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[music]
Dr. Charles Stanley: More important than God removing the
difficulty, hardship, pain and suffering; more important to Him
than that, is that you and I learn something; that we
benefit; that we walk away from whatever we're going through in
life, being able to say deeply within our heart, honestly,
Thank You, dear God, for all You've brought me through.
Thank You, dear God, for what You're in the process of
teaching me in this.
male announcer: Today on "In Touch," "Wisdom in the Midst of
Trials."
Dr. Stanley: Are you going through some trial in your life
that you don't understand?
You don't know why it has to happen to you.
You look back and you ask one or two questions.
What did I do to deserve this?
You can't come up with an answer.
God, why have You allowed this in my life?
Can't come up with an answer.
And to be truthful and honest, what you want most of all is out
of this.
I want to escape it.
I want freedom from it.
I want all this pain and hurt and disappointment and
hopelessness and helplessness and all the things that I'm
going through, naturally, I just want out of all this as quickly
as possible.
Do you think that's the will of God?
You say, Why sure it is because He's a good God.
Well maybe in a few moments you'll realize that God has
something far more important from His perspective than simply
getting you out of this difficulty, hardship or trial
Because what I want to talk about in this whole message
today, I want to talk about wisdom in the midst of trials.
How are we to respond?
How does God respond?
What is He up to in allowing all these things to happen?
In other words, do you want to benefit from it, or you just
want to get bitter and resentful and hostile toward God because
of it?
There's a choice.
I can benefit from whatever difficulty I'm facing; or I can
get bitter, blame somebody else, blame God and miss the whole
point.
So I want you to turn if you will to the book, and toward the
back of the New Testament in First Peter.
And I want us to look at this first chapter and the first few
verses here, because he's talking to people, writing to
people rather, who are going through some very difficult
times.
They're being persecuted because of their love for the Lord Jesus
Christ and their devotion to Him.
And naturally they've got some questions.
Listen to and read Peter's awesome response to what they're
going through.
And so he begins in this first chapter, beginning in verse
three.
Listen to what he says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us
to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of
Jesus Christ from the dead," He says we have a living hope.
This is the mercy of God, "To obtain an inheritance which is
imperishable, undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in
heaven for you," that is, for you, "Who are protected by the
power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed
in the last times."
Now watch this, "In this you greatly rejoice, even though now
for a little while, if necessary, you have been
distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith,
being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though
tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and
honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; And though you have not
seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now,
but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible
and full of glory."
Now, think about it for a moment.
I don't know what you're going through, but more than likely
you've asked a couple of questions.
Why has this happened to me?
And, God, why don't You remove this?
And remember this.
More important than God removing the difficulty, hardship, pain
and suffering; more important to Him than that, is that you and I
learn something; that we benefit; that we walk away from
whatever we're going through in life, being able to say deeply
within our heart, honestly, Thank You, dear God, for all
You've brought me through.
Thank You, dear God, for what You're in the process of
teaching me in this.
Many people don't want to be taught.
Many people just want a quick escape.
But a wise man or woman does not want to go through heartache and
suffering and trial and all the things that can happen to a
person and just come out empty, hopeless and helpless, and
thinking again, Wonder what God is up to in my life in all this.
Do I believe that God loves me enough that He's up to something
good?
So, from the viewpoint of wisdom, what are the purposes
for these trials in our life?
And the first one is simply this, as he says in this first
chapter of--First Peter, listen to what he says.
He says, "In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a
little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various
trials," for what reason?
He says, Look, right now you're going through a difficult time,
"So that in order that; for this purpose," what is that?
"That, the proof of your faith."
And that is, not proof in like we think about it, but prove,
that is being approved.
That's what that word means.
In order that our faith would be approved; we prove that is
strong, "Being more precious than gold which is perishable."
He says in God's eyes, look at this, your faith is more
valuable as far as God is concerned, than gold and silver
and all the rest.
So, he says one of the reasons that we're going through it is
for God to do what?
He's going to do something to your faith.
He's going to strengthen your faith.
One of your greatest assets is your faith, because it's by your
faith.
And how many times we go to the scriptures and we find verses in
the Bible about prayer and linked with that of faith,
trusting God.
And so God tests us by allowing us to be persecuted, hurt, pain,
suffering, all kind of loss, whatever it might be.
And as He watches us walk through that and He, as He sees
our faith growing and we persevere and we don't quit, we
don't give up.
We don't grow bitter and resentful and hostile toward
other people because of what's happening to us.
What happens?
Our faith grows.
And the greater your faith, the stronger your personal
relationship to the Lord.
Now, a second thing is this, the testing of our devotion.
Do I love Him?
