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 set out to reach them with the 3 S’s: soup, soap, and salvation.
The poor of London greatly stirred the heart of William Booth. He realized most churches weren’t doing anything to reach the people most considered “undesirables”—the drunkards, the morphine addicts, the prostitutes, and the poor. Through the three s’s, thousands were saved among those that most churches had no interest in.
When in his 80s, blindness began to hinder Booth’s work. He briefly lost his sight, then recovered it, but later lost it again—this time permanently. His son, Bramwell, brought him the bad news that he would never see again. Booth replied, “God must know best, Bramwell. I have done what I could for God and the people with my eyes. Now I shall do what I can for God and the people without my eyes.” Peace.
In addition to the joy James speaks of, trials can also bring peace: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7).
The peace is supernatural, for in the natural realm peace does not come from trouble. Only God can transform the difficulty and give us a settled peace in our hearts and in our minds. A peace that lets us know everything will be okay because a sovereign God is in control.
Booth believed it, and trials have taught me the same lesson. Peace when the income isn’t enough to cover the bills. Peace when a child takes a rebellious path … or dies … or is killed. Peace when possessions are lost due to natural disasters or theft. Peace when a spouse walks out. Peace when a partner steals from you. The nature of the trial matters not. God’s peace is more than enough to overcome it.
God can send trials as long as they don’t contradict His nature, but most trials are authored by Satan (James 4:7). That’s still not a problem. God is superior to Satan and to any of his attempts to destroy us. God doesn’t often remove the trial, but He teaches us through it, thereby, thwarting Satan’s attempt to destroy us.
When fiery trials come upon you, turn to God for the peace you need.
Prayer: Father, in the times when we can do nothing, we look to You to do everything.