“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (Jam 1:2-4)
We should rejoice during temptations, not because they are pleasant, for they are not, but because these difficult times give us an opportunity to mature spiritually. God needs mature sons and daughters. God cannot trust ‘a baby Christian’ but He can trust and use a mature believer. He is a warrior in the army of God, a servant who pleases Him and a holy vessel in His hand.
During the painful trials, we shall be tempted by the devil to grumble against God. Resist the desire to blame God for your pains! Do not be deceived by the devil that God does not love you or that God does not care for you. These are all lies! The truth is that God loves you! God cares for you! That is why He sent His Son to die for you! There is no other reason! If you believe the lies, you are already falling in the midst of the temptation. Trusting in lies is a sign of backsliding.
Make up your mind that for as long as you live, you will never blame God, you will never doubt Your heavenly Father’s love, goodness, grace and mercy towards you! This is a decision you have to make during your quiet time, long before the fire of testing starts to burn.
For example, Eve failed the test of faithfulness because she doubted God’s goodness towards her and Adam. She believed the lie of the devil that there are other means by which she can become ‘like God’. She believed that God did not offer her the best. That was the point when she failed the test. But observe Joseph, who was tempted by Potiphar’s wife. He completely refused to yield to her lustful desires. He passed the test of temptation and even though he went to prison for some time, God rewarded him with ‘the crown of life’, according to His promise. That is why each time we read his story we are encouraged afresh to press on in life. That is why when we think of Joseph, we are reminded of our Lord.
A patient man is a strong man. A patient man who quietly endures and continues to trust God’s Word in the fires of temptation being conscious of the presence of God, that man shall become ‘complete’. He will become a source of blessings for many and a true leader. He shall be spiritually ‘self-contained’ like God. He will stop running after men’s approval. He has the resources to live a successful Christian life.
I remember the day I decided that I shall constantly pray to be like the heroes of the Bible: Patient like Sarah, Faithful like Joseph, Strong like Deborah, Bold like Esther, wise like Daniel, humble like Mary, anointed like Paul… God has answered me and I see myself getting more mature spiritually and more confident in ministry. Follow me as I follow Christ! We shall suffer together but we shall rejoice together too! I know it! I can feel it in my heart and even in my bones! Amen!
In Christ I declare:
I rejoice in all things!
I give thanks in the midst of all things!
I trust God to perfect the good work He has started in me!
I refuse to doubt God’s Word!
My testimony shall increase! To the glory of God, to the shame of satan and for the encouragement of many!
To God be all the glory!
In Jesus name