What’s Your Story?
Duane Vander Klok
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:2-4 (NIV)
Faith is not always easy, and sometimes we believe the lie that life is supposed to be happy, care free, and painless when we have radical faith in God. Yet, what we find in Scripture is almost the complete opposite. We find that all of the disciples are killed, imprisoned, or tortured for their faith in Jesus Christ. We are even told that we, as believers, will likely be mocked and hated by this world.
You see, our faith was not a guarantee or ticket to happiness and stress-free days. Here’s what we were guaranteed: redemption and restoration to the Creator of everything, peace that surpasses all understanding, eternal salvation rather than eternal suffering in Hell, freedom from the bondage of sin, and an inheritance that we cannot comprehend or imagine in this life. And for those things we will be persecuted.
Here’s the thing, we live in a broken and fallen world, where sin, death, and the Devil are waging war against God and anyone who puts their faith in Him. This life is corrupted, and will one day be restored in a new heaven and new earth.
The battles and the struggles that we face on a daily basis are not with flesh and blood, but with and against the powers and principalities of this age. The tests that we face become our testimonies. The trials and tribulations that we have faced, currently face, and will face in the future are not always about us, but instead they are to become tools of encouragement for those who may face similar situations.
You see, our testimonies and our faith are not just meant for us to hold onto, but are for us to share, encourage, and lift up those around us. The goal of our faith is to glorify God.
This week let’s ask God to reveal how we can use our testimony from past situations to help encourage someone around us who may be struggling through their own trials and tribulations.