Lesson 22

We all go through various trials in our lives.  We suffer from sickness, loss of jobs, emotional pain from relationships, slander, and many others.  There is not a one of us who is exempt from suffering of some kind.  We all react differently, too.  Some go into self-pity mode.  Then there are the ones who blow up out of anger.  The group that ignores it and just keeps going.  The ones who relish in the attention.  But as believers, we are called to approach this suffering differently than others do.

Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. (James 5:10-11 NIV)

You know the old saying about not asking for patience because you’ll get it.  Well, you’ve been getting it for years and are not realizing it.  As we are going through trials and pain we are to be patient.  We are to wait and be calm.  God is there.  He is always there.  He will never go away.  He is fully aware of your pain and you will receive relief one day.  Until the final day arrives, you are called to go through this suffering with patience.  Seems like such a tall order from us little people.

Have you read the book of Job?  Maybe that will be a future study.  I have always heard of the shining example of Job.  I kind of had him on a “Patience Pedestal”.  I read the book and realized that he was a man.  He never denied God because of his tragedies, but he did get angry, sad, and question God.  The goosebumps appear when you get toward the end of the book and God finally gets to put in his say.  Wow!!  But during all this, Job never denies God.  He does not give up hope.  He does not give up.  He does not begin to sin out of anger, resentment, or revenge.  God did not say that we couldn’t have those feels that come naturally in these circumstances. All He asks from us is that that we handle those emotions as a believer should and be an example for less mature Christians and for unbelievers.

How do you handle the trials in your life?  Anger?  Controlling others?  Crying?  Giving up?  What trials?  Today think of how you do this and how you can handle it better.