“That you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” -Matthew 5:45
No matter what this life on earth throws at us, whether we’re in trials or blessings, the question is how do we respond?
When the phone rings and the news isn’t good, do we despair or do we stop, pray, and seek the Lord’s will? And beyond that, can we actually rejoice?
James 1:2 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”
Our response to trials is a clear indication of our perspective on life, and more specifically, what or whom we are trusting in.
In Galatians 2:20, the Apostle Paul declares his identification to Christ. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
How Are You Responding to Life’s Trials?
Look at these questions and the related scriptures. Then consider if you are responding to life’s trials and temptations as a child of God:
1. When you’re at odds with family or friends, can you be reconciled to your brother? (Matthew 5:24)
2. When you’re tempted to look a second time at an attractive person, do you realize that whoever looks at another person with lust has already committed adultery in their heart? (Matthew 5:28)
3. Did you realize that whoever divorces their spouse for any reason except sexual immorality causes them to commit adultery? (Matthew 5:32)
4. Do you have trouble with commitment? Your “yes” should mean yes, and your “no” should mean no. (Matthew 5:37)
5. Do you hesitate when people ask you for help? You should go the extra mile for others. (Matthew 5:41)
6. When you’re verbally or physically attacked for your faith, do you pray for your enemies? (Matthew 5:44-45)
Or put another way, when you get personally offended by someone, what source do you run to first?
Where’s the First Place You Run to?
When we run first to our emotions, we naturally want to get revenge and strike back.
But when we run to Jesus, we supernaturally find His grace and mercy upon our lives.
Matthew 5:7 says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
When we walk in this perspective, we’re reminded of what God brought us out of and more significantly, the great love that made a way for us to go to our Father in Heaven.
1 John 3:2 says, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He’s revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
This old hymn says it well…
Oh! to be like Thee,
Oh! to be like Thee,
Pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness,
Come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image,
Deep on my heart.
The key to responding appropriately to our trials is to remember that God is in control and to keep in mind that He is our Father.
He loves us, and sometimes He chastens us to help us grow.
Hebrews 12:5-6 says:
My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.
Chastening from the Lord can be some of the most challenging and yet rewarding times as a Christian. It’s bittersweet.
Dying to self is not easy. But in these times, we can sense the presence of the Lord like never before.
Hebrews 12:7-11 says:
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect.
Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
The Bible refers to believers as “children of God”. The God of all creation, the King of kings and the Lord of lords is referred to as “our Father.”
As our relationship with God grows, the love of our Father always stays true and stands the test of time yesterday, today, and forever.
Do you know God as your Father? Or do you see Him more as a judgmental, dispassionate Being?
Don’t fall into this trap. Consider the one, true, and living God that is love in purest form.
1 John 3:1 says, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”
Therefore, the world does not know us because it did not know Him.
When the battle rages in your life, do you trust God, or do you lean on your understanding?
Embrace your Father by faith. Experience His love for you.
Ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and rejoice in knowing your Father in Heaven in a deeper way.
Discover a life filled with love, peace, joy, and victory.