Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Weekly Writes: RnR [Trials are My Friends?!]

Right now I'm reading Milton Vincent's A Gospel Primer. It's this short book about making the gospel his daily obsession and how it changed his life. I'm blown away. It's less than 100 pages, but it is so thick that it's going to take me forever to read and reflect on how enormous each section really is to my measly little brain. Like this one itty bitty statement, "I can embrace trials as friends and allow them to do God's good work in me." (p. 32)

That one statement stopped me dead in my tracks.

How can I view the horrible, awful things in my life as friends?

"The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His gospel and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ." (p.32) And then he proceeds to quote Romans 8, James 1, and 2 Corinthians 12.

Improving my character?

Making me more like Christ?

Wow. So the events in my life like the death of a friend, my parents divorce, postpartum hemorrhaging, - although tragic - did improve my character, they did make me stronger, and I realized that when facing the possibility of dieing, drama in my family, or saying good-bye; was I finally able to trust in Christ alone, go to His Word, and look forward to the things of eternity more than ever. In James we're taught to count trials as joyful because trials produce endurance and perseverance. In 2 Corinthians our weakest moments are when we lean on Christ the most and He is glorified in them, because His grace is quite literally all we need.

So when trials of various kinds come into my life my focus needs to be on the saving grace of Jesus Christ, because He is glorified through my tears as I lean on Him and persevere to the end, when I can finally hold His hand in heaven! When I think of it that way, being joyful in my tribulations makes total sense. However, I'm not experiencing any major trials at this point in my life, so I'm already praying that I remember this reflection when those times do come. I believe, with all of my heart, that when a person meets trials they're response defines the true individual inside. My response to my parents divorce and the death of a friend were not God glorifying, but I did learn from them. Now, I hope and pray that my response to trials and tribulations in the future not only glorify God but draw me closer to Him.

I went to my Pinterest board "Rafiki" to find a particular quote from C.S. Lewis that fit this perfectly, however, I realized that I have pinned quite a few quotes that fit right into this topic. I couldn't just pick one....
Although those who are quoted may or may not be believers, there is Biblical truth to each statement. Count it as JOY when you meet trials. They are your friends. Trials are changing your character into the image of Christ. Let HIM work in you. I don't ever want to forget that... .

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