Trials define who we are by placing choices before us, forcing us to have faith in God. Character is built by making right, though difficult, choices.
God uses trials to test our hearts, but He never places a trial before us to tempt us. God uses trials we bring on ourselves to draw us closer to Him.
John Ritenbaugh addresses three foundational principles: 1) God's omniscience (knowledge of what is going on everywhere); 2) God's assurance that even though we have trials, they all have a niche in His overall purpose;, and 3) God's continual providence i. . .
In this message on self-deception and illusion, Martin Collins focuses upon the pernicious insidious trait of human nature to deceive itself, living in a perpetual fantasy and self-delusion. God uses a lifetime regimen of testing, designed to distinguish g. . .
God promises certain Christians that He will keep them from the Tribulation—the "hour of trial." Here are the characteristics of those whom God will protect.
Mark Schindler shares a publication produced shortly after World War II by the Reader's Digest, titled Getting the Most Out of Life, a collection of articles written by people who were able to transcend their losses by finding alternate ways of attaining g. . .
Martin Collins, describing different reactions of certain substances to fire, uses this variation of reaction as a metaphor of our differing reactions to fiery trials. As Christians, we can be conditioned to rejoice in trials, paradoxically having joy in t. . .
In Job 1, Satan accuses God of hedging Job about on every side, saying that if God would let down the hedge, they could see what Job was really made of. This article explains how important God's hedge about us is.
Ted Bowling, reflecting on the potter and clay analogy, reminds us that the Master Potter continually molds and shapes His people. Finding different kinds of clay in the riverbed, he weathers it to the point it stinks (like our own sins), and then pounds t. . .
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Paul's warning of cunningly devised myths, affirms that Greek and Roman myths were not based on reality, but these fanciful tales nevertheless shaped the world view of much of western culture, including our attitude toward hope. . .
Hard trials are not punishments from God for unrighteousness but tests of faith in which He is intimately involved to prepare us for the world to come.
John Reid warns us that despite the privileged position of our calling, God does not cut us any slack in terms of trials and tests to perfect us. Like a loving father, He chastens, corrects, and gives us perfecting experiences, metaphorically purging and p. . .
Christ endured many more than three temptations; rather, He was tested continuously, and perhaps the intensity increased as He neared the end of His life.
David Maas, examining classical Biblical and modern metaphors of sanctification, focuses on refinement, enhancement, and glorification metaphors, illustrating how we are transformed from temporal to eternal. We have some clues as to how we will appear in a. . .
Ryan McClure, cautioning us to regard neither the trials of ancient Israel nor our present trials as an oddity, reminds us that God uses trials to test and humble us, but He never impedes our ability to move forward toward His goal of creating us as a fami. . .
When Job was afflicted with physical problems, he learned that God was using them to perfect him. Afflictions are intended to bind us together.
We have been called to a life of avoiding, enduring and overcoming temptation. Here is the process of temptation, sin and their products, and destruction.
We tend to think of the early Church as a 'golden age' of unity and momentum. But early church members experienced problems similar to what we face today.
Trials are a means to produce spiritual growth, unless we resort to super-righteousness, straining to please God by exalting our works.
The group that one fellowships with is less important than the understanding that there is one true church, bound by a spiritual, not a physical unity.
Martin Collins discusses the apostle Paul's epistle to the Thessalonians, a group of dispirited, despairing Christians who had been bombarded by false teachings that the Day of the Lord had already come, prompting many to quit their employment, rest on the. . .
John Ritenbaugh, defining providence as the protective care of God, suggests that the providence of God also touches on the pains and sufferings of persecution. To the elect whom God foreknew, all things- pleasant or unpleasant- happen for ultimate good (R. . .
Ryan McClure, drawing parallels between the Exodus of Israel and our spiritual conversion, points out that God shows transparency of His intentions to test us in order to see what is in our hearts (Deuteronomy 8:1-5). The Lord revealed to Moses His intenti. . .
Mark Schindler, reflecting that 40 is the number of trial and, coincidentally, the number of his and Nancy's anniversary, ruminates about the early days when he asked his future father-in-law's permission to marry his daughter. Forty years constituted the . . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 did not have a blind naïve faith, but one built incrementally by careful examination of the evidence- adding things up or calculating- from cumulative life experiences. From this acquired fa. . .
Martin Collins, continuing the series on effective prayer, examines some of the reasons God apparently does not answer certain prayers in the affirmative. Sometimes people "pray" as a substitute for thinking. We are to become skilled at using bib. . .
John Ritenbaugh reveals that the valley-of-shadow imagery symbolizes the fears, frustrations, trials, and tests needed to produce character, quality fruit, and an intimate trust in the shepherd. His rod, an extension of his will and strength, serves not on. . .
Our hope is based on having a living Savior. At times we are discouraged and overwhelmed, but God has not left us—though unseen, He is in the trials with us.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the analogy or metaphor of wilderness wanderings, focuses on the role of suffering or persecution (pressure) in perfecting the saints. God the Father perfected Jesus Christ (our Elder Brother, High Priest, and Mediator) throu. . .
Martin Collins, reflecting on Abraham's obedience to God, observes that character is determined by response to tests. Obedience and concrete works must follow and prove the existence of faith. Real saving faith is a gift from God, but we are obligated to w. . .
Despite the many blessings God bestows upon His saints, real Christianity more resembles a running battle against persistent, hostile forces than a leisurely stroll down the path of life. John Ritenbaugh uses the example of ancient Israel in the wilderness. . .
We would like God to instantly gratify our desires. Consequently, we find living by faith difficult; we do not trust that He has things under control.
John Ritenbaugh warns that the pride of Jacob (or his offspring) coupled with the incredible ability to make tremendous technological advances, blinds Israel to its devastating moral deficit. Amos begins with a description or cataloging of the sins of Isra. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, asking us whether we trust the current Federal government, points out that, according to recent polls, confidence in government has eroded to an all-time historical low, with only 13% of the citizenry believing government does right mos. . .
The most formidable foe in our spiritual battle is the flesh. We must mortify, slay, and crucify the flesh, enduring suffering as Jesus Christ exemplified.
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