Monday, December 23, 2019

Don’t Fear the Trials - Martin Wiles

Series: The Truth about Trials

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. James 1:2 NLT

In May of 2001, Erik Weihenmayer accomplished something that less than 200 people per year do: summited Mount Everest. But the thing that made his achievement greater than the others who summit the mountain was that he was the first blind person to scale the tallest mountain in the world.

Erik was born with a disease called retinoschisis. By the time he was thirteen, his sight had vanished. Rather than focus on what he could not do, he chose to focus on what he could do and accomplished more than almost anyone expected. Then he wrote about it in his autobiography, Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man’s Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye Can See.

Trials make us long for heaven (Romans 8:18). The apostle Paul wanted to live, but he knew he’d gain if he died. He’d get to see the Savior who died for him.

For as long as I can remember, my dad longed for heaven—even before his heart malfunctioned. Something about living on earth disturbed him when he compared it to what the Bible said about heaven. In a manner of speaking, he was almost so heavenly minded that he was no earthly good.

When his heart trouble began, he became even more heavenly minded. He had reached his promised seventy years. He didn’t care about living any longer, though his family wanted him to. He told us he’d never come home after the surgery—and he didn’t. He was ready for heaven and tired of earth.

Trials also make fear evaporate from our lives (Psalm 23:4). The psalmist was a shepherd and knew the dangers associated with taking the sheep to the mountaintops for green grass. He had to pass through the valleys of the shadow of death where robbers and wild animals lurked. But he feared not. His sheep had no reason to fear either; he’d protect them. God would do the same for him.

Trials helps us remember God controls our situations. He may not remove the trial, but He can remove the fear if we’ll let Him. Even if the trial takes our life, we’ll be safe in His arms in heaven.

Regardless of what you’re going through, God has it under control. Don’t fear it. Rather, look at it from a heavenly perspective.

Prayer: Father, we give our fears to You because You are our great Shepherd who will lead us safely through any trial we face.

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