2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Once we grasp the truth that God has a plan for our lives, (and that hopefully happens early on) we begin to move forward in that plan. As we exercise our faith muscles, our faith increases in strength. The more mature our faith grows, the wiser we become. The expectation is that we would move forward consistently as our faith develops.
Our new nature, given to us at our spiritual birth, desires to please God. Yet, we will always struggle with our old nature always wanting its way. Trials come and trials go, but with every one our character is improved upon.
But what about those trials that refuse to ‘go away’? They perhaps contain the strongest of life lessons. You know, those every day trials that prevent us from living life victoriously.
Trials of this nature usually involve learning how to get along with others. Nothing we say or do brings improvement in them or the relationship. Instead of growing wiser and resolving the situation, despair sets in. Satan manipulates and deceives our flesh, our old nature. Lying to us about what is wrong and setting our focus on ourselves.
We are primed to become distracted by human reasoning and false assumptions. Without realizing it, we have become influenced by Satan to do his will. We get mired down in these kinds of trials with every lie cast upon us by the enemy. We take on the attitude that nothing is going to change and spiritual growth and/or pleasing God fades into the mist. Blindness rules on both sides of the equation.
Perhaps accepting things the way they are in these situations may be the best way to move forward through them. By moving on we leave it up to God to make changes in His timing and will. Forgiving and accepting permits us to throw off the shackles of judgement and condemnation. The liberty to breathe free is ours to claim by the power of God’s word. This sort of example, is a lifeline for those searching for comfort in their own stubborn trials .
So, when trials persist without bringing the desired solution, there is still a way to move forward. Moving forward is possible but it takes a mindset that requires a high level of trust in God. A trust that even though the desired solution has not been realized, our confidence that God is in control and is working out His plan remains steadfast.
No matter what season of life we may find ourselves, Satan knows exactly how to attack. Unwittingly, we succumb to the lies of fiery darts (for lack of time spent in prayer and bible study). Lies that tempt us to accept the stresses and strains of every seasons of life as, “Well, that’s just the way it is!” We don’t recognize them for the fiery darts they are. For example:
Growing up in a Christian home, accepting Christ at nine, growing in my commitment to God. Reaching a turning point at 21…life took an abrupt turn and my relationship with God got a lot more personal.
Yet, fiery darts took advantage of my immaturity.
Being a young wife, wrapping up college, moving away from home, focusing my energies and thoughts on marriage, school, and living this new life! New home, new church, new college, new surroundings, no family…it wasn’t easy to maintain a consistent walk with God.
I fondly remember those younger years as a mother of four. Always busy, running from one activity to another. Life was packed full with church events, caring for children, home, marriage. It didn’t leave time for much else.
Fiery darts found an entry as I began to be distracted from focusing on God.
Children growing up, the nest starts emptying. Transition after transition throws obstacles in my way. Becoming a bit bewildered about how to handle life. Some problems have hung around so long, it’s a strong temptation to just become resigned to them.
The fiery darts reflect a life too busy to sit at Jesus feet. Thoughts of confusion, frustration, and doubt coupled with fear tend to rule my thinking.
Because of my age there are troubling concerns. Will my health hold out. Will I be able to make it financially? And as children move away (taking my grandchildren with them), loneliness begins to stalk me. Then there are some problems stubbornly hanging around with no solution in sight. And searching for a new purpose can be a bit daunting!
The fiery darts are defined by the fear and doubt lurking behind every troubling thought.
In looking back on my journey, I have often pondered why it took so many years for me to reach the path that led out of the darkness of my negative thinking. I may never know the answer to that question. But I do know that while my journey was lengthy, so were the lessons I learned. pp 14-15 FD’s 3rd edition.
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Please don’t wait until the autumn of your life as I did, to have Satan’s attack plan exposed. Start learning it now, teach it to your children, grandchildren! 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 holds the key as to where to begin:
3 We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do.4 We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. NLT