The Time of Facing Trouble, Adversity, Suffering or Trials
People Facing Trouble, Adversity, Suffering or Trials in different ways. These are Test to Mankind and man are almost of the same age. In fact no sooner was man created than he began to suffer by Facing Trouble, Adversity, Suffering and Trials. Man was created in Genesis chapter one and he began to suffer in Genesis chapter three as a consequence of his disobedience to his creator – God.
Right from that time man has always been faced with one adversity. Sometimes these troubles seem persistent and refuse to go.
3 Major People’s Views of Trouble/ Adversity/ Suffering or Trials
- Facing Trouble, Adversity, Affliction, Pains, Suffering or Trials are a form of punishment from God.
- If we can reach a certain level of maturity, trials will disappear and we will live happily. In other words if you are faced with any Trials or Trouble today it is because you still immature.
- There is no such thing as adversity. Trials such as death, pain, and sickness are a figment of our imagination. They don’t exist.
3 Major Views of People in the Bible Concerning Trouble/ Adversity/ Suffering or Trials
- Job, in the midst of Facing Trouble, Adversity, Affliction, Pains, Suffering or Trials. He sighed and said “Man born of a woman is short lived and full of turmoil” (Job 14:1).
- David, a man after God’s own Heart who enjoyed an enviable closeness with God. He confessed, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous” (Psalm 34:19a).
- Paul, the majestic preacher, explained, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, are perplexed, but not in despair. We Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed,” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). (KJV)
Correction of an Erroneous Impression of Facing Trouble, Adversity, Affliction, Pains, Suffering or Trials.
Let us disabuse or free our minds of silly idea that anyone faced with a Facing Trouble, Adversity, Affliction, Pains, Suffering or Trials is being punished by God for his sin.
Let’s think of Job. What sin did he commit that gave rise to his indescribable sufferings? None, rather because he (Job); was man that was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. (Job 1:1). (KJV)
Application for Facing Trouble
There are many Christians who fear God who have at one time or the other faced trying periods/ adverse circumstances. For instances
- A pastor who lost his only son and could not prepare his sermon on the Saturday for Sunday but was consoled by an inscription “My grace is sufficient for thee”.
- Evangelist Uma Ukpai who lost four children at the same time while going for a crusade in 1984.
- A lecturer at Unizik Ngozi Agu who equally lost her four children in a motor accident.
- Christians after the death of Christ – dehumanized by emperors and Roman Catholics – describe.
- This was the kind of Trouble, Adversity, Affliction, Pains, Suffering or Trials faced by the recipients of James’ letter.
- They were bruised with Trouble, Adversity, Affliction, Pains, Suffering or Trials.
- Roman emperor, Claudius was persecuting them.
- They were driven away from their homeland.
- The Jews hated them because they were Christians.
- Their troubles were many and seemed not to go. Then James had to wade into the situation by trying to bind together their disjoined attitudes.
2 Ways that James’ views of Facing Trouble, Adversity, Affliction, Pains, Suffering or Trials – different
They are Inevitable (James 1:2)
James didn’t say “if” rather he said “when”, denoting certainty, assurance.
What it implies is that whether you want suffering or not it will inevitably come.
Again, it implies we should not wonder if it will come or when it will leave. It implies Facing Trouble, Adversity, Affliction, Pains, Suffering or Trials have come to stay around or with us in the world.
That’s why we are hopeful of a better place promised us by God. A place where there’s a complete absence of Trouble/ Adversity/ Suffering or Trials.
James also warns us of the kind of Facing Trouble, Adversity, Affliction, Pains, Suffering or Trials to expect. He says “Various”. By this he means as far as we are in the world we can expect our lives to be spattered. No matter the all sizes and shapes of Trouble, Adversity, Affliction, Pains, Suffering or Trials we are facing.
Purpose for Facing Trouble (James 1:3-4)
Before we can grasp what the purpose is we must first of all stop viewing Facing Trouble, Adversity, Affliction, Pains, Suffering or Trials as an offence as bothersome or a punishment. Test specifically designed by God to stretch our faith, not necessarily out joy, health, or wealth.
Illustration Passing Through Trails
Think of the eagles. The have a time of training for the eaglets that will help them grow and fly above.
They lift them up the sky and leave them and while tumbling down they speedily fly to their rescue. They are simply stretching their wings to be able to fly triumphantly.
Equally think of tree that shade off it’s leaves when the weather is difficult. For them to cope to bring better leaves in turns during good season.
God does the same to His children through trials or test.
God leaves or allows us so dearly that even our hairs are numbered. Even the hair of a fetus. Every fetus is in God’s register. And He cannot be interested in watch our faith get shattered by trials.
But when we understand the meaning of testing we can better appreciate What God is doing.
Meaning of Testing
Greek, dokinmos, meaning “approval”. This word has been found written on many ancient pieces of pottery unearthed by archaeologists in the Near East. The mark meant that the piece had gone through the furnace without cracking; it had been approved.
- God’s desire is to help the clay vessels created in His image to mature in the furnace. Facing Trouble, Adversity, Affliction, Pains, Suffering or Trials without a crack durance.
Meaning of Endurance
- In every Trouble/ Adversity/ Suffering or Trials, God’s initial purpose is to produce en
To abide under. Before receiving the Faith Seal of Approval, dokimos, from God must persevere, or abide under the test He sends.
Illustration of Facing Trouble
Test in schools today. Only those who persevere during teaching – leaning situation, through the crucibles of studying for exams and go through exams. No matter how tough receive marks of excellent performance, and receive certificates and other honours.
Enduring the test God sends brings about the maturity which is His ultimate purpose for our lives (verse 4).
Rising above Facing Trouble, Adversity, Affliction, Pains, Suffering or Trials
Facing Trouble, Adversity, Affliction, Pains, Suffering or Trials can strip one of almost everything except attitude. For instance, Job lost his wealth, health, children, and friendship but did not lose his attitude.
Prescribed Attitude for those faced with adversity
Consider it all Joy “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (James 1:2)”. (KJV)
- Meaning of Consider in Hebrew “to lead the way”. It‘s the idea of going ahead of something else.
- Here it is linked with joy.
It means the Christian’s attitude during trials should be positive.
- Knowing that the testing produces Enhancement (verse 3).
How can a believer be joyful and positive while Facing Trouble?
- By knowing that trials are designed by God for good not evil.
We know the heat of the furnace is not designed to crush or make us crack but to solidify and strength out character.
- Let Endurance Have its Perfect Result.
Let means cooperate. Here it means give in to the testing. Allow it to do its job in your life. Participate in the lesions of Facing Trouble or Trials bring to teach you.
James illustration, (Verses 9-11) what he means is that both the brother who has nothing and the rich man with everything should do the same thing. They should let the test go on, regardless of their circumstances. They should not out short the process that will bring about their maturity.