Where do trials and tests come from?

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Who’s responsible for tossing tests and trials our way? Is it the devil causing all the chaos, or could it be the work of the divine? It’s common to blame the devil for every bump in the road, but perhaps it’s time we looked at it differently.

According to King David, the source of trials for leaders preparing for God’s service isn’t necessarily the devil. In fact, he boldly stated, “The Lord testeth the righteous” (Ps 11:5). So, maybe it’s not the devil we’re wrestling with during our trials, but God or even our own misdeeds.

1. Job’s Suffering Permitted By God 😱

Job’s story teaches us a remarkable lesson about suffering and tribulation. Although the devil obtained God’s permission to test Job (Job 1), Job didn’t lay blame on the devil. He boldly declared, “The hand of God has touched me” (Job 19:21). Even while under attack by Satan, he was dealing with God.

Job’s unshakable trust in God’s plan, even amid trials, is awe-inspiring. It’s comforting to know that God is on our side, no matter the circumstances. Remember, “He will keep the temptation [test] from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it” (1 Cor 10:13 tlb). God works all things together for good for those who love Him (Rom 8:28 rsv).

2. Tests And Persecution Promised 🙈

Peter warns us, “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to test you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” (1 Pet 4:12). And Paul, in a no-nonsense tone, says, “All they that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim 3:12). Even Jesus himself proclaimed, “Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:10).

So, buckle up, folks! If you’ve signed up for a life of faith, trials and tribulations are part of the package. It’s not all smooth sailing, but it’s the journey to a heavenly destination.

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3. God And Eagles 🦅

Amid the turbulence of life, we find encouragement in the promises that compare us to eagles. “They that wait upon the Lord… shall mount up with wings as eagles…” (Isa 40:31). It’s as if we’re gearing up to take flight. The imagery of mother eagles stirs hope and humour in our hearts.

Picture this: the mother eagle constructs a cosy nest in the lofty crags, a snug spot to hatch and nurture her young ones. Comfort is the name of the game. This phase is a bit like our early days in faith, when we savour our compassionate Father’s grace, love, and abundant provision.

a. A Comfortable Nest 🐣

Our spiritual journey often begins in the warmth of God’s love and grace. Like baby eaglets in a comfortable nest, we experience His care and provision. We savour the “sincere milk of the word” (1 Pet 2:2). Life’s good and comfortable.

b. Comfort Removed 😢

But hold on to your feathers, because life’s about to take a nosedive. In the next phase, Mother Eagle transforms our cosy nest into a prickly, uncomfortable place. She rips out the soft feathers, revealing thorns and discomfort.

This stage is akin to God shaking things up when we’ve grown too comfortable in our spiritual journey. All those distractions, complaints, and discomforts are the spiritual equivalent of the eaglets feeling the prickly briars and thorns. It’s all part of the preparation for the next step.

c. Flying Lessons ✈️

The climax arrives when Mother Eagle takes the eaglet on flying lessons. Picture a terrified baby eagle being hurled into a dive, struggling to spread its wings. It’s a humorous spectacle of trial and error.

With each swoop and soar, the young eagle gains confidence. Eventually, it learns to fly on its own. No more clinging to the mother’s back; it’s soaring freely, “mounting up with wings as eagles.”

Just like those eaglets, we, too, learn to soar. When we embark on our spiritual journey, we’re excited and full of dreams. But God, in His wisdom, knows that we need a little push and some training to prepare us for the grand adventure ahead.

In the Arena of Faith

But as our journey unfolds, we realise that ministry and service can be anything but a straightforward path. It’s more like holding a tiger by the tail! You think it’s a grand adventure, but before long, it’s a wild ride of challenges, trials, and tribulations.

You find yourself right where you never expected—a “prisoner of Jesus Christ” (Eph 3:1). The enthusiasm is still there, but now it’s mingled with confusion and chaos. The cosy nest you once occupied is long gone, and instead of soft feathers, there are thorns. It’s uncomfortable and crowded, much like the junior eaglets’ predicament.

Soaring Above the Storms

But in the chaos, remember that every fall, every trial, every challenge is part of your training. It’s how you learn to stand on your own wings. You might feel like you’re plummeting, but God is there to catch you. With each trial, you grow in faith and reliance on the Holy Spirit. You’re not clinging to your comfort but instead embracing the uncomfortable, all while learning to “mount up with wings as eagles.”

Ultimately, you’re not just flying; you’re soaring above the storms. Remember, the Bible never promised an easy journey, but it did promise that God is with you every step of the way. As you navigate life’s trials with faith and humor, you’ll find that the view from above is worth every bit of discomfort along the way. 🦅🙌

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