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When Troubles Come and Stay, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2022 7:05 am

When Troubles Come and Stay, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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September 30, 2022 7:05 am

Clinging to Hope

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Facing a tough season in your life? For you know that when your faith is tested, consider it with a positive spirit. Knowing that this is deepening your faith, and that it is increasing your endurance, and it is enhancing your character, and it is building your maturity, oh my, you can't beat that combination.

But all of it comes to us on the platform of a trial. How do we handle the inevitable times in life when suffering comes our way? For instance, when our joints are sore and we're walking with a limp, how do we maintain a smile?

Or when someone we love passes away, how do we cope with loneliness? Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll presents message number one in his new series called, Clinging to Hope. In this first study, we'll open our Bibles and find time-tested help for building spiritual stamina. Chuck titled this message, When Troubles Come and Stay, and we begin with prayer. It is to you, oh Lord, we come and to no other.

Peter was right, to whom else could we go? You alone have the words of eternal life. You alone are our God. You alone are faithful, like no other one we could rely on.

You are consistent, you are immutable, you are good, merciful, kind, full of grace, and always love. You love us with an infinite amount of love, and therefore, you set your affection upon us. And even in trials, you have a plan that is beyond what we're often able to see, and we rarely pause to realize. So remind us today, our Father, of the dimensions of trials, that they come inevitably because we are simply a part of this human race, but they are purposeful. And you hold the key to those reasons, and therefore, we call upon you to reveal to us what we need to know, so that we might be stabilized and mature as we endure these things that occur. I pray for those who find themselves under the gun at a loss to know what to do. Their legs have been cut out from under them by circumstances, many of them beyond their control.

They didn't cause them, but they happened to them, and they go on, and they go on, and they go on. And you have a way, Lord, in the midst of these enduring trials of giving us the strength to stay at it and to trust you. So I pray for those who are preoccupied by life's contingencies, these things that happen that we cannot escape from. Hold us close to yourself, our Father, and remind us that your mercies are new every sunrise and will remain true and meaningful even beyond every sunset. Use our gifts, we pray, in a special way as we release them to you. May this church be marked by integrity as we handle these funds for your purposes. Guard us and guide us, we pray, as we walk close to you. May we honor you while we are with many or when no one else is around. May we serve you faithfully and with integrity. These gifts are yours and we give them as we offer this prayer in the name of Jesus, our Master, Lord, who provides our every need.

And everyone said, amen. You're listening to Insight for Living. To study the Bible with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download the Searching the Scriptures studies for this series by going to insight.org slash hope. And now the message from Chuck titled When Troubles Come and Stay. David writes in the Psalms, many are the afflictions of the righteous. The Bible speaks often of the bruises of the adversity of life.

As I look from row to row in the seats of this great house of worship, I look into the faces of you who are worshipers. And I know that in many a heart, there is a brokenness. There is sadness. There is a trial that is lingering that isn't yet resolved.

You're living with it. And some of you are are plagued by it. Most of us who read the letter of James do not pause to realize that people in the first century were also such individuals. They were in a no man's land, these converted Jews. Their own people had nothing to do with them because they believed in Messiah. And they were greatly outnumbered by those who did not. The Roman Emperor despised them in standard anti-Semitic attitude and therefore persecution arose against them. And their businesses were boycotted and the children of these converted Jews were thrown out of their schools and their homes were confiscated. They were, as James writes, they were scattered abroad like you would throw sand across the field.

They were away from the city they loved, Jerusalem, and out of the homeland where they had been reared. And they were in a Roman world with hearts that longed for relief from the trials of life. When James writes to us and to them, all who are suffering, he answers three questions as he talks about trials. He deals first with what's true about troubles. What can we say about troubles when they come? And secondly, he writes about how can we rise above them rather than live under the weight of them? And then thirdly, when when we have handled them as we should, what can we anticipate? What then? So let's take these questions in that order and we'll work our way through these verses 2 through 12 of James chapter 1.