Do I only love Him when everything's going my way?
Can I honestly say that I love Jesus Christ as my personal
Savior?
And so oftentimes we find out where we are.
Test our devotion.
When I feel pain more than I think I can bear, can I still
say, God, I truly love You.
It's those tests in which we find out who we really are; what
we're like.
Then of course, there is the purpose of purifying our life.
And when I think about God purifying us, think about this.
Pain is--has a purifying factor in it.
There's something about pain that purifies.
It reaches the depths of our soul and our spirit and brings
us to the reality and the truthfulness about ourselves.
And a person can go along in life and sort of get along as
they would think and I'm doing fine as a Christian, and a lot
of things in their life that shouldn't be there.
And all of a sudden the bottom drops out of their life; there's
pain, suffering, heartache, troubles and trials; and then
what do they do?
They want to cry out to God to help them.
And most of the time, what is He going to do?
He's going to start, not with the physical ailment.
He's going to start in the spirit, in the heart, what's
going on in your life.
And many people prolong the suffering because they will not
acknowledge that God is in the process of purifying their life.
Now another reason is that God takes an opportunity to do what?
To show Himself strong in our life.
We go through trials and heartaches and we think, God,
how am I going to handle this?
And God steps into that situation and demonstrates His
awesome power.
And He demonstrates what He's able to do and what He's willing
to do, what He can do in your life if you're willing to listen
to Him.
So, God has purposes.
He doesn't let these things go by without specific purposes.
And so that's one of them.
Then, as we said, His purpose is to provide Christ-like character
in our life.
So, if we stopped right there, we'd say, Well, God have any
purpose in all this?
Yes, He does.
And that's some of the purpose, and I'd just add one more.
And that's very clear in Second Corinthians chapter one, verse
four, listen to this.
Verse three says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all
comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will
be able to comfort those who are in affliction with the comfort
with which we ourselves have been comforted by God."
He says one of the primary reasons He allows these things
in our life to do what?
To equip you and me to be able to help other people through
that difficulty.
For example, let's say that you're going through some real
bad difficulty in your life.
Maybe it's a physical thing, some pain.
Who do you want to talk to?
Somebody who's in perfect health?
Never had a problem at all in their life and wonder why you're
where you are.
No, you don't.
If you're going through something in your finances, and
you don't know which way to turn to--who--you want to turn to
somebody who has been there, who has wisdom and knowledge about
their finances.
You can take any aspect of life.
Because God, listen, God intends, watch this, He intends
that you and I profit from all the hardships, disasters that
happen in our life.
He has something good in every single one of them.
Now, if you believe that, and I certainly hope you do, and you
can look at the scripture, lots of scriptures.
Then I should be able to walk out of here saying, You know
what?
Enough of this complaining and moaning and groaning and feeling
like a victim, and blaming somebody else.
God's up to something good in my life.
Oops, I know it hurts, God, but I know You're up to something
good in my life.
It'll change your attitude.
Now watch this.
Just physiologically, when your attitude gets right, it's
amazing the effect that has on your physical body.
I'm not saying you can think yourself into healing, but I
know this.
When I understand that God is up to something good even though
I'm hurting, whatever the source of it may be, there's going to
be a feeling; there's going to be a sense of encouragement;
because you don't see it as just isolated pain or isolated
disease or isolated loss.
Or somebody has attacked you for something.
You see God working in your life in an awesome way.
Now, we need the--we need wisdom to discern the proper response.
How am I going to respond to these things?
And as we said, you can be bitter and resentful and
hostile.
What's the right way?
So let's think about it for a few moments.
We can rejoice when we're convinced that the following
things are true.
That God is in control of the time and intensity of my trial,
very important that I understand that.
That He's in charge, He's in control of the time of it and
the intensity of this pain or disaster or whatever it might
be.
Secondly, that He has a specific purpose for allowing it.
If I can really believe that He has a specific purpose for
allowing it, then I'm going to be able to walk through it with
confidence and assurance, and I'm going to be able to benefit
from it.
But I must believe that.
Thirdly, that it's designed to meet a specific need in my life.
Let's say you're going through a difficult time in your life.
Let's say that your loved one has walked away from you or the
person that you wanted to marry just walked away.
Who are you going to talk to about how you respond?
Somebody who's happily married and never had a problem and
everything just fantastic?
No you're not.
You're going to somebody who has been there.
You're going to somebody who's walked a path that you don't
want to walk but you're walking it.
It's not something you chose, but it's something that you've
had to deal with.
And so, it's to meet a specific need in your life.
And you know what happens?
One of these days God begins to use you in a very specific way.
Watch this carefully.
Remember this.
