TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS
Living on earth is no Garden of Eden since our ancestors Adam and Eve sinned and were cast out from Paradise. Man had to toil for his labour and woman had to suffer in child birth. God sent His son, Jesus Christ to save us so we can renew our relationship with the Lord God. Many people have responded to His call.
We start our new life in Jesus Christ through being buried like Him in death and resurrected as new born children in Christ. New babies can only feed on milk and not eat meat or chew any solid food. A child grows step by step into maturity. A young child will not be able to climb a ladder until he is older. Slowly, we can mature in Christ.
Jacob dreamt of a ladder reaching from the ground to high heaven where angels descended and ascended. That depicted the way to heaven would be through different steps leading higher and higher into the heavens. We reach a new rung on the ladder when we step up higher and higher, leaving behind the last rung of the ladder and not looking behind us.
To return to the bosom of God, we must go through trials and tribulations to divest ourselves of sins that we have accumulated.
THREE REASONS WHY WE MUST GO THROUGH TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS
The three reasons why we have to go through trials and tribulations are:
(1) We inherited the curse of our ancestors, Adam and Eve.
(2) We must be sanctified in the Lord to regain His love
(3) Our faith in God is tested.
THE CURSE OF ADAM AND EVE
The number one main reason why we will all have to put with a certain amount of turmoil and conflict is the result of the curse that Adam and Eve brought down upon this earth as a result of sinning against the Lord by eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They were tested in the Garden of Eden, and when the both of them disobeyed God’s direct command, their descendants born after them would all have to undergo the trials and tribulations which would ensue.
THE CURSE ON ADAM
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it was thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
THE CURSE ON EVE
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
FOR SANCTIFICATION IN THE LORD
Heaven is a holy place where no sinner will enter and those who wish to enter must be sanctified. God will allow all of His own to have different kinds of adversities, trials and tribulations come our way in this life is for our own sanctification in Him. God wants to make us more holy like Him and His Son Jesus. He wants to transform, consecrate us and God is like a refiner of precious metals like silver and gold. Refining takes many processes.
- For thou, O God, has proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
Thou has caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
- And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.
- And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
God is the Potter and we are the clay. He wants to mold, shape and transform us into godly, righteous and holy saints. The shaping, molding and transformation process can be a very painful process at times. Sometimes, a certain amount of adversity is what God will use to help mold and transform us.
THE TESTING OF OUR FAITH IN THE LORD
The third main reason why God will allow a certain amount of trials and tribulations to come our way is for the express purpose of testing our faith levels in Him.
It is easy to have high levels of faith in the Lord when everything goes our way, but when any kind of severe adversity befalls us, many Christians would tend to lose their faith in God.
God will increase your faith levels in Him by having you go through some severe trials and tribulations. These are allowed by the Lord to test if you will hold fast to Him. They may be severe tests like death of loved ones, failure in finance, bankruptcies, disappointment in love, lost jobs, etc. Can we hold on to the faith?
1 Peter 1:7
- That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 4:12
- Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.
- Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not the chastening of the Almighty.
- Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept thy word.
2 Co. 4:17
- For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory:
RESULTS OF TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS
Christians through trials and tribulations will be refined like silver and gold before they become fit for the Lord's use. The refining process may take different processes before the raw materials are fit for use. Unprocessed raw materials cannot be used yet until they are purified.
Becoming a disciple of Christ does not make us fit to serve the Lord immediately. Why would a loving God allow us to go through such things as death of a loved one, disease and injury, financial disasters, worry and fear?
The Bible teaches that God loves those who are His children and He works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). Trials and tribulations help us to rely on God, our creator. All trials and tribulations have a divine purpose. We cannot and should not solve our own problems by our knowledge, but by complete reliance on the Almighty God.
We must strive to grow more and more like Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). It is part of the process of sanctification for God’s purposes in life.
1 Peter 1:6-7
- Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations;
- That the trial of your faith, being more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
Tribulations develop godly character enabling us to know that "tribulation worketh patience; And patience,experience and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
Jesus Christ sets the perfect example. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). These verses point out aspects of His divine purpose for us. Persevering proves our faith in him. "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).
Trials and tribulations have both a purpose and a reward. "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
- My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
- Knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
- But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath pomised to them that love him.
