Life seems to be one trial after another. However, God has revealed an astounding facet of God's love that should give us the faith to soldier on.
John Reid, taking a cue from prisoner of war examples, identifies four factors that will boost a person's resolve to endure sore trials: (1) Hope (that the war would end) (2) Faith (in the ability to tough it out) (3) Vision (of being able to escape), leading to a (4) Determination (or mindset not to give in.) We can profitably …
We must develop patience, perseverance, and endurance for the times ahead, safe-guarding the precious calling God has given us and enduring to the end
What does the Bible mean when it says we should count it all joy when you fall into various trials? What is this joy we must experience, and how do we come by it?
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.
The constant tests to which God submits His people enable them to build character by responding in faith. God perfected Abraham's faith through difficult trials.
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.
Like a marathoner or a soldier fighting a battle, we are admonished to endure to the end, standing firm, holding our ground, and resisting assaults.
Like a loving parent, God brings just the right pressures to bear to bring about necessary change in His children. Each trial has a place in His purpose.
Military strategists have long realized the key to success in the training of new recruits is to identify the danger they will encounter—in short, to know their enemy. Recruits to God's spiritual army also need to know their enemy and to make appropriate preparations for battle. Daniel 7:25 reveals the modus operandi of …
Trials come in many forms, and when we are shaken by a big one—when the clock stops and the whole world changes for us—what is our response?
Life is difficult to navigate. Adversity is a common part of life, yet now, having been called by God, we must work hard to overcome and conquer these challenges.
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 the clay on a hard surface, rolling and mashing it, getting rid of the …
Job was able to endure the multiple trials and tragic events by seeing the hand of God in his life, realizing that God works in both good and bad times.
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.
Trials provide an opportunity to inspect our attitudes and actions, prompting us to make adjustments, avoiding further, harsher correction from the Almighty.
When things go wrong, an improperly rooted person becomes hard and cynical. This disillusionment happens if our hope or trust are in the wrong place.
We should cultivate the Heinz Ketchup motto ('The best things come to those who wait'), rather than the Burger King approach ('Your way, right away').
Affliction seems to be an integral part of Christianity. However, when it is viewed in the context of eternity, it is relatively light.
Spiritual maturity does not come about without difficulty, and suffering is one of God's tools to perfect us. Suffering refines endurance and character.
We sometimes mistake faith for certainty about God's will. However, faith is not knowing what God will do in a situation but trusting Him to do what is best for us.
John Ritenbaugh, in this offertory message for the Feast of Trumpets, cautions us that even though members of God's church might get depressed or feel lost in the shuffle, the Christian life is not always easy. While there may be reasons to become depressed, there is no reason to stay depressed, realizing that God is with us the …
In the turbulent and uncertain times ahead, we will need extraordinary fortitude and courage. Trials can improving perseverance or active endurance.
Acts 27 teaches that we must distinguish among several types of suffering. Regardless of the type of suffering, we must remember that God will deliver us.
We must develop an active, God-given restraint and constancy in endurance while facing trials and waiting for Christ's return, trusting that God will provide.
None of the heroes of faith lived a settled life. They experienced continual change to their circumstances, yet they soldiered on and emerged victorious
Trials are a means to produce spiritual growth, unless we resort to super-righteousness, straining to please God by exalting our works.
Mark Schindler, acknowledging that movies and books contain unforgettable aphorisms to ponder or live by, focuses on a memorable line from the movie A League of Their Own, a movie about a struggling women's baseball team, when the coach tells a disheartened player, "It's supposed to be hard; if it weren't hard everybody …
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.
Like with the heroes of faith, our testing will be commensurate with the job God has prepared for us. We must make our relationship with God our top priority.
John Reid, focusing upon a diary excerpt of a pioneer woman on the Oregon Trail, asserts that the trait of persistence is impossible without a transcendent and ardent vision (Proverbs 29:18). Having vision prevents us from casting off life-saving restraint and gives us the will to keep on. The Father and Jesus Christ have …
Where did Job's righteousness come from? Was his character a product of evolution, or was it intelligently formed out of nothingness like the rest of creation?
John Ritenbaugh focuses on the remarkable energizing capacity of hope. In the familiar triumvirate (faith, hope, and love) faith serves as the foundation, love serves as the goal, and hope serves as the great motivator or energizer. Unique among the religions, Christianity, with its expectation of a Messiah and the promise of a …
Solomon reveals that God is solidly in control of time. Knowing that God is sovereign over time should fill us with faith in God's workmanship.
As God found it necessary to test our forbears, He allows us to go through grueling experiences (trials, tests, and temptations) for maximum growth.
I John 4:17 reveals the depth of love God the Father has for us as unique, special components of His creation, loving each of us as much as He loved Christ.
Self-righteousness is defined as being smugly proud of one's own opinion and intolerant of others. What Job repented of was his misunderstanding of God.
Despite the privileged position of our calling, God does not cut us any slack in terms of trials and tests to perfect us. We must accept God's sovereignty.
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 their laurels, and become busy-bodies, as well as leading the leaders to …
The type of wisdom Ecclesiastes teaches is not of the purely philosophical variety, but is a spiritual sagacity combined with practical skill in living.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Proverbs 4:7, maintains that our supreme objective in godly living is attainment and cultivation of wisdom, which consists of attributes giving us skill in living. We learn that the Book of Ecclesiastes has no meaning for someone not called of God, relegating it as an epistle of despair from one of …
When Job was afflicted with physical problems, he learned that God was using them to perfect him. Afflictions are intended to bind us together.
Some of us, facing the stress of the times, may simply be going through the motions but losing every vestige of faith. We must strengthen our convictions.
Like Jesus and other heroes of faith, we need to look beyond the present to the long term effects of the trials and tests we go though, seeing their value.
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.
Martin Collins, recounting a story about how he used reverse psychology on his daughter to get her to eat green beans, focuses on Hebrews 12 and the admonition to endure chastening and discipline from our Heavenly Father in order to ultimately attain holiness. If we endure chastisement and discipline from God, we prove we are …
John Ritenbaugh, cuing in on Ecclesiastes 2:24-26, affirms that enjoyment from one's labor comes from the LORD and that the proper use of our allotted time becomes increasingly more relevant as we anticipate the conclusion of our physical lives. Solomon instructs us to adjust our attitude from under the sun (carnal, …
The most dangerous lap we encounter is when everyone around us tends to be compromising. Today, what was once aberrant behavior is now considered normal.
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 only against predators, but also prevents members of the flock from butting …
Richard Ritenbaugh, reiterating the five symmetrical and correlative sets of documents and events (the Torah, the Megilloth, the books of the Psalms, the summary psalms, and the five seasons), focuses on second set (comprising Book 2 of Psalms, Exodus, Ruth, Psalm 147, and the Pentecost season). In this section, the psalmist …
We learn from Abraham's experience to trust God even when we have incomplete information. When we attempt to take the expedient way out, we will run into trouble.
John Ritenbaugh gives us empathy for the apostle Paul, graphically portraying his physical hardships involving more than 6,500 miles of perilous foot- and sea-travel. Through the eyes of various secular, contemporary histories, we vicariously experience his difficulties working his trade, problems with lawless communities, …