFE’S TRIALS

Why are Christians being persecuted? Why do Christians seem to have continual problems? There could be a number of reasons why. The first thing we are to learn is that God does not always intervene instantly to eliminate the problem. We are told as we approach the end times there will be much persecution of Christians. The Bible tells us that God allows problems to teach us something or He may be building our faith or character. God will often test our faith for us to see how much faith we have. We know we cannot please God without faith. Therefore, when all problems and persecutions occur do we get angry, frustrated or just give up? We must remember that being tested allows us to know who we are and how spiritually mature we have become.

Let us assume a crisis occurs in your life; how do you handle it? If you are a Christian, realize that the Holy Spirit either allows it or causes it to happen. God knows everything about us and He has a plan and purpose for our lives. He knows exactly what we need to endure to build our faith, make us more Christ-life or prepare us for His future plan.

Problems can be personal, such as addiction, abuse, fear, anxiety or depression. They can be dreaded or approached with a positive attitude. Some will try to ignore problems, run from them, take drugs or let them fester inside. There are individuals who try to carry the world on their shoulders. They worry about the problems in the Middle-East, North Africa and radioactivity coming from Japan. They are concerned that the stock market is going to crash; that banks are going to fail and they hide money under their mattress. They fret about global warming and the protection of insects. Bring it on—so I have something to worry about!

People often deal with problems differently. Problems may be opportunities to some and challenges to others. The way we approach and handle problems can affect us physically. God created us with certain chemicals in our system. How we see life and how we deal with problems could affect our body’s cells and our potential health. We can react positively, maintaining peace and joy in our hearts or negatively and get a migraine headache.

God has often intervened in my life when I am faced with a problem. I think the most important reaction is to realize that I am having a divine intervention. When the problem is solved I immediately thank God and tell how much I appreciate having the Holy Spirit in my life for protection and guidance. I call these times “God things” and share them with my family.

When a negative situation occurs, my reaction is to pray for God to provide heavenly wisdom so the problem can be solved. This is why it is so important to have a personal relationship with our Lord. If you had a partner that every time you had a problem they bailed you out, would you not be appreciative? God’s love for us is better than any human partner we could have. He is there to help us but, He also wants what is best for us. Problems handled correctly make us better people. Experience is a great teacher.

Since God knows everything prior to it happening, we need to continually pray for wisdom that we too can foresee potential problems before they occur. We also know that God can stop anything before it happens if it is not His will for our lives. We must never ask: “God why did you allow this to happen”? There are no coincidences; there is a purpose for everything.

Romans 8:27 – 28 – “And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
We know that God loves us and He will never give us more than we can handle. He says He will never leave us and will be with us no matter what we are going through. Do you have the faith to believe this?

One thing that I have learned studying the Old Testament is that God does not like it when we are disobedient. Often temptations are allowed to test whether we will be obedient. This is why I believe this could be the number one sin against God. The Israelites were continually being punished for their disobediences to rejecting God’s commands and His ways. How many of your problems or persecutions may be a result of your disobedience?

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