James on Trial

Help Understanding Hardships

P2 – Purpose of Trials – Love

Written By: Ray - Aug• 09•10

When trials hit, observers may assume that “they are reaping what they sowed.” They think that difficult pain is the direct result of one’s actions. That was what Jesus’ disciples were thinking when they asked (John 9:2), “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” This line of thinking is often dispelled when the “observer” is suddenly hit with a difficult trial and they become the supposed “offender”!!

However, the Bible says, (Mt 5:45) that God “sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” When hurricanes hit in our area, churches, church schools, Christian hospitals and other religious organizations experience the same destruction as the ungodly.

Instead, God uses some of our most difficult trials to prepare us for future ministry that we can provide to others. In my forty-odd years of ministry, I have been asked to conduct a lot of funerals. But it is a simple truth that it is almost impossible to adequately minister to the family of a deceased person if we have not personally experienced the loss of anyone close to us. In order for us to offer help to someone in the future, we must experience a similar pain today.

No doubt, that is why the Bible states that Jesus experienced the same difficulties as we do..

Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin.

Paul said that his love for the Church at Corinth was the reason that he had endured distressing hardships, saying “it is for your comfort and salvation” (2Co 1:6). Verses 3 and 4 state that, when we experience trials, God comforts us so that we can share the comfort with others down the road. And Paul said that it was his LOVE for the Corinthians that made him willing to suffer for them and that he wrote to them about it as a way to show them “the depth of [his] love for [them].”

The bottom line: Some trials are intended to prepare us to show love and ministry to someone that we will encounter in the future. In the words that God gave me recently, “If I am not willing to experience pain for you, I have no right to say ‘I love you.’

There are still two more reasons for trial found in the introduction to the book of Second Corinthians. I will post my thoughts on them here — real soon.

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