Embrace Trials as Friends

Here is one of those lessons, like iodine on a wound, that stings as it makes us better.
More than anything else I could ever do, the gospel enables me to embrace my tribulations and thereby position myself to gain full benefit from them. For the gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes in me. When I view my circumstances in this light, I realize that the gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of ever other aspect of my life, including my severest trials. The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His gospel purposes and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ.

Preaching the gospel to myself each day provides a lens through which I can view my trials in this way and see the true cause for rejoicing that exists in them. I can then embrace trials as friends and allow them to do God's good work in me.

 ~Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer (emphasis added)

Scripture References:

Romans 5:1-5; 8:28-29
James 1:2-4
2 Corinthians 12:7-10


Anonymous said...

A good buddy of mine, Cliff White, once wrote a song about this topic. Here are the lyrics:

Was It Worth the Pain?

Lately I have pondered
The path that I have wandered
To this moment, asking, "Was it worth the pain?"
The endless stream of hoping,
The tears, the fears, the groping
Make me wonder what, if anything, I've gained.

I find myself confessing
That trials have been a blessing,
And that strength has been the outcome of despair,
'Cuz in my darkest sessions
Have come the greatest lessons
Yielding fruit that I've been privileged to share.

Sometimes it's hard to keep going
And face the trials that knock every day,
But I've learned not to fight them,
And now I invite them to stay
And have their way
In my life today.

Jesus, please don't give me
A life that's free and easy,
With no struggles and no problems in my way.
My vision is much clearer,
And I have grown much nearer
To You, thanks to all the trials You've sent my way.

But sometimes it's hard to keep going
And face the trials that knock every day,
But I've learned not to fight them,
And now I invite them to stay,
Have their way
In my life today...

~ pk

Aaron said...

That's good Phil - thanks for sharing. Is it recorded anywhere? I'd love to hear it... or I may write my own music. :)