Have you ever said or been told, “You don’t know what you’re made of until you get put in that situation”? Many of us as Christians sometimes question why we go through certain things, trials in our lives and have even questioned God’s goodness and benevolence towards us through all of it. Today I would like to share why God gives us trials and tribulations, at least through my experiences. First and foremost God is an awesome and good God. He is The Almighty! And his infallible word tells us that he wants what is best for us.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Job said “Shall we receive good at the hand of God and not Evil?
But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
So although it sounds contradictory to think that God loves us but allows us to go through trials, it really isn’t because as we all call God our Heavenly Father we know that he is parenting us. Just as we were instructed to train up our children in the way they should go, that’s what God does for us. When I was a young man my father had rules in his house. And no matter how old I got (I thought I was a man At 18 haha) those rules weren’t bent or broken. Many years and life lessons later I called my Father and thanked him for teaching me the right way and never changing his rules. You see he stood fast that no matter the situation the rules were never to change. Why? Because just like the bible says that God is the same, yesterday, today and forever to come, my father applied his rules that way. And also the Word of God is still the word of God. God wants what is best for us even if it may not seem like that at some points of our lives.
I’d like to use the example of the story of Abraham and Isaac. I’m not going to get into the details of the story but if you want to read it, take a pause now and read Genesis chapter 22 and then come back and see me. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his only son. The same son that God had promised him and from my point of view was a miracle. Why would God do that or ask that of Abraham? Like I said in the beginning “you don’t know what you’re made of until you get put in that situation”? You see for those that love God all things are for good! How is this good you might ask? God knew the condition of Abraham’s heart. God knew how much Abraham really loved him and how far he was truly willing to go for him. But did Abraham know how far he would go? Many times when I think about the possibility of persecution of the Church and suffering for the Gospel whether it be abroad or home I sometimes question myself; Would I be willing to give my life for Jesus? Would I be willing to give all for the good news of Jesus Christ? I can only hope that I will, but realistically my answer is always the same, I wont know until that day comes. You see just because God knew Abraham’s willingness to follow his mandate, that doesn’t mean that Abraham knew his capacity for his obedience to God?
There was a person who learned what Abraham was made of after this situation. That person was the son he was going to sacrifice, Isaac. You see there is no greater way to lead but through example. Isaac was right in the middle of all of this and he learned what it meant to give all to God as he saw what his father was willing to do. You see by Abraham binding his son and son then asking where the sacrificial animal was, Abraham answered him “the Lord will supply the sacrifice”, they both knew God was faithful. With this act of faith Abraham truly knew in his heart, mind and soul what it was to give himself completely over to the will of God. Isaac learned by Abraham’s example how to believe that God has everything under control and he truly does love us all. All God wants for us, while in this world, is to live up to our full capacity for him.
Like Peter when Jesus said that he would deny him three times, Peter said “I will follow you until death”. We know that was not the case. But see, eventually Peter did follow Jesus until his death. While we might question what we are made of before our situation comes and assume what we would be willing to do, God knows what we are made of and all he wants is for you to know what you are made of too.
Pastor Joel Calamaco II