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Friday, January 6, 2012

Avoid the Pit of Condemnation

1 Peter 4 : 12 - 14, Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. NKJV

How do you respond to trouble when it knocks at your door? I have seen how many Christians (including me) respond to trouble. There is a tendency to ask, "What did I do wrong that caused this trouble?" But here is the danger in asking   such a question: It places your attention on you and not on the righteousness of God. Do you remember what kind of a day scripture says that Job had when he lost his family, his livestock, and his health? He lived under the old covenant... before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But thankfully and unlike Job, we're under the new covenant (of grace by faith in Christ), and we do have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Father has given us the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth and to convict us when we sin against the truth. God doesn't have to use fiery trials to break us of sin. But if we don't want to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, then He will let us reap the corruption of our flesh.

So when you face trouble in your life, do you struggle with self-condemnation? I have heard some teachers say that if a Christian has problems, it's because they lack faith. Peter contradicts that teaching and explains the correct purpose of the trials. We are partaking of Christ's sufferings when we are faced with trials in this life. Will we continue in faith or will we draw back in unbelief?

The purpose of having faith isn't to keep us from having trials, but it is to be placed in Christ so that we might walk in the righteousness of God as His child. So when a trial visits your house or interrupts your life, look to the Lord to lead you through it; do not look to your own weaknesses. He has given you the measure of faith (Romans 12 : 3), and He promises to help us endure the trials by faith and to then overcome the trials while remaining in faith.

So if you have faith in Christ today, and you're faced with job termination, sickness, relational conflicts, etc., then know that God has already given you the power to overcome the trials of life. The key to having  victory in your battles is in your faith. The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms that many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord, not us, will deliver us out of them all. He will be faithful, but we must remain faithful. Those who endure to the end will see their salvation.

Waiting on the Lord,
Pastor Asa

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