Our earthly life is full of tests, trials, and tribulations; it is something we all have to endure in one way or another. Many times, these are the consequences of bad decisions and or bad habits, but you can be sure to encounter them. No one can escape this harsh reality.
Albeit unbelievers often have “serious” setbacks since they have no scruples or guidelines in their lives. Sex, drugs, alcohol, and bad behavior overtly permeate and overtake their lives. They just can’t help themselves. In fact, this thing referred to as “sin” seems to be hard-wired into our very genes. The unregenerate know that what they do is bad for them and that eventually they will pay the piper, but they just can’t help themselves. They have no self-control.
College degrees, doctorates, and popularity do nothing to diminish the inclination to fall into temptation and sin. I know a couple who were both lawyers and were well thought of by friends and neighbors. This couple decided to one day quit their law professions and go into the ministry. They went through the proper training of their denomination, and both were ordained. Within three years, it was discovered that the male partner was a pedophile and had a laptop full of child pornography. This in spite of the fact that he had two lovely daughters yet in college. He was convicted and sentenced to hard time in prison. If it could happen to them, it can happen to anybody. One day you’re riding a crest of popularity, and the next, your world falls apart. The wife and two girls were devastated, to say the least.
I would say “he had it coming,” but I know all too well that evil can befall us all. I thank God that I’ve been transformed by the renewing of my mind, and I hope you have been too. “Born again” Christians have God-given guidelines and the promises in the Bible to keep them sane in an ever-increasing deterioration of our world.
Christians are not exempt from such things and are as susceptible to trials and tribulations just like anyone else. The difference is that we have Jesus to lean on when things go wrong in our lives.
Jesus had it right: “In this life you will have many trials and tribulations, but cheer up, for I have overcome the world.” Now this could mean that He is ever present to help us in any situation and trial through the Holy Spirit, our “spiritual helper.” Therefore, we have self-control and spiritual discernment. Yes, we can – and do sin – but sin can be overcome with the Holy Spirit’s help. So don’t despair, and don’t dwell on your difficulties – instead pray.
More often than not, the “bad things” that come into our lives are a testing of our faith – perhaps to see what we’re really made of. Most of the patriarchs of the Bible were put into trials. Job was a man who lost everything he held dear. His wife, family and possessions were taken away in one fell swoop, and he questioned God about it. Why God, what have I done to deserve this fate? And Job had done nothing deserving of such calamity. Job was being tested by Satan. God said you can do anything to him but don’t take his life. Even his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” His friends turned against him too and even became his (tongue in cheek) accusers.
And so, it is with us – to the point where we would welcome death. But Job prevailed and showed himself to be faithful to his creator. All things were restored to Job: a beautiful and loving wife, fine children, and more possessions than he had before.
Joseph was another one. The trials he went through were extraordinary. Falsely accused of rape by the Pharaoh of Egypt, he was imprisoned for years.
The Apostle Paul also had his trials and tribulations as well; he was imprisoned, stoned, and left to die. He was whipped more than once, shipwrecked, and bitten by a poisonous serpent. In other words, he had gone through hell for his faith, something most of us would never do.
These were true men of faith, not some church-going couch potatoes unworthy of being called Christian.
“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 suffering, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12-13).
There is so much that can be said on this topic, but be careful what you wish for. During the time my wife left me, I prayed and cried, and cried some more for losing my two children to her, whom she took with her to live in another part of the country with her lover. Twenty years later after her lover had been incarcerated on drug charges, I saw her. The poor soul was a wasted mess of a woman but still as mean as a junkyard dog. Today, she is a hypocritical Jehovah’s Witness living in squalor. I thank God that we never reconciled.
Having said that, I expect to get some blowback about voicing such callous statements, but truth be told, I’ve always treated her with kindness and courtesy, knowing that we all make many mistakes. I’ve even prayed for her salvation. She was and continues to be a victim of bad choices.
Dear Friend, if you are going through a dark period in your life, you must continue to trust God; His timing is impeccable, and the results are worth waiting for. “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD” (Psalm 27:14). One day we will all be at rest, and life will be so joyful in heaven that we will not even remember the trials and tribulations we had to go through in the here and now.
The Authoritarian Moment, a book written by Ben Shapiro, is a must read for those who have been living under a rock for the past fifty years. In those fifty or more years, the radical left has altered our country beyond recognition, and the thing I personally detest the most is their disregard for the things of God, abortion and sexual perversion. Ben lays it all on the line with his political insight and encourages us to fight back. The subtitle is “How the Left Weaponized America’s Institutions against Dissent.”