I Want to Know Jesus: Part 4 of our Tests & Trials seriesJune 14, 2023
Spiritual Armor: TruthJune 28, 2023
And lead us not into temptation trials … —Matt. 6:13
How do we view the inevitable trials that come our way? Instead of whining, and perhaps “wining” our way through them, we can embrace them, and use them to produce a harvest of peace.
I like peace. We all do. I believe that every decision you make, at its root, is a quest for peace. We want peace. We crave peace. And we are designed for peace. But most of us are looking for peace in all the wrong places.
Jesus said this on his last night with his disciples,
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.—John 1:27
There is a wonderful passage in Isaiah about peace:
The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.—Is. 32:17
“Quietness and confidence forever.” Who doesn’t want that? But how do trials produce this? The Holy Spirit, through the writer of Hebrews, captures this perfectly:
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? … 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
And here is the perfect conclusion:
11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.—Heb. 12:4-11
I do not like discipline, and I do not like trials, but I do like a harvest of righteousness and peace. And although I am seeking this each day, by purposefully and proactively seeking a deeper and closer relationship with Jesus in the good times. But I always make much more progress through trials. Always.
Oh, I have tried to run away from them, or run through them to the other side, often anesthetizing myself with work, work-outs, wine, women and song, but that never works. And I have now learned that I do not want to just get through it, I want to get closer to Jesus through it.
I have even learned to say this to my Father,
“Father, please do not remove this trial until I have learned what it is you want to teach me. I no longer want any shortcuts. Leave me in it for as long as it takes, to take me deeper into your Kingdom. Please do not change this or fix it until I am where you want me to be.”
Yes, no discipline seems pleasant at the time. But those times have trained me to seek first the Kingdom of God, and seek last the kingdom of Sam.
And that is where the harvest of peace is.