Whatever pain, suffering, heartache, hardship you go
through, not only does God have a purpose, but it's part of His
equipping.
He's equipping you.
And what does that say?
So you can feel what the other person feels.
Since you've walked there, and God's worked in your life, and
you've been through the pain, the hurt, the disappointment and
the shame or whatever it might be.
You've been there.
You know how that feels.
Then somebody can say, Well here's what I'm going through.
I don't know how to handle that.
When you can say, I've been there it is amazing.
I have been there, four words are powerful.
You see, why do you and I go to Jesus when we're hurting?
I have been there, look at the cross.
He's been there.
Why do we read the Epistles that Paul wrote in prison?
Because he could say I have been there.
And when you and I go through those kind of times in our life,
He is equipping you and preparing you to be able to say
to others, I have been there.
The trial is going to be to my benefit if I respond in faith,
if I'm trusting Him.
Lord, I don't understand it.
I don't like it, but I'm going to trust You, Jesus, that no
matter what I know You'll work it out for my benefit.
And then of course, do I really and truly believe that God is
developing Christ-like character in my life?
And if He is, when these things hit, it may be that I have to
say to somebody, Would you please forgive me for wronging
you?
Now watch this.
My willingness to ask for forgiveness is part of His
character building.
The person to whom I say it, it's part of their character
building, because they have to decide whether to forgiven me or
not.
You see, we're all so intermingled, intertwined.
God is up to something good in every single aspect of our life.
Even, listen, even in our failures, He's up to something
good.
We sing that song, When I fall down He picks me up.
He does.
And if I should ask you this morning, How many times have you
ever been picked up by God?
We don't have enough fingers and toes because He's picked us up
so many times.
You know why?
He's not giving up on us and He doesn't want us to give up on
Him.
And these trials will also help us measure our spiritual growth.
And I can look back in my life just like you can, and there may
be something you're going through today, you'd have had to
go through five years ago, you'd have thought, Oh God, I couldn't
handle it.
Watch this carefully.
God guards every aspect of our life and He knows exactly when
you can handle what He's going to put on you.
Because remember, His goal is never to defeat you, but to
develop you into Christ-likeness.
And so He's governing every single aspect of our life.
Don't waste your sorrows, your heartaches, your pain, your
suffering, your disappointments.
Don't waste that by a wrong response.
But just tell Him, Lord, I don't understand it.
I don't like it.
It hurts.
This wouldn't--it wouldn't be my choice.
But Father, I'm going to trust You.
You know what's best for my life.
You know what You want to do with my life.
You know how we want to use me in somebody else's life, so God,
if You'll just enable me, I will persevere and keep walking Your
path, no matter how deep in the valley it goes.
I will be walking on the path trusting You to take me through
all the way to the other side.
I don't know what you're going through in life, but if you will
just take what you've heard and apply it to your heart, your
life will change and you'll be grateful to God that you
listened and that you responded.
If you've never trusted Jesus as your Savior, you're on your own,
and that's not going to work.
If you're willing to trust Him as your personal Savior,
everything will change.
You do that by confessing your sinfulness, listen.
You're a sinner.
You've sinned against almighty God.
You've rebelled against Him.
Acknowledge it.
Ask Him to forgive you, not because you're going to do
better, but because when Jesus went to the cross, the Father
placed all of your rebellion, indifference and sinfulness on
His Son; nailed Him to the cross; shed His blood.
And the shedding of His blood paid your sin debt in full.
He'll transform your life.
It's a decision you have to make.
And I trust that you're wise enough to say, Lord, not my
will, but Your will be done.
Amen?
And Father, how grateful we are that we'll never be disappointed
in a promise of Yours.
You know who's hurting almost to the point of death today.
You know those that are so discouraged they want to quit
and walk away.
But we know that You have the power to enable Your children to
persevere, to keep moving.
And Father, thank You for giving us the wisdom in Your Word of
what You're up to and what You want to accomplish.
And I pray that every person who hears this message will realize
there's a loving Father who's not just watching, but who's
there ready to see them through it; ready to forgive sin; ready
to strengthen them; ready to enable them; ready to do for
them exactly what they need, if they'll trust You with all of
their heart.
We just want to say we love You, Father, for being so good to us.
In Jesus' name, amen.
announcer: If you've been blessed by today's program,
please visit us at INTOUCH.org.
announcer: Leading people worldwide into a growing
relationship with Jesus Christ and strengthening the local
church.
"In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley" is a presentation
of In Touch Ministries.
This program is made possible by the grace of God and your
faithful prayers and gifts.
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Wisdom in the Midst of Trials – Dr. Charles Stanley

1885 タグ追加 保存
Alice Chou 2015 年 11 月 12 日 に公開
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