Last week we discussed the blessings and promises of God looking at the life of David. We learned from the life of David and from God’s promises in 1 Peter 5:10 that God desires to establish us. “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favour], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be]. (1 Peter 5:10 AMP). The beginning part of that verse begs the question “Why do we have trials and difficulties before we attain blessings?” Here’s why we have trials: Trials are designed to produce virtues in us that are critical for the handling of success.
You need maturity for greatness. Trials produce maturity in us, and generate the faith needed to attain the future. You can’t attain the future without faith. The bible says: “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” (James 1:2-4 MSG). Trials activate faith, the same way we trigger immunity with a virus inoculation.
Trials build maturity in us. Without spiritual maturity we stand in danger of falling into the same condemnation as the Devil. (1 Timothy 3:6). Paul warned Timothy not to pick a novice as Bishop, in case it gets to his head and the Devil trips him up. (1 Timothy 3:6). Success can make you lose your bearing. Loss of bearing is why some people stop going to church after being blessed. They become too busy for God. And there are some who believe that the size of their offering entitles them to challenge ecclesiastical authority. Any time you see that kind of pride at work, you know the Devil is tripping someone up.
If God is going to use you he will temper you through trials. If your life is going to be used as a reference you must go through trials. It’s a perfection process. We see this pattern of trials and difficulties before blessings over and over again in scriptures. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joseph, Job, Elijah, Meshach, Shadrach, Abednego, Daniel, Paul…All of them had trials. Without maturity you can terminate your call and mission in life. Moses almost terminated his program at the age of forty because he lacked maturity. It took an additional forty years for Moses to build capacity in him to handle a liberation struggle. (Acts 7:30). The people Moses was going to lead were a special breed. Those people tried even God! Moses was leading a people who had no self-esteem whatsoever. Years of slavery had taken that away. Moses was pretty radical when he was forty, you know, like Fidel Castro. And he ended up murdering someone. (Exodus 2:11-15)
Even though God had appointed Moses to free his people, his immaturity jeopardized the mission. Compare the intemperate young Moses in Egypt to the reluctant old man who saw the burning bush. The difference is trials. An immature young man can’t handle all that power Moses controlled. He’ll rain down fire in anger. You can’t handle leadership without maturity. Those Israelites eventually drove Moses round the bend. Which was how he missed the Promise Land. God made it up to Moses and let him step into the Promise land 2,000yrs later at the Mount of Transfiguration. (Matthew 17:3)
Joseph was also a very immature young man. He was precocious but unwise. Joseph’s immaturity almost terminated his assignment to preserve the nation of Israel from premature extermination. If the family of Jacob had died from famine, the nation of Israel would not have become. But by the time Joseph came to power we see incredible maturity. That maturity came about through slavery and prison. The experiences of Joseph tempered him, removed foolishness and immaturity. (Psalm 105:17-21). Joseph didn’t hound his enemies after he came to power. Not the Potiphars, not his brothers. Neither did Joseph go after the Wine Taster who quickly forgot him once he got out of jail. A spirit of vindictiveness is an indication of under-developed capacity to handle elevation.
The greatest temptations in this world are temptations of power. That was the temptation of Jesus – power! Jesus had so much power that he could do as he wished, but he exercised unimaginable discipline and restraint. The three temptations of Jesus were temptations of power. (Matthew 4). Imagine Jesus, the most powerful being on earth being arrested by puny humans carrying metal swords. Jesus could have called down a battalion of angels to decimate those who came to arrest him. But he chose not to. (Mat 26:53). Jesus was a powerful being. Yet he subjected himself to horrific humiliation by the people he created, up to the cross. They slapped him, tore out his face with his beard, stripped him naked, yet Jesus controlled his power. Power requires discipline.
If you’re praying for the death of your enemies you already prove you don’t have the maturity to handle power. Two disciples of Jesus wanted to call down fire to burn people up, just because they felt slighted. Immaturity. (Luke 9:54). If you’re going through trials, realize God is tempering you to handle greatness. If you’re going through trials, realize God is capacitating you to be able to handle the future he has for you. If you’re going through trials, realize God is producing faith in you to attain your future. After you have suffered for a little while…then God will establish you. (1 Peter 5:10)
If you’ll like to give your life to Christ please pray this prayer: “Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I know that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for me and that you raised him from the dead. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Christ is Lord and I receive him as my Lord and my Saviour. I am now born again. Amen.”
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org