"These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it - and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of His return" (1 Peter 1:7).
A friend of mine has experienced great tragedy in his life - at least ten major things that seem to have gone wrong.
"I see you as a man of God," I have said to him during several counseling sessions. "I see you as a man who loves the Lord Jesus with all of your heart. In light of all the things that are happening to you, however, I am prompted to ask, 'Is there any sin in your life? Are you doing anything to dishonor the Lord?'"
"Absolutely nothing," he said. "My life is transparent before God. He can do anything He wants with me. I have turned my back on business success [he was an outstanding businessman], and I have given everything I have to the Lord."
The beautiful thing about this whole experience is that this man is rejoicing in the Lord Jesus while enduring things that would break the average person. Every time he emerges from a crisis, his face seems to glow all the more. He is praising God all the more.
He blesses me every time I am with him. "Lord thank You," I say. "Thank You for his example."
Those who are mightily used of God often experience, like Job, some degree of adversity. Such adversity may be God's discipline for disobedience and unconfessed sin, or it may be - as in the case of Job, and I believe in the case of my friend - God's way of preparing you for a greater testimony for our Lord. "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth."
Today's Action Point
I will look upon my trials as part of God's way of strengthening my faith and my life to prepare me for a more powerful witness for His glory.