KEEP FOCUSED IN TRIALS
Many times in my walk with the Lord, I have found it challenging to maintain my focus during times of trial. There are two tensions that want to pull us in opposite directions. One tension comes from our enemy, Satan. He wants us to become so distracted and inwardly focused on the details of our trial or suffering that we lose sight of what God wants to accomplish in us and through us.
The other tension is created by the Spirit of God. He always wants to draw our attention to what God’s purpose is as we travel through the difficulty. We often quote James 1:2-3, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2–3). This is good, but without verse 4, we miss the larger context of God’s purpose. “And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (1:4).
Rarely do we think of suffering, affliction, tribulation or trials as making us “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” This is how God sees what we are going through. It is so important that we renew our spiritual vision so we begin to see things from God’s point of view. We tend to give ourselves more credit than we should about how prepared we are for doing God’s work. Frankly, I am discovering that there is much more preparation God wants to do in me than I realize.
Paul had the same feelings toward his suffering and trials. After recounting the physical suffering, dangers, hardships and “daily pressures on me of my anxiety for all the churches,” he makes this amazing statement; “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). To be “content” in the trials God puts us through is to be willing for His preparation, He will make us ready for the next assignment.
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