Thursday, December 19, 2019

When Trials Turn Deadly - 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

He lost almost all a man could lose.

Horatio Spafford was a successful businessman and lawyer from Chicago. He had a wife and five beautiful children. Things went well until 1871 when their young son died from pneumonia. Then they lost much of their business in the Chicago fire.

In 1873, the French ocean liner, Ville du Havre, was due to cross the Atlantic from the United States to Europe with 313 passengers on board—among them, Horatio’s family. Unexpected business problems forced him to stay behind.

Four days into the voyage, the liner collided with a Scottish ship. Horatio’s wife, Anna, brought her children to the deck, knelt, and prayed for God to save them or help them endure what was ahead. Within twelve minutes, the liner passed beneath the dark waters of the Atlantic, carrying with it 226 passengers—among them Horatio’s four children.

A sailor discovered Anna floating on a piece of wreckage and rescued her. Later, a larger vessel picked them up and took them to Wales. From here, she wired her husband.

Horatio booked passage on the next available ship to join his wife. When the ship was four days out, the captain called the mourning husband and father to his cabin and told him they were over the place where his children had died. According to a daughter born after the tragedy, Horatio penned the words that later became the song, “It is Well with My Soul.”

According to Paul, trials produce the rare virtue of patience (Romans 5:3). But only if we respond in the correct way, as Horatio did. His wife gave birth to three more children, but even one of them died at age four from pneumonia.

Patience is a jewel that serves us well in life. With it, we love to a greater degree, serve to a higher level, become better citizens, and are molded into better employees.

Trials also teach us how important prayer is (Philippians 4:6-7). As the ship sank, Anna prayed with her children and prayed for God’s will—whether that meant life or death. Trials drag us—sometimes kicking and screaming—into the presence of God where we find help in our time of need. Our prayers don’t change God, but they change our perspective on the trial, making us willing to accept God’s will.

Instead of fighting the trial, let God develop patience in you and teach you the importance of prayer.

Prayer: Father, in the trials, we give ourselves to Your will—even if it leads to death.

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1 comment:

  1. Those trials would get the best of many. Thanks for joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!