Sunday, September 25, 2011

Perseverance In Trials

I am often tempted (by my own flesh? by the enemy?) to feel that suffering through trials is equal to being out of favor with God. I know this is not true because the Bible says the contrary about trials. I know that trials are sovereignly allowed for our growth in Him and that they serve to build our faith (James 1:2-5) but I admit that, in my weakness, I am sometimes brought so low by circumstances that I feel that I might faint and I begin to lose heart. However, I am consistently reminded what Jesus told Ananias about the Apostle Paul:
Acts 9:15-16 KJV
But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: (16) For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
That makes me shudder but gives me comfort at the same time. I shudder at the thought of suffering (for his name’s sake) but rejoice that I belong to Him. There’s an incredible amount of tension that exists between these two premises and I am persuaded to think that this tension is only resolved by the power of the Holy Spirit. And this is what I am learning from the Holy Spirit:
Faith bridges the mind with the heart. It carries His Word from the place of knowing what He has said to the place of living out what he has done.
Also, I know that faith is a gift from God because there is nothing inside of me that desires to endure trials. My natural self is inclined to bail out. Stand or fall. Fight or flight. Sometimes the battle for my heart and mind rages weekly with trials. At times it rages hourly. But in all things, as I remain in Him, His grace has been sufficient to endure. By His grace, little by little, His Word is being buried into my heart through faith.

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