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Why Does God Allow Trials in the Life of the Believer?: Strength Through Trials

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 23, 2021 3:00 am

Why Does God Allow Trials in the Life of the Believer?: Strength Through Trials

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 23, 2021 3:00 am

Why do believers face trials? If we’re God’s children and He has infinite power, why doesn’t He use that power to spare us? So many have asked that question. It’s easy to ask . . . it’s not so easy to find a satisfying answer. That’s why we’re so glad you’ve joined us for today’s edition of A NEW BEGINNING. Pastor Greg Laurie tackles that question head on. You’ll get some solid, straightforward biblical insight on trials today.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God. If you would like to know how you can become a harvest partner, just go to harvest.org that's harvest.org when doing a little hard to one of those days of difficulty to be a growing Christian writing envelope soils in your life you will grow spiritually.

There is a silver lining to the dark cloud of trial, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us recognize their benefits. Trial signals from the rubble theory to reality. We can start living out our faith in the real world trials, make us strong and for God's children.

He has infinite power. Why doesn't use that power to spirit so many of asked that question is easy to ask. It's not so easy to find a satisfying answer.

That's what were so glad you joined us for today's addition of a new beginning. Pastor Greg Laurie tackles the question on get some solid straightforward biblical insight on trials copy of this insight to harvest God for the theme of this series is what growing Christian needs to know as I've said before, these are certain foods that every believer needs to come and play in their life, no matter if there brand-new. Kristin wrote they've known the Lord for decades. Certain things that you never move beyond certain things you never outgrow if you want to make progress as a Christian. So let's quickly review what we've seen in the will dig into our topic before us number one if you want to be a growing Christian you must read and study and love God's word.

Joshua 18 says this book of the law shall not depart from your mouth.

You shall meditate in it day and night. Julie observed to do according to all that is written in it and then you will have good success.

The wise men of Psalm one. The happy man of him. It says happy is the man that doesn't walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the scornful is the lie is in the law of the Lord.

Or we could just as easily say the word of God, and in it does the meditate day and night number two if you want to be a growing Christian, you need to have a prayer life Bible tells us that we are to pray without ceasing, for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ concerning you. I mean, it's great to have a time of prayer in your days somewhere, but it's also a great thing to understand that you can pray anywhere any time and any posture so we need to be an attitude of prayer. Number three if you want to be a growing Christian you must be actively involved in the church. You're just talking to make it as a solo Christian. I member after I became a believer, I wasn't really sure if I wanted to go to church and I said to couple of my friends and I think I'm just going to can I do this all on my own. It just like me and God, okay, but I found a pretty quickly that I needed other Christians in my life and as you mature, you find that other Christians need to as well listen you need the church and the church needs you and the Bible commands us to go to church and not just to attend but to be a functioning part of it is 1025 says of consider one another to store each other up the Levengood words not first thinking the assembling of ourselves together, as a matter of some is, but rather exhorting and encouraging one another so much more. As we see the deal. The Lord approached so let's say you're doing all of these things, but you don't see much change in your life. Listen, it takes time to grow spiritually.

It doesn't happen overnight were to pull up a chair in front of the Peachtree and just fold your arms and stare at the peach. You can sit there for a week and say there is been no growth whatsoever.

But if someone were to come and visit that tree one week and come back a week later or two weeks later they would notice the growth sometimes when you're up close and personal don't see it.

Sometimes in your own life, you might say no, I don't really see that much growth in my life as a follower of Christ that I don't really think I've changed that much but sometimes the best way to find out if you're growing spiritually is well if you're married, ask your spouse they'll tell you or even people that are close to the scene when I've actually seen changes in you, you're not the same person you used to be, but it does take time and some people grow faster than other people or so would would seem, it just me patient. It takes time to grow spiritually but then sometimes when you're doing all the right things, you may come to a moment in your life when you don't feel God's presence like you did at first.

Some of the pastors from our church and I were out at lunch. Just the other day in and this server is waited on us a number of times. She's very nice and will chitchat with Aaron and usually just a lie conversation and so she brought Arbela and she said I have a serious question for you guys. We said yes she said one of the service times of your church. We said brother, eight, 10 and 12 on Sunday. She said good because I'm coming to church this Sunday and I when I commit my life to Jesus and I said to her, no you're not coming to do it Sunday. You're doing it right here right now and she slapped me across the face. No see that I don't do that which is anyone by the way, but I really felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to do that. You're doing it right here right now. She says her absolutely right here.

