“The Trial Shot”

February 6, 2018

Squirrel feeding at squirrel-proof feeder! 2/5/18  (Photo by Ester Weber)
One could hardly shoo away a squirrel with this innocent face.
(Photo by Ester Weber)

“The Trial Shot

Message summary: James does not say “if” but “when” referring not to the possibility but to inevitability of trials! Trials are not an elective, but a required course in the “school of Christian faith”! Trials then are an expected/guaranteed element of the normal Christian life.

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“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4). “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do.
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.

Flu shot At this time of year a common question posed by medical people is, “Have you had your flu shot yet?” Well, as a matter of fact all three of us in the Weber household have had our flu shots and presumably are well protected.

The flu shot is somewhat misnamed although we are so used to it we probably don’t think about it. It’s really a flu prevention shot. We don’t get the shot so we can get the flu but rather to prevent it.

I was talking to Jeannette, a human resource director we work with, about having our flu shots and we considered the question of what if there was a “trial shot”; that is, a shot we could get to prevent us from ever having trials. Now that would sure be popular but Jeannette pointed out that we would need a lot of booster shots!

Of course there is not a “trial shot” and a maturing view of God’s ways recognizes that trials are ultimately a part of God’s plan in our lives. May the Lord give us the perspective of James who wrote, “Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).

Note carefully James does not say “if” but “when” referring not to the possibility but to inevitability of trials! Trials are not an elective, but a required course in the “school of Christian faith”! Trials then are an expected/guaranteed element of the normal Christian life.

Warren Wiersbe Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe writes, “Our values determine our evaluations. If we value comfort more than character, then trials will upset us. If we value the material and physical more than the spiritual, we will not be able to ‘count it all joy!’ If we live only for the present and forget about the future, the trials will make us bitter, not better. We must keep in mind that all God plans and performs here is preparation for what He has in store for us in heaven. He is preparing us for the life and service yet to come. Nobody yet knows all that is in store for us in heaven, but we do know that life on earth is a school in which God trains us for our future ministry in eternity. This explains the presence of trials in our lives for they are some of God’s tools and textbooks in the school of Christian experience.”

Committing and trusting is God’s will at all times but especially during times of trial and transition. All of us will experience this numerous times over our lifetime. One who awaits the results of a series of medical tests; a friend waiting for the “Yes” (or “no”) in regard to an exciting career opportunity; a loving grandma praying for a rebellious grandchild; a spouse praying for reconciliation, and you can add your own trying situation as well.

In the New Testament the word translated “commit” has a very interesting background, meaning to “deposit as a trust or for protection”. I find it necessary for this to be a present tense type of experience as I have a tendency to withdraw the deposit with my own hands! That’s why trusting is so important as we look to the One who is ever trustworthy. Let us commit our way to the Lord and trust in Him this day. May we also experience His peace as we realize He will indeed bring His perfect will to pass in our lives.

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Be encouraged today.

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, we want to place our full confidence in Your sovereign plan for our lives. We recognize that trials are included in the school of faith helping us to grow and mature. It also helps us to feel the pain of others who will undergo similar trials prompting us to undergird them with prayer. When we overcome trials in life we also provide positive example to the godly as well as the ungodly. So, Father, we pray for the joy that comes with knowing that You are working Your purpose in our lives through not only the blessings we enjoy from day to day but also the trials we endure from time to time. We thank You for Jesus who helps us to endure and overcome. Amen.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Like A River Glorious”  Video  The Smucker Family

“There is Nothing Greater Than the Grace of Jesus”  Video   Marshall Hall

Finally today:

Mollie in snow 2/5/18  (Photo by Ester Weber)
Mollie is watching the squirrel carefully. But she is surely frustrated as the squirrel is protected by the fence that divides them.
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