Turning a Trial into Triumph- Part 2 (Our Reality)April 4, 2017
In his book, Understanding Leadership, Tom Marshall contends, “Perceive something as a threat and you will experience fear, even if there is, in fact, no danger at all. Perceive something as humorous and you will want to laugh, even if the experience is painful.” Perception…it’s how we view reality, it’s how we view everything, including our trials. We know we are to respond with joy as we fall into the various afflictions of life, but doing so requires the right perception. To this, we turn to the Word of God.
Consider carefully what James said in the opening statement of his letter, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”
What is Really Going On?
Divers temptations…all kinds of trials. You could include any emotional, relational, financial, physical, or spiritual scenario in this idea. Car problems, health concerns, overdue bills, depression, and the list goes on and on…divers temptations.
But notice what is actually being tried…our faith.
Faith is always the issue in the various trials of life.
For example, you and your spouse may be experiencing some marital woes. You may be tempted to say that your marriage is being “tried.” But really, it’s not your marriage being tried, is it? It is your faith being tried through the “diver temptation” of marriage.
You may be going through an unusually difficult situation with money. You may feel hopelessly in debt to the point where you view your situation as a financial crisis. But really, according to James, the actual trial is not money, it is faith.
Perhaps you are experiencing emotional distress. You can’t eat, sleep, or function properly. It may seem as though you are having an emotional breakdown. But, if you filter your circumstance through the truth of God’s Word, it is not your emotions or nerves that are being tried, it is your faith being tried through the venue of your emotions. See?
God Can Be Trusted
As one author so poignantly said, “Faith is believing in advance what only makes sense in reverse.” It is true, sometimes we do not understand what God is thoroughly doing in a trial until the trial is over. However, we can know with full assurance at the forefront that every trial is really a trial of faith. When Jesus invited Peter to join Him on the water, He was not testing his water-walking skills – He was putting his faith to the test. That’s why after the storm was over Jesus said, “O ye of little faith.” He didn’t say, “O ye, of poor footing or distracted vision.”
Having the right perception in our trials will always focus our hearts toward faith. In every conceivable and adverse situation the real question is “Can God be trusted?” The real answer, based upon your perception of the trial is: Yes, by faith.