Let's pray only doing a prayer and she just bowed her head and pray and committed her life to Christ was so fantastic and after she preaches to feel better. I feel different now come to church Sunday is newly committed Christian, but that's a wonderful thing that does happen when we come to Christ. There often are emotions connected to it could fall company of you had kind of an emotional experience. When you prayed and asked Jesus to come in your leveraging County. We did not have an emotional experience for you at the gate by the we are not second-class citizens in category number two because to the point, I had no emotional response when I prayed and asked Christ in my life and because of that, I concluded it must not have worked for me.

But of course. Fortunately, I realize later that it wasn't about my emotions. It was about faith in what the word of God says, and so forth. But, of course, over the months after I started having wonderful emotional response and you would come to church and you would feel God's presence in such a tangible way and I remember that some of the Christian sentiment are greatly careful to go through trial and I said what it meant going trial.

No, no, you're going to go through trials what are trials you can go through times of testing or you may not feel the presence of God.

That's what I want to talk about in this message. Why does God allow Christians to go through trials and testing.

I mean it happens to all of his things are going along wonderfully and suddenly without warning or so would see one problem after another comes tumbling into our life.

Things are looking bleak and then the cloud just sort apart and the sun shines again and everything is better. Why do we go to those hard time. Why do we go through those emotional lows. Why do we go to those days of difficulty. Why do these things happen to us answer. I have no idea. Good night God bless. The Bible has a lot to say about it.

That's all you look at now. James chapter 1 to talk about this for many verses. But this of your anchor text reverses 2 to 4, my brother's rights. James counted all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the test of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work in you that you may be mature. Lacking nothing. Okay, so we wonder why is this happening.

What I done to deserve such a fate of her grandson Christopher is three years old. Now you know what his favorite word is why everything is why with him.

Christopher don't climb up there. Why will because if you climbed up you could fall why probably because you lost her grip and we don't want that to happen. Why will because we let why it is why everything is why you know, and we realize ever bothered, there's just no answer just because I said so, that's all it why we say the same thing to God, why, why is this happening to me. Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment, everybody Greg Laurie here personally inviting you to join us for what we call Harvest at Home. It's a Bible study. It's a worship service. It church in your home, you're not able to get out your church right now. If so, join us per Harvest at Home people are listening there from around the world listen to this. We have seen thousands of people make a commitment to follow Christ.

Join us this weekend harvest@home.o Pastor Greg is helping us wrestle through one of the tough questions of the Christian life today in his message. Why does God allow trials in the life of the believer must continue gate point number one if you're taking notes you might write this down.

God allows trials in our lives, so we will grow up spiritually, you want to be a growing Christian right, God will allow trials in your life so you will grow up spiritually. The JB Phillips translation of verse four says let this process go on until you become men of mature character God wants to make sure were learning the material.

Now I member when I was in school I hated tests and the reason I hated tests as I never studied for the and I wasn't prepared and there would be those days in class and the teacher would spend them safe harbor.

You have a pop quiz today and in my stomach would say get all the geeks and nerds would be like in the reason the geeks and nerds are so excited was because they were prepared by the way, we know: geeks and nerds anymore. Now we call them boss.

I think Bill Gates right but tell those people were prepared but I never was.

And because of that I failed many a test that we did discover that it can be turned into an 80 with one line, just make sure you use the same color pin. It's a dead giveaway right so yes, God will allow tests in our life. He rarely announces them ahead of time. He displays them on us and effectively Lord say we know you say you know this material, let's test you and see how well you're doing is a classic example of this in John chapter 6.

We have a vivid account of a test that Jesus from on his disciples by the way that particular miracle of that were alluding to the feeding of the 5000 is the only miracle found in all four gospel. I find that fascinating. You would think that maybe the resurrection of Lazarus might be in all four gospels are some of the other dramatic miracles of Christ. Note the only miracle repeated four times as the feeding of the 5000. Remember that Jesus was speaking a great multitude gathered 5000+ women in children, so there may have been as many as 10,000 lx times yet and stomachs were growling so in John six we read Jesus all this great crowd of people climbing to the Guild looking for him and he turned to Philip and he said Philip where can we buy bread to feed all of these people listen.

He was testing Philip Moriarty knew what he was going to do Phillips that will overtake a small fortune to feed all of them. Then Andrew, Simon Peter's brother spoke up with. There's a little boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is this with this huge crowd. So Jesus is trying to determine have his boys learned anything.

Had they learned how to trust him. Get a wow is a big crowd here how we get to feed all of these people noted Jesus know the answer, of course, he does want to know if they knew the answer.

The test was really do believe God can take care of you, even when the odds are not in your favor.

