Scriptures: James 1:2-4, Deuteronomy 8:2, 1 Peter 1:6-9
You cannot choose in this life if you will face trials and tests, the Bible tells us we will experience divers temptations. In these times, we are to turn our hardships into times of learning. Rough times can teach us to have patience and patience is depth of character.
Modern man responds to difficultly by removing it: mountains get bulldozed or we build a tunnel right through them. Bridges are built over rivers. But in our spiritual walk there are some obstacles that do not move and cannot be skipped over. Testing is done with the purpose of discerning the quality of the objected tested: to define its worth. Trials are for the making of a true servand of God.
Testings originate in the mind and will of God: to expose our weakness and deliver us from those things that hide deep within our character. Expose the things which could harm or destroy us.
Deuteronomy says it this way: "And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no." Struggles come to humble us, prove us and show what is in our hearts.
I Peter 1:6-9: "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." All Christians are destined for trials, but there are "load limits." A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot, but when you put it in the furnace it becomes porcelian.
Scriptures: Judges 21:25
Imagine a world without Jesus. Every person is their own authority and the world is without boundaries. No rules or laws to live by; what if every person lived life their own way? Each person acting on their own opinions of right and wrong. Ask yourself: would this bring out the best in us? Would we actually live in a civilized society?
When there are no boundaries certain things do not exist:
1) Values-without boundaries there are no morals or truth. Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth and the life..." The Bible gives us commandments that are the foundation for morality to exist amongst humanity.
2) Guidance- without boundaries there is no guidance, all we have is our own opinions. Living life would be totally by our own limited understanding.
3) Protection- no boundaries means no protection. With boundaries we still live in a dangerous world, imagine how much evil would increase if there were no laws. Boundaries not only help us control what comes in b
We are blessed because Jesus is in our world. Trust the boundaries that God has put in place for you. God's Word provides principles to live by which provide peace. His spirit gives us guidance. Jesus provides protection for the body, heart and mind.
Scriptures: 2 Kings 4:8-17
Ask yourself the question: how many homes do you think Elisha passed by this day? Ten? Twenty? Hundred? But it was the Shunamite woman who invited him in and when she did she invited a miracle into her home. She saw a man of God, but she never imagined what he brought with him.
This woman saw something that others did not take the time to see. What drew this woman's attention to Elisha? She said: "I perceive that this is a holy man of God." Was it Elisha's commanding presence? Was he robed in a special outfit? No, he was just passing by and she showed him kindness.
She sensed that he had a need and she made room for the man of God. A place for him to find peace, rest and gave him bread to eat.
We must never become indifferent to God's calling on a person's life. The shunamite's invite led to her miracle. Elisa asked: "what can I do for you?" Gehazi said: "Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old." Her kindness was repaid with a blessing from God: "about this time next year, thou shalt embrace a son."
This world and our enemy is trying to destroy men and women of God. As a church we must be kind. The man of God has with him the miracle you need. Its time to take to see what others do not see.