Day 46 – Trials Beneficial
Brother Lawrence said, that “we must believe that it is advantageous for us and pleasing to God to sacrifice ourselves to him; that it is normal for his divine providence to abandon us to all sorts of trials, miseries and temptations. Once we recognize this, should we be surprised that we experience suffering, temptation, opposition, and contradiction from our neighbor? On the contrary, we must submit to these things and bear them as long as God so wills, just as we would those things we find beneficial.”
Yes, Jesus comes to comfort the disturbed. But he comes first to disturb the comfortable and call the sinner to repentance.
The sick are those in need of a doctor. Only those who admit their need will seek a physician to heal them. We need shock therapy as it were, external and internal negative stimuli to jolt us into positive change.
Brother Lawrence compiles his list of situations we try to avoid: internal and external troubles and trials; all sorts of trials, miseries, and temptations; suffering, temptation, opposition, contradiction from our neighbor.
What we seek to avoid, God providentially uses to humble us, change us from the inside out, and draw us nearer to him. Not everything is “an attack from the enemy”.
Whatever unpleasant situation we find ourselves in, how much better to allow it to have its full effect to change what needs to be changed in our emotional moods, our inner attitudes, our outward behaviors, our love toward God, our love toward others.
God’s goal is for us to be like Christ – “to be conformed to the image of his Son” and “transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory” (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
Though Jesus’ character and disposition and lifestyle didn’t need to be changed, still even “he learned obedience from what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). He grew into maturity.
God is changing everything in you that is unChristlike and everything that does not draw you closer to God. He is also framing what is good and godly and growing it into a greater maturity.
Our goal is to cooperate with the overtures of the Holy Spirit as he leads us into wilderness experiences (Matthew 4:1) and providentially guides us through a myriad of troubles and trials, learning all we can through every life circumstance, allowing God to perfect within us all that needs perfecting.
Trials are indeed beneficial.
Action Step: In the face of your current challenging situation, “consider it pure joy” (James 1:2).
This is God’s Word for you today,