Needful Trials

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.”

~1 Peter 4:12,13 (ESV)

I too often approach trials as temporary detours that I need to quickly maneuver through so I can get back on the pleasant path. The truth is trials are a necessary part of the Christian life. God uses them to mold us into the likeness of His Son.

A good question to ask is, “God, what are you trying to teach me through this trial?”

18th century pastor Henry Law helps put trials in the proper light.

“Are you not called to be a richly-laden tree?

Your every branch must bend with fruits of faith and hope and patience. But faith thrives most in trouble’s soil. Hope’s note is sweetest in the tempest’s roar. Patience gains strength beneath the cross’s weight. The diamond sparkles because the file is rough.

Trials are needful, or they would not be. Trials are needful, therefore they abound. They walk as sisters beside goodness and mercy. They attend the believer as appointed guards to Heaven’s gate.”

~Henry Law, Christ is All

His Sacrifice, Our Hope

“He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not graciously give us all things?”

~Romans 8:32

The circumstances of life can bring us to a state of hopelessness. Thankfully, God uses many meansĀ  – coupled with His Spirit – to renew our hope. Among those means are God’s Word, caring friends, and faithful ministers of today and long ago.

One of those faithful ministers is Reverend Henry Law. He reminded 18th century believers (and you and me today) that there’s fresh hope found in reflecting on Jesus Christ and His sacrifice at Calvary.

“Hope is renewed in strength and mounts up with wings as eagles, when it contemplates what Christ has suffered for His people. He has redeemed them, but with what price!

He paid not silver and gold for their ransom. He gave not all the precious things of earth as their equivalent. He heaped not worlds upon worlds and placed them as payment in the balance of God’s justice. AllĀ  such expenditure would have been unfailing as the chaff.

He gave Himself, His life, His blood. He gave so much that He could give no more; and He gave this to bear the extremest curse of God, to endure all the punishment, and all the miseries, and all the anguish which His people must have suffered if they had wailed through all the endless ages amid the torments of the lost.

Hope sweetly reasons. He who has done so much, will He not surely give all that His people really need! Therefore it treads down all hosts of doubt, and against all timidities of reason, ‘laughs at impossibilities, and says, It shall be done!’

O Lord, we look to thy suffering Cross as our sure Hope.”

~Henry Law from Christ Is All

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.”

~Psalm 42:5