COUNT IT ALL JOY
My brethren, (and sisters) count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. James 1:2,3
Webster defines trial as an experiment to test the quality, value and usefulness of something, as in the testing of a new product or in our case, a new creation. In my 39 year journey I have had my share of trials, or as the King James says, "diverse temptations" and tribulations, but it has been a while since I had non-stop trials for the past few months as my updates have stated.
In my recent messages I have written about the trials of Samson and King David, two extremely strong men, strong in body and strong willed. It is a fact that every man and woman of God is tried by fire, and even as John the baptist prophesied of the coming of the Lord Jesus, we are baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire! The outcome of our fiery trials is proven character of which Samson never received because he never submitted to the trials in his life nor did he learn from them, finally ending up on the devil's lap and suffered a sin unto death.
David, on the other hand was changed by what he suffered and experienced in his trials and tribulations, the difference being, when he was confronted with a beautiful naked lady he was swarmed with "diverse temptations" by the enemy and couldn't withstand the test, falling headlong into sin! I am sure after his adulterous affair and the murder of Bathsheba's husband and the subsequent tribulations he suffered afterward, David could write volumes on the subject having been purged with fire!
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. I Peter 1:6,7
THE PATIENCE OF JOB
Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord, that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. James 5:11
Job suffered the loss of all things when Satan incited the Lord to let him come against him and destroy all that he owned and kill his children with only his wife left to tell him, "Curse God and die!"
Many have suffered like Job did but few were blameless with an upright spirit and shining character, receiving good as well as adversity from God without blaming Him for their circumstances. The devil is God's delivery boy, a blacksmith who blows the fire of trial upon God's people and purges us from evil.
Even in all his tribulation Job persevered and was found blameless and at the end God blessed him with more than he had at first and he prospered in good health with his children and grandchildren for another 140 years and died blessed and full of days.
"Behold, I have created the blacksmith who blows the coals in the fire, who brings forth an instrument (weapon) for his work, and I have created the spoiler (destroyer) to destroy." Isaiah 54:16
IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Psalm 46:1-3
Horatio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago with a beautiful family, a wife, Anna and five children but they were not strangers to tragedy. Their young son died of pneumonia and in 1871 in that same year much of their business was destroyed in the Chicago fire.
In 1873 they planned a trip to Europe but Mr Spafford had to attend to business at the last minute and told his wife he would take the next crossing and meet them there. About four days in the ship was hit by a Scottish vessel and sank taking with it their four daughters but sparing Anna. Upon her rescue and landing in Wales she wired her husband and said, "Saved alone, what shall I do?"
Mr. Spafford booked passage on the next ship and when they were passing over the place where the ship went down with his children, it is said that he wrote, "It is well with my soul." Through this terrible tragedy the Spafford family had three more children of which one also died of pneumonia and moved to Jerusalem where they lived until Mr. Spafford's death. Is it well with your soul? Put it in His mighty hands and He will see you through!
"When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
What ever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul."
Taken from Psalm 46:4-6
Your servant in Christ, Timothy Laughlin