Friday, August 13, 2004
Treats and Trials
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” – I Peter 1:6-7 NIV
When I go down into my basement to exercise, I take my puppy, Angel, so she can get her workout, too. For the last few weeks, I’ve hidden treats in nooks and crannies. The purpose is two-fold. It keeps her busy while I walk, and keeps me entertained watching her.
I hid a treat on top of a table just out of paw’s reach. Angel pondered the situation and finally decided to jump up to retrieve it. The glossy finish set her legs to scrambling. She gobbled up the treat, and scampered down.
The next day, I wanted to test Angel by setting another treat on the table. When she spotted it and realized she’d have to jump on the table again, she walked over to my treadmill, sat down next to it, and began to bark as if to say, “Go get that for me.”
As I stared into her brown eyes, they seemed to beg me to make her life easier. How many times have I prayed to God, “Lord, can’t you just do that for me?”
Many times God tests us. We develop patience and character when we go through trials He allows us to experience. We learn we can trust God to bring us through. How would we mature as Christians and grow in our faith if the Lord handed us everything we requested or answered every prayer immediately?
”Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4 NIV
Ask God to show you the joy in trials, knowing you will be more mature if you persevere and prove your faith to be genuine.
After a few minutes of barking protest, I took a break and got the treat for Angel. Her test didn’t last long, did it?
Prayer: Lord, I thank You because I know You will bring me through every trial. Help me to consider them pure joy, because I know You are with me every step of the way. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.