Tag: Trial

A wonderful example of faith in adversity

David Wilkersonby David Wilkerson

When Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, he was being held in a Roman prison, his feet chained to a soldier on either side. The conditions were horrible and Paul suffered great indignities, with no time alone and no freedoms.

Think about it. Here was a man who had been very active, traveling the open road and high seas to meet and fellowship with God’s people. Paul drew his greatest joy from visiting the churches he had established throughout that region of the world. But now he was chained down, literally bound to the hardest, most profane men alive.

Some of the Christians who knew Paul began to murmur that he was bringing disgrace on the gospel because of his situation. But Paul was intent on finding God’s purpose for allowing him to come to this point. Instead of asking, “Why did this happen to me?” he decided to discover what his reaction should be. This servant of God made up his mind: “I can’t change where I am but I know my steps are ordered by the Lord. Therefore, I’m going to magnify Christ and be a testimony while I’m in these chains.”

“Now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death” (Philippians 1:20). Paul was in no way resigned or indifferent to his circumstances but he was determined that God’s Word would be validated by his reaction to his affliction. “Knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel … Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice” (1:17-18).

Paul’s attitude is a wonderful demonstration of how we should react to adverse circumstances. It is possible to waste all our tomorrows anxiously waiting to be delivered out of our suffering, but if that becomes our focus, we will miss the miracle and joy of being emancipated in our trial. Paul’s word to the Philippians was, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (4:4). And I say to you, “Rejoice in the Lord always!”

by David Wilkerson

Christ’s care for us in our trials

David Wilkersonby David Wilkerson

God takes no delight in the testing of his children. The Bible says Christ is sympathetic toward us in all our trials, being touched by the feelings of our infirmities. In Revelation 2:9 he tells the church, “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty.” He is saying, in essence, “I know what you are going through. You may not understand it, but I know all about it.”

It is essential that we comprehend this truth, because the Lord does test and try his people. Scripture says, “For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined” (Psalm 66:10). The Psalmist says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19).

The Bible says a great deal about suffering and trials in the lives of believers. But it is important for every Christian to know and accept that God has a purpose in all sufferings. No test comes into our lives without his allowing it, and one of God’s purposes behind our trials is to produce in us an unwavering faith. Peter writes, “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 1:7). Peter calls these experiences “fiery trials” (see 4:12).

The good news is that we can win the faith test! Paul wrote: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Of course, Paul knew he still had much work to do, but he was able to honestly say, “I may not have apprehended Christ as I wanted, and I haven’t been perfected. But when it comes to faith and trusting God through every trial, I know whom I have believed.”

Fix your eyes upon Jesus and praise God through every ordeal. Your heart will be filled with gladness as you practice praising and rejoicing over the joy that awaits us.

by David Wilkerson