Do believe that God can provide for you. While I know he can. I've been a Christian over 40 years and I always have the Lord come through for me. He's promised to provide all of my needs according to his riches in glory in Jesus Christ about awaiting sale of my Greeks.

What he did say all of my needs.

He gives you what you need doesn't. But this was a test so he could see if they were learning about the way just because you've learned something doesn't mean you don't need to be retested again right. I had the I got a physical the other day and I had to have everything tested my hearing was tested.

My vision was tested and although do that to see if it's going downhill or not. Any always a moment I'll do better than the time before I'm happy to report that. Actually, there was some improvements and I was happy to find out that my cholesterol was lower my blood pressure was down. I use them higher blood pressure and I would say to my doctor. The reason my blood pressure is high as I know you're going to take it and say something about, so goes up when I see three needlelike sneak up on me and take my blood pressure, you stress me out.but so were retested. All human you've learned it you've noted, but do you still know it. Here's what the Bible says about these things coming back to James one let me read on from a more modern translation. Listen to this. All kinds of trials and temptations crowd of your lives. My brothers don't treat them as intruders friend 11 translation don't treat them as intruders but friends realize income to test your faith and to producing you a quality human torrents let that process go on until that endurance is fully developed and you'll find you become men and women of mature character men and women of integrity with no weak spots going to make you stronger.

So I going to the gym. How many of you like to go workout at the gym. Not that many of you just think some of you. How many of you don't like to go you like to go. I'm probably more like you. You know I I do go I get the gym I hated the whole time I watch the clock and watch it watch watch almost over, it's over. I hate all of it. I could walk away never worked out again and be happy and just eat hamburgers every day, but that's a good form you see and I will go into these things not because I enjoy it because it will help me and as you get older. Sometimes people say no I'm just so old and just so lethargic.

I'm so tired I guess it just get no could be you're getting fat to, but that's another subject, I can't stop anything that I can fight the battle of the bold, somewhat at least have a passing thought about it looking amazing. Greg you're not doing that well I told you You know the struggle I have a scale I got recently to digital scale away myself in the morning. I forget that it talks to my email account and if I put my email in and it's a wireless thing and I actually got an email. I'm not making this up.

It's like from the name of the scale company business and opened it.

It was a big bold headline that says time to step up your game Greg!

Shut up and consulting objects, but you know what skills right but you see when when you workout when you do weightlifting and cardiovascular things you don't. The objective is to get stronger, not weaker and ineffective break down muscle to build muscle. Trials are like God chin or your broken down to be built so I like it and I like it elicited this, you know like the results because I have to admit that after I worked out I bring up the idea, but I do my makeup so many excuses as to why I can't go oh I have this gift will oh you know whatever you discipline yourself.

God uses these trials.

Trials take us from the realm of theory to reality so we can start living out our faith in the real world trials, make us strong people need to understand this know when these trials come in our life we want to hang on to the Lord and learn the lessons he is seeking to teach us. Look at verse three.

Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. That's really not the best translation. By the way patients come from the Greek word people moaning, but the word to better be translated perseverance.

The testing of your faith will produce perseverance or steadfastness or staying power. Even another translation translates it as heroic endurance like that translation. Another translation spiritual toughness so that the testing of your faith produces spiritual toughness, heroic endurance staying power. God wants iron to enter your soul. We all know the story of Joseph that young man will love the Lord and resisted sexual temptation and live the life of integrity. We know how he was falsely accused by the wife of Potter for an older attractive woman who was effectively preying on Joseph sexually said before, she was the original cougar and one day she had all the servants leave the house and and had it all set up to just basically pulled Joseph down the map bed and and go for it and when she grabbed him he ran like crazy. She screamed and falsely accused him of rape.

He was arrested and sent to prison unjustly and it was while he was in prison that God was preparing him for a greater work that would take place later. In fact, we read an interesting facet.

Some 105 verse 18.

They bruise to speed with fetters music, but the speed and stops and they also placed his neck in an iron collar.

Can you imagine how hard that was the Bena iron collar, but there's an interesting twist on this particular verse they can also be translated this way Eddie was laying in iron iron entered the soul and interesting so as he was in irons, iron entered, as always, it was you talking about midcity toughened up. It means that you got steel nerves of steel you've heard that expression he had a boldness and encouraging the strength he did not previously have. Frankly, he was a little bit of a pampered young man, his father favored and gave him a really cool shirt while the other brothers said that have basic workout clothing, but special shirt was given to Joseph in it, you know strut around and you guys what's up you know any of his fancy shirt on and if anyone wasn't working hard to go back and and tattle on them right in the brothers really begin to resent them and that's why they sold him into slavery. Granted it was an overreaction, but still he was a little bit pampered perhaps spoiled, but man God changed him from a young camper boy into a heroic strong man of God that's got what to do with you.

