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A Reflection on Trials

Posted in Bible, Devotions, Discipleship, Sanctification, Suffering

By Mike Marshall

Sometimes we strive, however imperfectly, to do the right thing because we are convinced that it is what God would have us do. Then we encounter trials along the way that tempt us to doubt in the darkness what we were convinced was true in the light. Those trials have not come to stay; they have merely come to pass and pass they will. Nor should the mere presence of trials be the gauge for us of whether our course is right or wrong. God has given us a surer standard for that.

Such trials and changing circumstances should never be unexpected however: “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).

I am thankful that God’s Word does not change and is perfect. It serves as the anchor in the midst of turmoil. It is the unchanging standard against which we can measure our motives in the midst of confusion. It is the ever present guiding light correcting our course when we stumble. It teaches me not to lean on my own understanding but on God’s. It also teaches me that in circumstances like the one in which I currently find myself, I don’t need to know why it is happening. I only need to know who is in charge and that He can be trusted, and I pray that He keeps my paths straight through all of this.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.2 Cor. 4:8-9

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Rom. 8:28-39

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