Thursday, October 24, 2013

Excerpt from (and thoughts on) today's meditation in "The Word For Today"

...The landscape along Florida's Everglades is dotted with wiry, primitive-looking trees known as Caribbean Pines.  They thrive in a rugged environment, can withstand prolonged periods of drought and fire, and hold their own against the fiercest hurricanse.  In fact, if you plant them in a cultivated setting they usually shrivel and die.

Joni Eareckson Tada says, "Like Caribbean Pines, our souls usually don't thrive during good times.  Our hearts grow complacent, our need of God becomes less urgent, our hope of heaven dims, and our prayer life dries a beautiful setting with our needs met and every resource at our fingertips...our soul shrivels...We need an occasional blast of storm or fiery trial if our faith is to mature."

Could this be why James says to "count it all joy when you fall into various trials..."?  James 1:2

Or why Paul says, "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;  and perseverance, character; and character, hope," in Romans 5:3-4 

The spiritual life parallels the natural life.  Obviously, if we don't exercise, our bodies become weak.  If we do not exercise our faith it, too, becomes weak.  Relying on God and trusting Him to bring good through the trials in our lives strengthens our faith and causes us to be witnesses to those who don't know Him.  If we didn't have trials, how could we be overcomers?  The word overcomer suggests there is something to overcome, doesn't it?  The scripture has much to say about overcoming and overcomers.  See Rev. 2:7: "To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God."  (Also see: Rev. 2:11; Rev. 2:17; Rev. 2:26; Rev. 3:5)

Maybe we should be embracing the trials that come our way instead of trying to find ways to avoid them.  What do you think?

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