I have looked back on my lifetime and realized that if I would have given my choices more thought, I could have saved myself a lot of grief. There were times when my actions were nothing more than an immediate reaction to the situation at hand. In those cases, my choice was almost always the wrong one.
The reality of choices is that they have consequences. When things didn’t turn out right I would vow to do better the next time, only to fail again. I started to search for the patience and wisdom I needed to make better choices.
I found that the bible teaches us patience is gained through tribulation.
Romans 5:3; “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.”
I must admit that I did not want to think that I had to go through tough times to possess patience. After all, I prayed the Lord’s prayer that He would deliver me from evil and tribulation seemed evil to me. The very definition of tribulation is: a cause of great trouble or suffering. Then things started to clear up as I became open-minded to whatever the word of God was saying to me.
Knowing that God would never bring unnecessary harm to His children, I saw that the understanding was in the definition of tribulation. Tribulation is the CAUSE of the trouble and suffering. I know that trouble and suffering were introduced to mankind as a result of disobeying God’s command to not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam did eat the fruit so trouble and suffering followed. Adam’s bad choice had consequences and tribulation for Adam was part of the result of his choice. Jesus gave His life that there would be provision for the bad choice that Adam made. Jesus was even referred to as the second Adam.
So it is not that there is now no more tribulation, but according to our reaction to it, we can actually benefit from going through it. Like an athlete who only makes the second string. He gets moved to the first string because he trains with all of the strength he can muster and does not give up. That training involves some suffering, (tribulation), as he pushes his body to its limit. But if he patiently works toward his goal, the result can be precisely what he desires; making the first string!
These are the life lessons that we address at the Gathering Place every Wednesday evening at 7 and Sunday morning at 9:30 and 10:30. Come and join in!