The Treasure In Trials

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-3)

Does the title of today’s message seem a little strange to you? You may well be wondering, “What is he talking about? How are we to see treasure in our trials?” We can . . . and we should. The key is to see our trials from God’s perspective, not our own. When we do that, we will see how God is using all our trials for our eternal good and His incomparable glory.

When God sends us trials — and our trials do come from Him, for all things come from Him (Romans 11:36) — He is shaking us free from our shackles to the earthly and the temporal. Make no mistake, God never says, “Oops” when opposition comes our way. God is not sitting on His throne, peering anxiously down at His children and wondering how things will work out. He intends for us to loosen our white-knuckle grip on our earth-bound treasures and reach for things above (Matthew 6:19-21).

The next thing God is doing when He sends us trials is putting His Omnipotent power on display. When trials come against us that we find ourselves powerless to overcome, we must depend totally upon God, who alone will get the glory for our deliverance. The Bible is chock-full of examples of this principle in action. One of my favorites is Gideon. God called Gideon to lead Israel into battle against the Midianite army of 135,000 warriors. When Gideon finally accepted God’s call, God bluntly told him he had too many warriors to take into battle.

That sounds odd . . . kind of like the title of today’s message! I mean, how could you ever have “too many” soldiers? But that’s looking at life through our own perspective. Gideon was badly outnumbered to begin with; he started with an army of 32,000 troops. But God pruned his force down to a company of 300, leaving Israel overwhelmingly outnumbered — about 450 to one. The Lord explained His perspective to Gideon: “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands, lest Israel boast against me that her own strength has saved her” (Judges 7:2).

What God did for Gideon then, He is doing today for you. Regardless of what difficulty has come against you, you are guaranteed victory with God on your side. After all, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). But you must be willing to depend totally upon Him.

Christian, the greatest opposition you will ever face in this life will never come from outside of you; it will always be the resistance within you. The apostle Paul candidly admitted, “When I want to do good, evil is right there with me” (Romans 7:21). Our sin nature has no desire to surrender control and rely totally upon God. But this is how we will find the treasure in any trial we face. From self-dependence to Savior-dependence, this is the treasure in trials that is available to us moment by moment.

This is the Gospel.  This is grace for your race.  NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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