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The Blessing of Persecutions and Trials January 29, 2010

Posted by Henry in Word of Faith Movement.
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At the beginning of this year I had a mishap with my car which was quite challenging to face. Basically the cam belt went whilst I was driving and rendered the engine almost irreparable. One mechanic told me that it would cost in the region of £700 to repair and that this figure was perhaps a conservative estimate. To say the least I was gutted as I drove a very modest car and did not have the money at the time to repair it or to buy another car, which would have been the better option. I told my friend at work about the issue and said to her that this was my “New Year blessing”, a broken down car and no money to fix or replace it. She laughed and said, “Your funny” with a hint of sarcasm. If I didn’t need the car it wouldn’t have been so bad but in the area where I live public transport is infrequent and impractical for myself and my family’s needs. To cut the story short however, I was able by God’s grace to replace the engine and the car is now operational again, at least for the time being.

 The point I want to make though is that often when trials come our way we do not see the blessing in them. In this particular experience of mine, the first blessing was the fact that we were meant to be travelling on the motorway that very day but decided to go somewhere local first, when the problem occurred. If the car had broken down on the motorway it could have caused a fatal accident but thank God it broke down when I was braking to stop at a traffic signal. Praise be to God for His mercy. Isn’t God good? More importantly however when trials come our way they are meant to “sharpen” our faith and we should see them as a blessing. Many people however don’t see trials or persecution as a source of blessing. Some even think it is a curse. For them blessings means increasing in health, wealth and prosperity and the Word of Faith Movement comes to mind here. In stark contrast to the Word of Faith beliefs however Jesus had this to say in Matt 5:10-12:

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

In conjunction with the above quote we also note from scripture that it is a blessing to endure trials:

 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12, NIV)

 I have broken with convention in using the KJV for the above quote because the NIV uses the word “trial” as opposed to “temptation” in the KJV and thus gives a better rendering. The message is clear however that persecution and trial are sources of blessings and not just material things unlike what those in the Word of Faith camp teaches. If God were to only bless us with materials things and health we would become like the Laodicean church who thought that now that they had become rich and increased in goods that they no longer needed God. If our faith is being tested daily however we would learn to always trust in God and put our faith in Him. Again quoting from the NIV version 1 Peter 1: 6-7 has this to say about enduring trials:

 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed..

 If our faith is of much greater worth than refined gold then, which blessing would you rather have? The blessing of having your faith tried through trials or the blessing of health, wealth and prosperity?

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Comments»

1. Marianne Lordi - January 29, 2010

This was a great message, Henry. The best part of it is that even in your trial, you saw God at work in it! That is faith in action. I remember in Scripture how Paul and Silas were beaten almost to death and then thrown in prison. Instead of complaining about having to go through all this pain, they chose to sing praises to God! And God used that praise in the midst of their trial to bless them by sending an earthquake to break their shackles and open the door of their prison cell!

2. Henry - January 30, 2010

Marianne,
Indeed we have much to learn from the faith of the early Christians like Paul and Silas. Like them our faith also has to be tried and tested but we should take comfort from the fact that whatever we are going through the Lord is there beside us and He will not give us more than we can bear.


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