For every man God has a plan; no mans life is purposeless.
God sends everyman into the world to do some definite thing.
Remember: He became what we are–to make us what He is.
William Barclay 1907-1978
TRIALS, TRIBULATIONS, AND . . . . PATIENCE?
Somewhere about the beginning of the New Year I was corresponding with Cathy Neil aka ‘Naphtali’ who writes the Spirit driven blog: ‘Did Jesus have a Facebook Page’?
At that time her family had endured some terrible sickness throughout that fall and winter. I on the other hand had two separate PCs crash in two days. (One had malware with a Far Eastern name as the sender. Do you suppose we have Muslim readers?)
Cathy then replied that she was tired of paying repairs bills and just bought a new PC. I countered and upped that by buying an iMac OS-X for slightly under TWO GRAND! It was pretty nice having all the working things inside a 31 inch monitor that was only one half inch thick, which allowed for a lot more desk top space to put Bibles, books and of course coffee cups. Trouble was; it didn’t act like a PC and it was difficult so, I sent it back.
Back and forth we went. Each commensurating with the other but Cathy was continually assuring me that over and over in the New Testament we are told that if we serve God we will have trials and tribulations.
Those are the verses that I like to skip over.
Then, right before Christmas Eve, I had to have major maxillofacial surgery. With that title it HAD to be expensive, right? It turned out that a rear tooth had to have its roots jackhammered out, a piece of bone cored out from another location and grafted into the hole, then a steel screw put where the core was cut. Yeah, it WAS expensive!
In the meantime a Buddhist family I was trying to convert (Along with a little help from God.) called and told me not to come back. Well, THAT hurt more than the Maxi-what-ever!
Jesus told us when rejected to shake the dust off our feet and move on. Well, I wasn’t quite ready to do that because there was six souls involved in that household. With Jesus’ admonition fresh in my mind, the question once again arose: “Why must we be continually tried?”
Obliviously the answer is that God the Father wants to know if we are truly His—or—how far are we willing to go in our quest to bring the gospel not into only our own neighborhood, but into all the world.
Also, are we willing to uplift our brethren with words of comfort and encouragement?
In First Corinthians 12:4-11, Paul names the nine gifts of the Spirit. Later in the same chapter (Vs. 28) he names the 7 offices held in the Church by faithful believers. You fit in there somewhere! No one is left to be a ‘placeholder’; simply holding down a slot on the pew Sunday after Sunday. YOU have a ‘gift’ or an ‘office’, or ‘both’, or ‘several, of each’. It is your bound duty to find it and fulfill it.
Will you be persecuted? You can bet your boots you will! It comes with the territory!
It follows; whether you accept your ‘gift’ or ‘office’ or not, if you are a Christian you will surely have trials and temptations. And the not-so- funny part about these tests and trials is when undergoing one , or several, after you have overcome that particular test—THIS is not the end of the test!
Oh no. For after overcoming that particle one, you STEP UP to the next level which is even more extreme.
WHERE DO THESES TESTS COME FROM?
Well now, that is another story. How about I meet you here in a day or two and let’s discuss that.
You should know by now that I can’t say it all in three sentences like Don Merritt does.
Larry Camp Straight From the TOP
A typical Texas Day!
There I stood–ten thirty in the morning on the third tier of a steel scaffold–thinking about climbing down for that fourth cup of coffee when, ‘Snap-Crackle-n-POP’ the air was filled with the smell of ozone as a lightning strike whizzed by.
It didn’t take long for me to reach the ground–four cups or not! Steel is still a wonderful conductor of electricity.
I reached cover on the patio just as the first drops of rain sped to earth. Before getting inside the back door, it had turned to hail. After 20 minutes or so, back to rain. Both were torrential.
In a couple of hours it was dry enough to get out to the three-stall Model ‘T’ garage that came with my ‘Un-Ending Restoration Project’ and to start cleaning up a previous mess deserted several weeks. Namely pulling out several sheets of plywood and upending some overturned cabinets.
When the rain ceased a Canadian Clipper zipped through plunging temperatures from seventy five to sixty as quick as a rancher would drop his Silver Beaver Stetson on the adjoining bar stool. Then gale force winds from the north west dropped the temperature to fifty in a matter of minutes leaving everything, including me, soaked through and through.
Within an hour, the wind had shifted to the West and the sky turned red assaulting our sinuses with a dirt storm. Anything can happen to Texas weather in the drop of a hat!
After experiencing a sizable amount of frustration with this day, the garage was abandoned in favor of vacuuming and mopping the kitchen floor. Just the thing to work off frustration.
Just a normal day here at the north end of the Texas Hill County. Down to freezing last night.
Business as usual. We are accustomed to a fifty-degree drop in temperature in four or five hours. We are also accustomed to having a ‘frog floating’ rain and in two hours or less being choked by a dust storm.
Go figure! The weather in Texas is similar to our Federal Government.
Always changing, never committed and not to be predicted.
Just another typical day in Texas!