In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
- 1 Peter 1.6, 7
Wonderful compassion of the Creator! He permits us to be in need, that He may show His mercy by giving to the needy. He permits us to be tempted, that by aiding us in our temptations He may turn the hearts of His servants more fully to Himself. He permits His followers to be cruelly tortured that they may delight more fully in restored health.
- Jonas, Life of St. Columban, Irish, 7th century
These are trying times for many.
The economy has lost its way, and many are suffering as a result.
The moral climate continues its deliberate tailspin into absolute relativism.
And soon will begin the flu season.
Sooner or later some trial or test is going to show up at your door, and this will give you a glorious opportunity to see how faith really works. Because the way we handle our various trials and temptations speaks volumes about the reality and vibrancy of our trust in Jesus.
When trials come, whatever the form, the first line of defense must be thanksgiving (Phil. 4.6, 7). We don’t necessarily give thanks for the trial but in it, for thereby we acknowledge that God is still sovereign, still remembering His covenant with us, still doing all things well, and still working all things together for our good.
Sure, we can’t see it, but that’s not the point. God knows what He’s doing when tests and trials engulf us. The important thing for us is to acknowledge that, which we do by giving thanks.
Then, when we’ve sincerely thanked Him, we’ll be able to rejoice in the face of our trials (Jms. 1.2), a joy that anticipates whatever good thing God plans to show us about Himself, do within us, or accomplish through us as a result of this trial.
Trials and temptations don’t come upon us by chance. Our good God has a great idea that He’s working out in and through us.
Can you believe it?
Psalm 143.7, 8 (Divinum Mysterium: “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”)
Answer quickly, O my Lord! Do not hide from me Your face!
For my spirit fails and I am like those who do not know Your grace.
In the morning let me hear Your steadfast love; Lord, I trust You! Show the way!
I lift up my soul and pray!
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T. M. Moore, Principal