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Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #43 --- Trials & Tribulations
Quotations on Trials & Tribulations
All of us have had those days when things just have not gone as they were planned, or something unexpected happened that threw us into despair. We sometimes mistakenly feel that our own personal afflictions are as great as any during the history of the world. They are not, however, and we usually recover just in time to confront life's next challenge.
Frustrations greatly affect our physical and spiritual well-being, sometimes affecting one more than the other. There are those times when we suffer physically from the mild irritations of life. Usually these types of problems have relatively simple solutions.
In our modern society, we have remedies to relieve that occasional headache or get rid of the waxy buildup on the kitchen tile. The solutions for our emotional state are more complex but all too frequently our frustrations can be prevented if we will only read the signposts along the way.
The most difficult times come when we are devastated by severe adversity. There are no quick and simple answers or solutions to these problems. We are subjected to a "trial of our faith," as recorded in 1 Peter 1:7. We can choose to pick up the pieces or throw in the towel.
As we overcome frustrations, we gain experience and thus grow stronger; we test our faith by the challenges set before us. Like a great athlete who trains many hours in order to prepare himself for competition, so do we train for the obstacles of life by getting up every time we fall.
As a reward for our faithfulness, Paul has proposed that we might enter into the kingdom of God but not without much tribulation. (Acts 14:22.) The Bible contains many choice examples of those who have suffered, who have had their faith tried and who remained faithful to the commandments of God.
Jesus Christ, in speaking to His disciples, said, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulations: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33.)
Do we not have the same promise? Jesus Christ has prepared the way if we but follow His path.
Develop a positive attitude about your personal frustrations. Continue on the pathway rather than sitting down along the side of the road and giving up.
—Ted A. DuBois, Amarillo Daily News, Amarillo, Texas, Oct. 22, 1983.
A 45-minute blaze in midtown New York swept away the life work of sculptor Jacques Lipschitz. His top floor studio, only an hour before a quiet scene of achievement, had suddenly become a burial ground for all his art. Only one of two bronzes survived.
"It's awful, just awful, part of my life is gone," the old sculptor moaned. But in the very same breath he caught himself. The greatness of his soul rose above the tragedy of the moment and he bravely and cheerfully said, "I shall simply have to start all over again."
You should never forget that, no matter what disaster may befall you, you have it within yourself to rise above your misfortune.
Yes, you have a big of greatness that you may never have discovered. It is a gift of God to you personally. It is one tiny part of His Almighty power that He has entrusted to you and to nobody else. But remember, it is not for you alone. He meant that you should share it with others--with as many as possible.
Don't wait for misfortune to bring out the hidden greatness that is yours. One of the best ways to find it and strengthen it is to see Christ in every human being, and yearn to help each and all, even the worst. "He that shall persevere unto the end shall be saved." (Matthew 10:22.)
O Lord, grant me the vision and courage to push ahead through every difficulty.
—James G. Keller, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Jan. 29, 1954.
"For he that doubteth is like the surge of the sea driven by the wind and tossed." (James 1:5.)
The Apostle James in this paragraph [James, chapter 1] points out six characteristics of this surge of the sea. All I am going to do is to let you see what the Apostle James says about these surges which we find in all walks of life.
In the first place, James declares he is a helpless man, it matters now in what sphere of life you find him. He is just as helpless as that surge of the sea. There is nothing permanent or durable about him. He is swept this way today because the wind is this way, tomorrow he is swept in an entirely different direction because the wind is going that direction.
In the second place, the Apostle declares that these surges are unstable in all their ways. If there be a double-mind or a double-heart, it will manifest itself in everything the man thinks or does. He will be unstable in his business life; the banks will not care to do business with him. He will be unstable in his home life; his wife will never know just what mood he will return in, or in what mood he will leave in. He will be unstable in civic life. He will be undependable in the church.
In the third place the Apostle James declares that he is powerless in prayer. There is a reservoir of blessings large and small waiting to be tapped, but that man is not able to connect. He can go through the exercise of prayer until he is faint, but he is never able to record even one instance of answered prayer because of his double-mindedness, or double-heartedness.
The next characteristic of this man, according to the Apostle James, is that he is without wisdom, one of God's richest gifts.
Wisdom is the right use of one's acquisitions and opportunities in right living. Every man is conscious with a painful intensity that he is short of wisdom. Men and women need it for any progress in the Christian life. But the point James is making is that it is especially needed in order to stand the trials which come to all Christians. According to James, the purpose of God in trials is to make perfect His people. The adverse wind tosses the young tree hither and thither, stretches its fibre, loosens its roots and forces them to go deeper and deeper in search of the fountains of life and in search of strength.
The next point the Apostle James makes is that this man will never reach perfection of character. Perfection comes through trial and suffering. The Son of God was made perfect through suffering. "Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth." But this man never reaches perfection because God's chastening is to him not chastening. He regards it as punishment.
The last characteristic of these surges of the sea is their joylessness. James says in the first part of the paragraph that we ought to count it joy when we fall into manifold trials, because these manifold trials perfect faith and work patience, and when patience has its perfect work, we are perfect and entire, lacking in nothing. Now the joy is dependent upon the faith, and the faith upon patience, and the patience upon perfection, and perfection upon the power to see God's wisdom behind it all. But the double-minded, unstable man remains without the Divine wisdom. Therefore, he hasn't the patience; therefore, he remains imperfect; therefore, he has no joy in life.
