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8 Principles For Embracing Trials Part 7

Building Strength Through Trials

These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. Mark 4:16-17 (NKJV)

We’re looking at a devotional series titled, Embracing Trials, and it is based off the Scripture in James 1:2 where we are told, “Count it all joy when you face various trials.” To do this we must realize God is allowing these trials as part of His way of shaping and transforming us to be like Christ, and to be properly prepared for Christian ministry. 

So, let’s take a look at our 7th principle for embracing trials.

·      Trials build both strength and endurance in the believer.

Jesus said there would be some who received the Word of God with gladness, but they would have no root in themselves, and so when the hard times and trials came upon them, they would immediately stumble.

Trials have a way of doing this in our lives—they can either cause us to humbly drop to our knees and seek the Lord in prayer, or they can cause us to flat out stumble in our walk. These are the times where we choose to abandon what we know to be true and choose instead to follow our feelings and emotions. When we endure a trial, we should learn to draw close to God, and depend on Him. In doing so, we are strengthened in our faith as we see Him faithfully working in our life, and eventually delivering us through every circumstance.

The apostle Paul experienced many trials of affliction in his life. Because of his painful experiences, he was given a thorn in his flesh (2 Cor 12:7). He asked multiple times for Christ to deliver him from this affliction. We see Paul telling us the response from Christ to those prayer requests and we then see Paul’s attitude towards Christ’s answer as well.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NKJV)

Paul could rightfully say, “When I am weak, then I am strong,” and the writer of Hebrews tells us of the need for endurance as well, and he then gives us insight as to what our endurance of our trials will accomplish within our lives.

For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. Hebrews 10:36-39 (NKJV)

So, as we are being strengthened by the trials we face, endurance is a byproduct. So we will be equipped to continue to walk in faith and to do the will of God when faced with the temptation to walk away or follow our fleshly desires.  We are then told, if we continue to do endure, we will receive the promise—the promise of salvation. This does not mean we earn our salvation by works of endurance—but our endurance is the security of our salvation by persevering to the end, and it is proof of God’s saving power within our lives. The Apostle Paul spoke these same truths to the church in Rome.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:1-4 (NKJV)

I want to encourage you to embrace the trials when they come your way. Know with assurance, God is doing a work within your life; He is strengthening your walk and faith, and is equipping you for future work in His ministry.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn with respect to endurance, and testing by the Scriptures contained within this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you embracing the trials you’re facing or are you despising them?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Seek the Lord when you face trials and know with confidence, He is there with you and will guide, direct, and empower you in every step you face.

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for the trials I have experienced. I confess I have not always embraced them as something You have allowed. I pray for Your strength, power and wisdom to face my future trials. I ask this in Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000