Victory is ours after we go through trials and tribulation when we place our complete trust in the Lord. We are greatly encouraged to know that Satan has no authority over the believer of Christ. The Holy Spirit will guide and help us whenever we need help from God.
1 Corinthians 10:13
- There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
NO ONE IS EXEMPTED. EVERYONE MUST BE TESTED.
NO EXEMPTION IN TRIALS
Every one goes through tribulation and trials since Adam and Eve sinned. We are brought close to God by trials and tribulation by our obedience in Him..
1 Thes 3:4
- For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and you know.
- These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation:
- Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
- And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried:
Suffering Causes Spiritual Growth
- My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations;
- Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
- But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Trials defeat some people but strengthen others. It depends on how we deal with them.
Suffering Keeps Us Humble and Dependent on God
Affliction taught Paul to trust in God, not in himself. God has repeatedly allowed countries to face wars, famines, and hardships when they became independent and failed to trust Him. Very often his shows people their need for God (2 Corinthians 1:8-10)..
Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was a messenger from Satan, yet God allowed it to remain. It kept Paul from becoming too proud over the many revelations he had received from God. From weaknesses, God can produce great strength (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
Joseph explained that his brothers had mistreated him, but God used that as a means to save the family from famine (Genesis 50:20).
Satan puts trials in our lives to harm us. Yet one of the greatest demonstrations of God's power is His ability to take those problems and use them to accomplish good. The greatest example of this is the death of Christ. Satan intended it as a defeat for God but it ended up as the salvation of all mankind.(1 Peter 2:21-24).
Satan sends trials to harm us, but God can make them come out in the end for our good. We must remain faithful to the end.
- And we know that all things work together for good to the that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
EXAMPLES OF JOB AND PAUL
Suffering is not the central theme; rather, the focus is on what Job learms from his suffering relying on the soverignty of God over all creation. Job believes in God completely (Job 13:15; 37:23-24).
- Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him; but I will maintain mine own ways before him
- Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.
- Men do therefore fear him: he respecteth not any that are wise of .
- Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
When Job repented, God blessed his end more than what he had in the beginning. He was given seven sons and three beautiful daughters and a huge amount of cattle. God blessed his at the end of his life
Paul, a former persecutor of Jesus Chrst did go through numerous trials for the sake of preaching the gospel. He realized his sins, repented and God used him to preach to the Gentiles.
2 Corinthians 11:23-27
- Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
- Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
- Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
- In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea,in perils among false brethren;
- In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst,in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
The trials and sufferings serve as an example to us as Christians. When we work for Christ, we can expect such trials. We have to take up the cross and follow Jesus Christ.
THE SHATTERING OF THE PRE-TRIBULATION THEORY
The proponents of the Pre-Tribulation Theory believe that according to 1 Thesalonians 4:16-17, the dead in Christ will rise first and those who are alive will be caught up in the air to meet Jesus. The wicked will be left to face the great tribulation for a period of seven years.
Revelations 21:1-2 tells us about the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven. God is with men, and He will dwell with them. This scenario depicts what will happen after the Final Judgment.
- When Jesus comes the second time, He will judge the whole world at the same time Yes/No
- If the answer is yes, then the theory is wrong. If the answer is No, how many times will Jesus finally judge? Will God finally judge the wicked alone? What is meant by "final"?
- Where does it say Jesus will come and take the good away leaving behind the evil for further punishment in the tribulation?
- Does God create the new heaven and new earth while the evil ones are facing tribulation or after?
- Where do the risen dead and those alive go if the new heaven and new earth are not created yet? Will the risen dead go back to being dead?
The risen dead and the good who are still alive will be in limbo if new heavens and new earth are not created while the evil ones are in the great tribulation.
JOSHUA AND CALEB SURVIVED THE TRIAL
After leaving Egypt in the Exodus, the Hebrews were tested for their faith in God before reaching the Promised Land of Israel. Due to their unbelief, 600,000 Israelites (counting males above 20 years) left Egypt, but only Caleb and Joshua reached the Promised Land. Likewise, in this modern age, only those who passed the test or trials will reach the Promised Land. The journey took them wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. The salvation of Israel was depicted as through blood (the Passover) and through power of God (the Red Sea).
THREE DIFFERENT DISASTERS
Christian perseverance and trials - You Tube
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Do you know that no one is exempted from trials and temptations?
Do you know why we have to go through trials and temptations?
Do you know that the results of trials and temptations show how much you truly love God?
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