—Charles L. King, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Dec. 18, 1955.
"Tribulation worketh patience." (Romans 5:3.) Let the power to endure be made perfect. If we will keep before us the fact that God is fashioning a life, and that the fashioning calls for this and that trial, and that the ultimate outcome will be splendid for character and spirit, if we do not resist the discipline, then will we endure.
—J.E. Nunn, Amarillo Daily News, Amarillo, Texas, Sept. 21, 1935.
Our prayers are many times answered, but not in the way that we expected. God sends us many blessings in disguise. All of our trials act as a refinery to us and if we will let them they will mellow our service for good. They have a tendency to make us better. It is after we are tried and found faithful that we are worth much to our Master. Let us enjoy these trials.
—Harvey Scott, Childress Index, Childress, Texas, March 5, 1925.
"Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward."
God's people are often brought into trying situations under His providence and His leadership.
The right way to anticipate and face difficulties is in a spirit of confidence and determination. As difficulties are encountered we must wait upon God and see His salvation. We must go forward at His command.
Forward is the law of the Christian life. The mission of the Holy Spirit is to foster advancement. God never brings His people into position from which retreat is necessary or in which advance is impossible. There may be occasions when readjustments have to be made, but these readjustments should never involve any sort of retreat.
Our work lies in front of us, not behind us, and forward must be our motto. We are to advance in Christian virtues and attainments; in purity of life and rectitude of conduct, in labors of love for the cause of Christ. ... Advancement must be made regardless of unfavorable conditions or adverse circumstances. Impregnable barriers may stand between us and the land of enlarged usefulness, but we must move onward and upward.
—C.P. Roney, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Oct. 24, 1921.
Why is it that no Christian steward is exempt from the trials of faith? Why is it that no one can so adjust his life as not to need the wisdom, the guidance and the help of God? The supply of this need involves faith, and the growth of faith depends upon the trial of faith.
Every gracious answer to prayer introduces a new need or problem. A mother prays that her child's life may be spared. If her request is granted she at once is in need of wisdom for guiding the child aright. Numerous and intricate and difficult problems enter into her life. These make necessary the upholding, directing wisdom and strength of God!
Invariably those who have the severest testing of faith attain to the greatest strength of faith.
Trials reveal the greatest or littleness of faith. The early disciples surprised by the severity of the storm which suddenly beat upon them, were greeted with a revelation of their weak faith when our Lord said, "O ye of little faith." The Syrophencian woman so met the trial of her faith that the Lord said, "O woman, great is thy faith!" (Matthew 15:28.) Thus it is that trials are light-bearers, revealing the strength or weakness of faith.
For this reason, among others, we should not think it strange that our faith is tested. Though severely tried, it is better than gold which perishes. It has a sure reward, both temporal and eternal.
—Finley W. Tinnen, Baptist Message, Shreveport, La., Jan. 23, 1930.
A man should not berate his trials. They do not weaken him, but rather show him where he is weak.
—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, Jan. 26, 1921.
"Rejoice in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer." (Romans 12:12.) Hope, patience, prayer–a great trinity in our tribulations.
—Lucy P. Scarborough, Baptist Message, Shreveport, La., Sept. 5, 1929.
It is through trials we gain the blessing, and when we are cheerful our trials are only half as hard to bear.
—Zina D.H. Young, Woman’s Exponent, Salt Lake City, Utah, April 15, 1890.
The trials and tribulations are a school of experience to fit and prepare [us] for the blessings, and to prepare [us] to comprehend the destiny’s designs and ways of the Creator.
—John Morgan, Daily Enquirer, Provo, Utah, Sept. 1, 1890.
Every man is as big as the difficulties he has overcome.
—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Jan. 12, 1933.
What a man does with his difficulties is the explanation of his achievements.
—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Feb. 25, 1933.
The best way out of a difficulty is through it.
—B.C. Forbes, Forbes Magazine, New York, N.Y., Feb. 7, 1920.
The road through a difficulty may be rougher, but it is always safer than the road around it.
—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Jan. 19, 1908.
Take all the tribulation out of this world and you'd find folks so tired of joy that they'd hunt up trouble.
—Frank L. Stanton, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., May 6, 1910.
Tribulation enough in the world, but after we pull all the roses we spend the balance of our days growling at the thorns.
—Frank L. Stanton, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., May 17, 1912.
Though the hills of Joy are always in sight, on a straight road, we never fail to make a roundabout journey to Tribulation Town.
—Frank L. Stanton, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., May 22, 1912.
Suffering and trials are the crucible in which the gold of character is refined. Struggling demands the exercise of power. It is the crises of life which call forth the best that is in us.
—Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, April 11, 1926.
Running away from trial is never a success.
—Methodist Layman's Herald, Parkersburg, W.Va., Nov. 14, 1912.
He who waits till all difficulties are removed will never act.
—The Friend, Philadelphia, Pa., Aug. 6, 1892.
The heart looks over many a difficulty that the head cannot see through.
—Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Nov. 20, 1904.
Your difficulties are frequently the spectacles through which others see your character.
—Humboldt Star, Winnemucca, Nev., Jan. 22, 1946.
The person who fails to learn from the little trials of life usually learns his lessons too late.
—Rogersville Review, Rogersville, Tenn., May 26, 1955.
The great difficulty with so many men is that they have their minds fixed on difficulties.
—Utah Farmer, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 10, 1937.