Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lemons into Lemonade

~ The Christian View of Trials ~

This is a Guest Blog by Chris Goppert which appeared in the U.K. publication The Voice where it was entitled “Drawing Strength from the Right Sources: Suffering for the Child of God Benefits the Soul.” It contains thought-provoking truth: 

Suffering that does not result from discipline for a known sin can be profitable for the believer and glorify­ing to God.

·         Joseph in Prison ~ “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).

·         Hezekiah's Illness ~ “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In Your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; You have put all my sins behind your back” (Isaiah 38:17).

·         Paul's “Thorn in the Flesh” ~ “To keep me from becoming conceited... there was given me a thorn in my flesh... to torment me” (2 Corinthians 12:7).

·         Paul's Imprisonment ~ “Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel” (Philippians 1:12-14).

·         The Man Born Blind ~ “‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life’” (John 9:1-3).

Trials allow maturity to develop fully—“Perseverance must finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:4).

For forty-nine years Charles Simeon served as the minister of Trinity Church in Cambridge, England. A friend once asked Simeon how he endured opposition to his ministry. Pastor Simeon replied: “My dear brother, we must not mind a little suffering for Christ's sake. When I am getting through a hedge, if my head and shoulders are safely through, I can bear the pricking of my legs. Let us rejoice in the re­membrance that our holy Head has summoned all His suffering and triumphed over death. Let us follow Him patiently, we shall soon be partakers of His vic­tory.” (see also 2 Corinthians 1:7)

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

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