We will all experience trials of some sort or another. It may not be as intense of a trial as walking your child through an extreme illness that will take his life. It may not be having to deal with cancer. But it could be dealing with the hard trial of a broken marriage, or broken relationships with others in your family. Maybe with addictions, or depression or anxiety. Maybe with work. Maybe its with persecution for your beliefs. I bet if I went to every single one of you and asked if you have dealt with a trial recently you would all say yes. I think it is common knowledge that, just because you are a Christian that does not exempt you from being exposed to trials. The question becomes when Trials come what do we do? This week, we will take a break from the Old Testament and to see what it is that the New Testament has to say about how we are to approach and trust God through the trials of our life. Therefore, I would like you all to turn to James and we will be looking at James 1:1-12 this morning.
What happens when the trials over? What about the emotions you are left with towards those who brought those trials into your life? One of the biggest challenges you and I face in our Christian lives is trusting God through the challenges of forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration. Last week we watched Joseph as he begins to confront the challenge of facing his past as he comes face to face with his brothers who wounded him. Their heartless treatment of him basically thrust him into 13+ years of hardship and heartache. But now he’s come through those trials. Now he faces the trial of working through forgiveness and finding some level of restoration and reconciliation. As it relates to our story, so far—Joseph demonstrates an attitude of forgiveness or a willingness to forgive. But, before he reveals his identity to his brothers and before he is willing to re-engage in relationship with them, he wants to see what posture of heart his brothers have. He wants to test and prove their character has really changed. Because real restoration requires real change!
Over the past several weeks we have been walking with Joseph through the ups and downs of his life. We’re calling our journey with Joseph: Trusting through trials because Joseph has been the victim of some deeply wounding betrayal, rejection, abandonment, mistreatment, and heartache. We’ve been learning from Joseph, as he trusts God through those trials. But, what about when the trials over? What about the emotions you are left with towards those who brought those trials into your life? One of the biggest challenges you and I face in our Christian lives is trusting God through the challenges of forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration. This week Joseph is faced with the challenge of facing his past in the faces of those who wounded him beyond description with rejection, abandonment, and betrayal.
Trusting God through trials at times calls for trusting God through the trials of forgiving those who have hurt you deeply and seeking some form of reconciliation and restoration.