First, what's true about all trials? Now let me pause and remind you who have your Bibles. Pay attention to words. Don't just listen to me as I give you thoughts to think on. Look at the words. Become a, if you will, a word vulture. Pay attention to terms that in a hurried moment you'd look past.

For example, when you get to verse 2, the word when stands out. It's the answer to the first part of the question of what is true about trials. Well, they are inevitable. Notice the term is not if. Dear brothers and sisters, if troubles come your way. No, no, no, no, no.

Not if. Because you are brothers and sisters, because you are in the family of God, trials are inevitable. They're inescapable. They're unavoidable. Interestingly, one of the characteristics of human nature is we try to go around them or get away from them or drink ourselves into a place of being able to ignore them or maybe travel will get us away from them and there they are when we come back home waiting for us. You can't get away from trials. That's why he says, dear brothers and sisters, when they come your way. And let me mention here a word that the New Living translation for some reason doesn't include and it should because the original Greek text has the word, it's the word various.

Maybe your version that you're using includes it. Various trials come. Interesting little Greek, quaint Greek term, poikilos, p-o-r-k-i-l-o-s, poikilos. All kinds of trials come. Some are irksome and irritable and they sort of come and go and more come in their place. Some are deep and life threatening. Some are outward trials that have happened to us and some are inward that happened within us. I made a quick list of those outward trials and my list is short.

I couldn't fill five pages with them. Hardship, disappointments, financial difficulties, loss of job. The inward trials sometime hit us much harder than those because they happen within. Uneasy feelings, feelings of rejection, being misunderstood, feeling insecure, battles of the flesh, greed, lust, anger to the point of rage, imaginations and dozens of other various kinds of poikilos trials that come.

They're inevitable. But the second I want you to observe is that they have a purpose. All trials come with a purpose in mind. We're not just accidentally thrown onto a stage of life and left to fend for ourselves as God goes about his business of running the things of heaven.

No, no. Those things that occur to us are all part of his plan. Please observe as you read through these verses when troubles come your way, it is an opportunity for you to view them with a positive spirit called you're considering at a great joy for you know that your faith is tested.

A trial is a faith test. And your endurance is given a chance to grow. And James has the audacity to say, let it grow. Let it grow.

Don't look for an escape hatch. Let it linger. Learn from it. And as a result, our maturity is developed. I've learned in life as I look back over the years, the value of the pain of yesterday.

That's where lessons were learned. Sometimes through failures of my own. Sometimes through situations I caused, often through situations where I was a victim of something or of someone else. And it happened to me, not because of me.

But I learned from that and I have matured through that. And they are all purposeful. That gives a new dimension to trials rather than seeing them as things you could have avoided if you would have paid better attention. Oh wait, wait.

I'm not sure of that. Maybe on a few occasions, but more often than not they're planned. They're planned by a loving Heavenly Father whose plan is broad and stretches way beyond your present moment.

I love the way the Living Bible renders these first two verses. When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your life, my brothers and sisters, don't resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends. Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance.

Let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed and you will find that you have become men and women of mature character with the right sort of independence. How much better than asking why has this happened and why did this happen to me to ask what is there in this I have to learn? What is there that God's teaching me in this journey called the Christian life, which includes the inevitability of trials that are purposeful? Now then, to move ahead, how can we live above them?

Now that we understand they're inevitable and they are purposeful, how can I climb above them and stay on top of them so that I'm able to go through them without their dragging me down? Well, let me have you notice four words that are woven into the fabric of the Scriptures. First is the word consider. I have that circled in my mind as I look at verse two, consider it all joy. Interestingly, the Greek sentence verse two begins all joy. Isn't that interesting? The very first words out of the chute in that second verse is all joy. Now it's not a laughing joy. That would be silly.

That would be inappropriate. It's a deep-seated positive spirit. It's a depth of understanding that says there's a reason for this. And if I could know my God better, I could understand better why this is happening.

It would help me know myself so much better. What is purpose in this? So consider is the first word. Look at the verse three.

