This week we are still talking about what to do when trials come knocking at our door. One thing is for certain... they will!!!
Last week we discussed the WHY of a trial. If you missed that post, click HERE.
This week we will discuss the HOW of getting through them...
Most of us, when faced with a trial, can become worried, upset, distracted, angry, frustrated, annoyed, snarky,baffled, moody, and a whole lot more.
Trial, even little ones, can be very uncomfortable. The really mess up our plans!
We learned last week that a trial is a test. It is an indicator... it indicates FOR US what our faith looks like... and in WHOM we have faith in... ourselves or God!
We also found out that if we go through a trial, big or small, there is something to be joyful about. A trial, if done God's way, can mature us and make us more Christ like. If we try to flounder our way through it, most likely it will break us down!
Then, how does God want us to go through troubling times in our lives? This is a very important question that we should be asking... and it is life changing if we know and OBEY what God tells us to do in those hard times.
To find out how to go through a trial we need to go back to the book of James.
James 1:5 says...
"If any of you lack (deficient) in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God Who gives to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly without reproach or faultfinding, and it will be given to him".
My son Christopher hated school projects. And our school loved them and assigned them liberally! Sometimes, instead of doing them in a timely manner he would put them off to until the last minute. And then, when he could not put off the dreaded task any longer, he would panic... he was in BIG trouble!
You see, we had a rule in our family... if you did not do homework you could not play sports. And Chris was all about sports!!! And we were all about being consistent!
He would eventually come to his Daddy or me asking for help. Because we loved Christopher we would help him... but not do his work for him. When he was young that usually looked like helping him make a plan... and then sitting up late into the night until he got the project done.
God is our Heavenly Father... or Abba... Daddy! He loves us and wants to help us.
James 1:5 starts out with the word "IF". The Greek word for IF really means..."KNOW FOR SURE". It really does not mean IF. So God is saying... KNOW FOR SURE THAT YOU ARE GOING TO LACK THE WISDOM TO HANDLE THIS PROBLEM THE WAY I WANT YOU TO.
Most of us can handle a trial OUR way... but that is not the way God wants us to handle them. He want us to seek Him out... to seek out our Father... and ask HIM for the wisdom to handle each trial.
And God says that if we ask Him for His wisdom in times of trouble that he WILL give wisdom to us... and give it to us liberally and ungrudgingly... without fnding fault with us or disapproving or discrediting us! Now doesn't that sound loving? It sure does to me!
He is waiting with open arms... God lovingly wants to pour His wisdom over us, and give us the tools to come through a trial His way.
The question now is... Do we believe God can give us wisdom to get us out of trouble... and... do we want to get out of trouble God's way?
James 1:6-7 says:
"Only it must be in faith (believing) that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating or doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates or doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the sea.
For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything (he asks for) from God".
As Christopher got older, he go better at coming to his Daddy and me to ask for help. He learned to come to us as soon as he got a school project. We would help him map out a plan of success... one that, if he would work on his project a little bit each night, would have the project done right and in time AND with much less stress!
Sometimes he would follow the plan and sometimes, well... not so much! When he would follow our wisdom he was successful. But, when he fell back into into his old habit of putting off a project until the last minute... I called that his default setting... he would find himself in a familiar mess again!
I remember one night about 1:00 in the morning, Christoper came up to our bedroom in a panic. Shaking me awake he moaned, "Mom, I need your help... I'll have to stay up all night to get this project done". Before I could answer, his Daddy, who was awake by now, answered. "No son, we gave you a plan. You will have to work it out for yourself. We are going back to sleep." That was it! Christopher left the room without another word. He knew his Daddy meant business! Bobby turned over and went back to sleep. I stayed up and in the dark of our bedroom worried about my precious son. I knew Bobby was right, but I still hurt for my son!
God, our Father is ALL Wise! He knows the trials you are in and just what you need to get through them and become mature in the process. HE has a plan!
He promises us that if we go to him he will lavish us with His wisdom! But we MUST... let me say this again... MUST believe that GOD will do this... and believing we must follow the plan He gives us.
Just like our son Christopher... if we follow God's plan we can get through our trials and come out better in many ways.
But please hear this... God's plans are not always our plans! We might have our own ideas how WE want a trial handled... we might not want to go through a trial and do it God's way.
God's wisdom in a trial is available for all. But if we doubt and waiver... if we fall back into our comfortable "default settings" God says we will receive nothing. He wants the best for us. Many times our way of handling things are the easy way out... the way of least resistance... the path of destruction. Our plans in times of trouble don't grow us! God's wisdom does!
We could have done the projects for our son, or run to help him when he disregarded our original plan... but how would that have helped Christopher in the long run? Chris learned a very valuable lesson when he had to stay up all night working on his project. The next day he went to school exhausted and with a very poorly done homework project. He also came home sick that day and could not go to football practice! Although my heart ached for him... I knew we had done the right thing for him.
We were teaching him. Teaching him to obey... to find the way of wisdom... we were teaching him that actions have consequences. All valuable lessons!
God is our great teacher too! He wants to teach us into Christian maturity. Move us on the right path... the path of looking more and more like Christ. So each trial can have a positive, although sometimes painful, effect on us.
Let's review what we have learned...
* Come to God in trials and ask Him for His wisdom in handling it.
* Don't doubt that He WILL give you wisdom... a plan!
*Believe in God... don't waiver! Believe in the wisdom He gives you!
* Stay with God's plan no matter what. Don't let a trial's circumstance have power over you.
*Know that if you do waiver and do things your way God will have no part of it. He has nothing to do with self destruction!
Now it's time for homework... don't put it off! Start today!!!!
Memorize James 1:5-7. Read it every day... three times a day.
James 1:1-7 needs to be a part of all of the very fiber of our souls!!! God's word is so wise and practical and helpful to us.
Again, I will not be checking homework... that is between you and God!