A different perspective on trials and tribulation
Recently we received news from one of our African ministry partners telling us that once again (for at least the 3rd time!) thieves had broken into their church and stolen all the seats, tables and drums – and in addition they had also taken the brick-making machine, all the bricks and the stone that had been amassed for further construction! The church building has been under construction since 2012, and although it is still not completed the church congregation (the REAL church) has grown dramatically in number, maturity and influence in that area.
As I was writing to encourage our friend, I began to get new insight into the trials we often have to endure as Christians. It is so hard sometimes to understand WHY God does not prevent such attacks and setbacks, but I HAVE learned through the years that maybe God is not so much interested in what we can build or achieve, but instead focuses more on all the lessons we learn along the way and how we handle the trials and problems – as that is when our faith is more visible to others! Even the grandest buildings and the most well-run ministries will change over time – such is life here on earth!
Pondering this, I suddenly saw God as a kind of producer of a special play or presentation, the purpose of which is to help and strengthen all who must endure and overcome the trials of life. He allows the circumstances to set the scene, and then calls his people to “perform” and demonstrate their faith, patience and trust in God as they respond as Jesus would.
What an opportunity for us to be used by God in such an important and public way! As servants of God, we should be eager to respond to such a calling and live out our faith and beliefs as we undertake these new adverse circumstances, trusting that God is in control and is using it all for His glory.
It made me want to repent for all the times when, faced with sudden new problems and trials, I have panicked or complained and allowed myself to be led by my own selfish emotions. Seeing it from this new perspective, I do not want to let down the “producer” – my beloved Heavenly Father; instead I want to make Him proud as I do my part in each special production that demonstrates the blessings of faith, and God’s love and power at work in our lives.