Look at the word know, K-N-O-W. It reads, for you know that when your faith is tested, by knowing that you are better able to consider it with a positive spirit. Knowing that this is deepening your faith and that it is increasing your endurance and it is enhancing your character and it is building your maturity, oh my, you can't beat that combination. But let me add, all of it comes to us on the platform of a trial. What we would not have chosen and often what we would never have expected.

Plus it's painful but valuable. One of the fine writers of the last century was Malcolm Muggeridge, that rugged old Brit who made his living as a journalist. He was a veteran of the war and end of life and crusty old guy that finally came to Christ. And he puts his story in a book titled A Twentieth Century Testimony.

I think one of the finest pieces on this subject I've ever read comes from the pen of Malcolm Muggeridge. Listen to these words. I quote, contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my 75 years, everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my existence has been through affliction and not through happiness.

Need to hear that again? Has been through affliction and not through happiness. He continues, in other words, if it ever were to be possible to eliminate affliction from our earthly existence by means of some drug or other medical mumbo jumbo, the result would not be to make life delectable, but to make it too banal and trivial to be endurable. Close quote. That is one profound statement.

As I look back, if the pain were removed, life would become, for me, too banal and trivial to even recall the days past. But because of trials, the things I have learned, I know that those have made me the man I have become, says Mudridge. Now the third word is in verse five. Look at it. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God. The word is ask.

Ask. But it's preceded by the reason you're asking. It's something you and I were not born with. We don't inherit it. We cannot take a course at school, not even a graduate school, that teaches us wisdom. We don't get it necessarily by being next to someone who is wise, though that may benefit us.

Wisdom is housed in the mind of our God, and He is willing to share it with us at those times when we need it the most. You're listening to the daily program known around the world as Insight for Living. Chuck Swindoll has just started a brand new series, and in this first message, he's talking about what to do when troubles come and stay.

To learn more about this ministry, we invite you to visit us online at insightworld.org. Since 1979, we've featured thousands of Chuck's sermons on this daily program, but this is the very first time our audience has heard this brand new 12-part series called Clinging to Hope, and we're pleased to let you know that Chuck decided to write a book on this topic as well. The complete title is Clinging to Hope, What Scripture Says About Weathering Times of Trouble, Chaos, and Calamity. No one needs to be convinced that we're living in chaotic times.

It's hard to watch the news without getting discouraged or even angry, but life is already hard without these pressing current issues. In his book, Clinging to Hope, Chuck helps us understand how to grab hold of the timeless comfort of God's Word. A copy can be yours right now when you call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888, or it might be quicker and more efficient to go directly to insight.org slash store. And then let me close by sending a big thank you to all those who financially support Insight for Living. Your generosity is truly making a difference in our pursuit of an audacious God-sized dream, and that is to bring Chuck's Bible teaching to all 195 countries of the world.

We refer to this mission as Vision 195. To join the team and give a donation right now, call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888, or you can give online at insight.org slash donate. And then don't forget you're invited to join us online for the Sunday worship service at Stonebriar Community Church. In addition to hearing Chuck's sermon, you'll also participate in the congregational singing as well.

You'll find all the instructions for streaming the service at insight.org slash Sundays. In March, 2023, Insight for Living Ministries is hosting an unforgettable journey to Israel. Carefully plan to deepen your understanding of the Bible and draw you closer to God.

Here's Chuck Swindoll. For thousands of years, no place has been more meaningful to God's children than the land of Israel. The rugged landscape reminds us to find refuge in God alone. The fertile valleys invite us to follow our shepherd. Jerusalem's position at the very center of the world announces the good news of Christ to every nation. And now you can see Israel with Chuck Swindoll and Insight for Living Ministries, March 5th through the 16th, 2023. Every time I visited the Holy Land, I've returned home with a refreshed heart for God and a renewed vision for the world.

Really, I mean it every time. And so I want you to have the same life-changing experience. To learn more, go to insight.org slash events or call this number, 1-888-447-0444. Insight for Living Ministries Tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Bill Meyer.

Join us when Chuck Swindoll talks about what to do when troubles come and stay, Monday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, When Troubles Come and Stay, was copyrighted in 2019 and 2022. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-31 18:36:30 / 2022-12-31 18:44:10 / 8

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