Saturday, May 10, 2014

Life’s Tests by Martin Wiles

We called him the “grocery list” professor—and for good reason.

My theology and pastoral ministries professor was the most graceful but difficult college professor I had. Classes were fun and often off topic, but he spared no expense on tests. Each question contained multiple answers. Some were only one word. Others were phrases or entire sentences. Hundreds of items required memorization to pass his tests. Fortunately, I had a good memory and performed well, but doing so required days of repeating the answers over and over until they were ingrained into my short term memory. My one consolation was that I only had to endure one semester. 

Life’s trials are similar. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. (I Peter 1:6 NKJV)

Though life’s trials can be extremely taxing, I can find solace in knowing they are temporary. The test may be lengthy or brief, but end it will whether during my lifetime or in death. 

Life’s trials and examinations are also instructional. I’ve learned many life lessons through the difficult times but very few when things were going well. Pain is the master teacher and helps me readily prioritize.

I find comfort in the midst of the trouble by remembering God is still in control. This episode in my life hasn’t taken him by surprise. In fact, he’s engaged with me in the pain. While I don’t know the outcome, he does. All I must do is persevere and trust him. 

What’s more, when the battle is intense, it helps to remember God is using this to further mold me into his Son’s likeness. This, after all, is his ultimate purpose and plan for me. 

Are you in the middle of a fiery life test? Let God’s presence and power comfort and guide you through. 

Prayer: Thank You Father for remaining by our side through the trials of life. We trust You to see us safely through and to teach us lessons we can use to comfort others who are also facing similar trials. 

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