“These [trials] have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may result in the praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:7)
If we are completely honest, we struggle with those difficulties, hardships, and trials that seem to sneak up and invade our lives. It feels like we no more get through one that another is waiting in the shadows, ready to pounce at any given moment. Difficult seasons of life can drag on and on. And if we’re challenged enough, we begin to question God’s motives. We wonder if He hears our cries for help, making it even more difficult to hold our gaze heavenward.
Here’s the problem: We tend to stop midway without considering the end of the story… our story. Noah was in the middle of building an ark during a drought. He was mocked and ridiculed by onlookers, plus, he was old. God’s task was long and tedious, not to mention physically and emotionally draining. If we’d stop reading in the middle of his story, we’d miss God’s redemptive move to preserve mankind.
Abraham finally got the son God promised him. But wait! God tested Abraham’s faith by challenging him to offer Isaac up as a sacrifice. If you stopped midway in his story, you might walk away thinking God struggled with severe mood swings or was simply played some sick joke on Abraham’s emotions, both of which would be lies from the pit of hell. God was seeking authentic faith and Abraham did not disappoint Him.
Moses had it made: a palace, servants, food, riches, lacking nothing so it seemed. One bad choice and Moses’ life quickly shifted from royalty to running. His 40 years of wilderness living were long and lonely. Stop reading there and we’d miss the dramatic exodus of two million people delivered from Egypt’s oppressive grip.
We could keep going. Stop half way in the account of Joseph being sold by his brothers, then being imprisoned and we’d miss the beautiful ending of forgiveness that was offered to his brothers, as well as God’s good plan to save his people from drought and famine. Stop midway while reading the book of Job and we won’t witness God’s overwhelming kindness and restoration in Job’s life.
Our entire life story is a journey of faith. It’s the hardships, difficulties, and trials of life that polish and perfect our faith. Faith not tested can’t be trusted by God. He uses our trial-tested, persevering faith; authentic faith that places HIS goodness, glory, and honor on a platform for all to see.
Don’t stop midway: Your storyline is part of a greater story - His story. It’s a story of great value and worth in His eyes.
Scripture references from NIV unless otherwise noted.
Based on God is in Control of Our Lives on December 1st, 2018 - Watch Sermon