Have you ever received a gift you didn’t like? Or maybe you hated it? Maybe you even returned it, exchanged it or re-gifted it. I know I have.
God is the Ultimate Gift Giver. Unfortunately, we don’t recognize the good gifts and a lot of times, we take them for granted. Some of them don’t feel like gifts at all.
Because some of God’s greatest gifts are disguised as trials.
James tells us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NIV)
The Message Bible puts it this way: “consider it a sheer gift.”
And Peter had this to say:
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. I Peter 1:6-7 (NIV)
James and Peter agree that faith under pressure is for our good. The pain has a purpose. Trials make our faith deeper, purer, and stronger. Did you catch what Peter says of our faith? It’s worth more than gold, and like the fire refines the gold to make it pure, trials refine our faith. With a stronger and deeper faith we praise God and touch more people with His love. But we have to “let perseverance finish its work.”
When the trial seems never ending…
When the pain feels like it will swallow you…
When you can’t see how it will ever be better…
Don’t lose heart. Persevere. Stick with God and move forward. Some days that will be as basic as breathing and putting one foot in front of the other. Believe God’s promises even when you don’t feel full of faith. See it through my weary friend, see it through. God is faithful and He will never leave you.
This is a rewrite of a post I wrote five years ago. I wrote the original, The Gift, during one of the most painful seasons of my life. The pain was so cruel and deep I could hardly see beyond it.
But here I am……changed forever.
I’ve endured painful seasons since then and am living through trials now with a deeper faith. A stronger more pure faith. As He was then, God is holding me close and giving me the strength and courage to move forward. He’s revealing hidden places in my heart, healing me and always changing me. God is doing His work so that I will be mature and complete and I’m praising Him through it.
Thank you, Abba Father.
Thank you for the gifts that I would have never chosen.
Thank you for your relentless love.
The faith of good people is tried, that they themselves may have the comfort of it, God the glory of it, and others the benefit of it. Matthew Henry
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Photo by Nynne Schrøder on Unsplash