By Pastor Melvin O. Marriner
The Word of God tells us that, “… Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NLT). There are days and circumstances that catch us off guard, throw us for a loop and create chaos in our lives, yet we so surprised when trials and challenges occur. The good news is that God promises to be with us. He promises that we will not have to carry these burdens alone. That should be enough to help us rejoice anyhow, in the midst of trials and tribulations. Unfortunately, because we live in a society of immediacy, social media and privilege, too often (if we are to be honest), we want what we want, when we want it.
God’s ways are not our ways, so circumstances don’t always change when, how and as quickly as we may want. Moreover, sometimes God allows trials in our lives to draw us to closer to Him, to develop us, or to disclose ourselves to others or to us.
Trials are a part of life and when we are tested, we must remember that – just as in school – if we don’t pass the test, we may have to re-take it. Here are some things to keep in mind in the midst of trials and trouble:
• Prayer is Vital – God desires to have a closer relationship with each of us. He loves us, and one way we can love Him back is to talk to Him – go to Him in prayer; not just to fix problems, but to share our burdens and our blessings. Talk to Him AND listen to Him. He is real!
• Forgiveness Helps Us – An unforgiving heart can block our blessings. Forgiveness is not for others, but it is for us. Someone once said that ‘unforgiveness is like drinking poison every day and expecting the person you can’t forgive to die.’
• Patience is a Virtue – God is not a genie and He is not on our timetable. God hears our prayers, but He responds in His time. He says, ‘Yes, No or Wait.’ Wait on the Lord, but remember, waiting doesn’t always mean doing nothing. If you are unemployed and want a job, you should not sit around doing nothing. We have a role to play in our partnership with God.
• Blessings Are Abundant – One of the best ways to rejoice anyhow is to count our blessings. We are all blessed. If nothing else, we have life and hope for eternal life – that’s a blessing!
In the middle of your hurt, pain, loss or trial, choose God. Choose to rejoice anyhow!
Peace and power,
© Dr. Melvin O. Marriner, November 2015
We invite you to join us at Grove Church, 5910 West Norfolk Road, Portsmouth, Virginia, Sundays at 8am and 10:30 a.m., Tuesdays at noon and Wednesdays at 7 p.m.