Blessed is the one who endures trials, because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12 CSB
Welcome to the new week of Freedom Fighters. We are so grateful for you and trust you will be blessed and challenged by this week’s devotionals.
Since the pandemic started last year, it seems like so many of our friends have been going through deep trials. I received an email from dear friends that they recently lost seven loved ones in 25 days.
Several years ago, I was given a book by Fenelon called The Seeking Heart. In this powerful book, Fenelon, wrote about the benefit of our trials:
You have some difficult trials to bear, but you need them since God has allowed these events to happen. He knows how to select them. You have picked for yourself what God brings into your life through the cross. The cross that you would pick out would build your self-will instead of breaking it down.
There are times when everything in life seems to be a trial. Sometimes there is only suffering. Still, the heaviest cross must be carried in peace. Sometimes the cross can neither be carried or dragged. Then you can only fall down beneath it, overwhelmed and exhausted. I pray that God may spare you from suffering as much as possible.
Remember that God is not unaware of your suffering. He allows your suffering. See that He alone knows what is best for you. Live by faith as you embrace your trials. Confidently trust in God, even when you do not see what He is doing. Trust that God, with great compassion, gives you trials in proportion to the help that he wants to bring to you. There is no doubt that the life of faith is the most penetrating of all deaths.
You complain about your inward darkness and poverty of spirit. Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” It is good for you to see your weakness, but don’t excuse it. Remain simple and low before God, and he will bring you peace, gentleness, long-suffering, and contentment even in your trouble.
I love the paraphrase of this passage from James 1 from the J.B. Phillips translation:
When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence.
Hymnwriter Annie Johnson Flint was no stranger to heartache and trials. In the midst of one of her darkest hours, she penned these words:
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase.
To added affliction He addeth His mercy;
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
His love has no limit; His grace has no measure.
His pow’r has no boundary known unto men.
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth and giveth again.
Have a blessed week.
Living in light of the gospel,
Bill Welte, President & CEO
Write to Bill: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out this arrangement of “He Giveth More Grace.”
Written by Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his childhood sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 12 amazing grandkids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
Think About This: “To live for yourself is to rob yourself of your own humanity. It is only in living for Christ that we actually begin to become what we were meant to be.” ―