Rick Warren in his book “The Purpose Driven Life, Day 25, ‘Transformed by Trouble’” states “Your circumstances are temporary, but your character will last forever”.
Doesn’t “forever” sound better than “temporary”? And isn’t a man’s character the most important attribute of a man? First of all, what does scripture have to say about this idea?
(Isaiah 26:3 WEB) Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee.
We cannot understand our present troubles until we trust in God and give our concerns up to God. Then we need to trust in God’s timetable and be ready to accept what He sends our way. If a person has made bad choices or been the victim of crime, there may indeed be consequences that may change their current circumstances permanently. Still we need to trust. Don’t abandon the ship before God gives a solution.
(1 Corinthians 10:6, 11, 13 WEB) 6Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. … 11Now all these things happened to them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. … 13There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].
Notice the sequence of these three verses. The problem is sin, even mortal sin. Paul then refers to what he said earlier about the sins of mankind. And notice in this translation the word “temptation” is used in lieu of “trials”, which is not the best translation used in other versions.
No matter the circumstances or their duration, God does not want us to use wordly solutions which by definition would be evil. But we should use Godly methods as outlined in verse 11. Verse 13 is not a guarantee that God is going to change the circumstances. But rather use the circumstances and us for a better outcome after time.
(Philippians 4:6 WEB) Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 WEB) 16Rejoice evermore. 17Pray without ceasing. 18In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Notice the scriptures above. “Be anxious for nothing” and “in every thing give thanks” are not saying to be thankful for tragedies. But do be thankful for all God has given us and trust in the outcome. You cannot be thankful for a child losing their life. But you can be thankful that other families have children that benefited from organ donations. And we can be thankful that as believers we know that Heaven awaits us.
Look at the examples of Moses and Joseph. One forced to flee from Egypt and the other sold by his brothers as a slave in Egypt. Both endured harsh conditions before God’s plans were completed and both ended up as leaders of two different nations.
We should not fear the possibilities that we might suffer, but be diligent to be found blameless before God. Satan cannot stand in the way of a blood-bought believer and the believer’s final rewards.
(1 Thessalonians 5:19-23 WEB) 19Quench not the spirit. 20Despise not prophesyings. 21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22Abstain from all appearance of evil. 23And the very God of peace sanctifies you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
There’s that word “blameless” in the last verse. We are all counted as blameless when Jesus took away our sins when we acknowledge Jesus as our Lord and Savior. But that is not enough if we love Jesus, because that love will attract us to the discipline of sanctification which replaces our natural worldly instincts with the instincts of Jesus Christ.
Here are examples from around the world of Christians overcoming tragedies. Tragedies can range from genocide, hurricanes, drug addicted babies, sex trafficking, etc.. There are several examples
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