Been feeling poorly with cold-like symptoms the last couple of days, but am beginning to feel better now, I think. I have that feeling of slight elation that comes when you first start to feel better from the flu or cold or such like. God seems to have built into us a mechanism of hope that when things have been going badly, we begin to feel even better than normal as we mend. This is not from medicine, I use very little of that, but just a physical feeling I get when I am getting over something.

Spiritually, we can also have hope that, when things are not going too well for us, it will get better and we will be even stronger than before the problems began. The scriptures teach that adversity in our lives helps us grow in our faith and that God will even chasten those He loves with problems and obstacles in our way that we must overcome to learn certain lessons and be even more dependant upon Him than we were before.

James 1:2,3 says: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” There are many things more troubling that may try our patience or our faith than a simple head cold, but patience is often hard to come by in our modern society and God would have us learn this lesson. We live in a society of instant communication and instant answers to any question we might have.

But, patience is something good to have when we are in the midst of trials and if we remember that God would have us suffer such things to make us stronger on the other side, we can find the patience we need. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:6,7).

The Christians Peter was writing to were suffering persecution from the society around them when he wrote those words, but we, too, can take heart when we suffer trials in our life that the genuineness of our faith is proven to the praise, honor and glory of Jesus and God, the Father.

Too, it could be that God is bringing these trials upon us Himself since the Hebrew writer says: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” Our trials could be to correct us when we are doing something in our lives that God would not have us doing or simply, I believe, to teach us a lesson we must learn as a father will teach and correct his children.

So, we should learn patience and even rejoice when trials come upon us in this life, that we may learn some patience and accept the chastening of the Lord, thus growing ever stronger as Christians and in our quest to live a godly life before God.

If things were perfect all the time, we would think we do not need God at all, as the book of Judges in the old testament shows the children of Israel doing over and over in their history; God would bless them and they would forget Him while things were going well, so that God punished them again. To keep us from this vicious cycle God will often chasten us so that we may learn to appreciate Him both when things are going well and not so well in our lives.

May God bless and keep you until next time.

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