Verse four.

Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Modern translation puts it this way, so let it grow and don't try to squirm out of your problems when your patient is in full bloom. You'll be ready for anything strong in character, full and complete. Don't try to dodge it. Don't try to get out of it. I mean generally, we see approximate about a year and no I don't want to go to the no remember what James said treat these things as not as intruders but his friends because God's in control everything that we go through life's father filter units either done by God or allowed by God.

That's a phrase my friend Randy Alcorn point father filter he knows what you can take. He knows how weak you are or how strong you are, and these things will be adjusted to where you're at in your life at this particular moment, but you should count it all joy. According to verse two when you fall into various trials.

By the way that you be translated many colored, many colored trials, various trials, many colored trials. In other words, no two trials are always exactly the same. Are you going to go through different variations of them and notice it doesn't say if you go through trials it says when you go through trials you're going to be tested. The question is will you pass or will you fail so number one God allows trials so we will grow in spirit. Greg Moore first lesson in our study of trials from a series work every growing Christian needs to know there's a lot more to come. As the study continues. You're on a new beginning.

Hopefully you were able to hear the whole study today.

But if any interruptions came up during the last half hour. You can hear it, you missed by going online to harvest.org just look for the message called why does God allow trials in the life of the believer or get a permanent copy of this presentation on CD by calling 1-800-821-3300 anytime that's 1-800-821-3300 and were thankful to our harvest partners and others who support this program for helping to make this teaching available today, everybody Greg Laurie here talking with my friend Darrell strawberry an incredibly successful baseball player really a legend but you know, in many ways, Darrell. Some people might think you had some storybook life and you know you this group and your dad coached you and played catch with you in the front Street. Then one day you were discovered by an agent you went on to glory well you did go on to sports glory but but you had a very difficult upbringing in your home and it was far from a storybook life.

Tell us a little bit about what it was to be a young Darrell strawberry and in particular really your relationship with your father, but also tell us about the impact of your mother. Yeah it was. It was very sad. Being a young kid because I was always in this fear. My father, because it was like such a monster coming home and you didn't know what you were relegated on any given day are night he would come home and it would be drunk at night and he would be loud and I was about 14 years old and he came in love again. We all woke up and motor brother Michael told mom just get out here. Leave us alone and he was just, run roundtable talk about while I'll kill all you guys report on the shotgun city was Comeau family and me and my brother, when is action there running on any grandmother but you never Greg Frank Fanon had it not been for my mother and she was little petite woman had it not been for her, making us get out of that house we was going to kill him.

That night we just had we had as she didn't. She just yelled at us as she made us get out of that house and go down streets to the neighbor's house and we was so mad because we didn't want to leave her and she was like I'll be okay you guys get out of this house and from that night. It was no more father there he was. After that he was, he was not around us anymore.

She removed him for from us master brokenness of who I was. My brother Ronnie was at same time we do suffer so many things and were such fear and were so empty on the inside and broken generations discontinued or gone to you break up that cycle and if you never break the cycle that the kids come after you while your kids can be in the same cycle so I was able to break the cycle from our kids and they never saw me put my hands on Aramark are yell at him. I was anything that involves dysfunction are II knew better not to touch them because I was so scarred and when you have wounds and scars like that.

It is surreal Autocare people don't work out a uniform you put on baseball uniform to be a celebrity police officer the scars and wounds will always be there to you. Let God few you. It wasn't until I've let God heal me put it on the baseball uniform did not make me a man. People need to hear that they'd make it means the dollars would be appropriate did not make me a man just made me a baseball bat and become a manager I met Jesus. When I met Jesus when I became a man started to live the right way and understand where man should live. You know my my mom was married and divorced seven times I'd lived in an abusive home. I saw her get into fights and men hit her.

One guy knocked her unconscious and almost killed her in a viaduct climbed out of the window of our house that night. I may not have lived to tell the story, so I have a little sense of what you were facing.

But God stepped in and he broke the cycle of sin and God can do that for any person listening right now I don't care what your parents did. Are your grandparents did.

You can have a new beginning in Jesus Christ. And it happened for Darrell strawberry and it happened for me and it can happen for you and that's why want you to read Darrell's powerful story and the things he has to share that he's learned in life thus far in his new book called churn your season around subtitled how God transforms your life and this could be a lifesaving book for someone listening.

It shows us how God can sin our lives in the right direction, no matter are passed and we want to send Darrell's book. Your way to thank you for your donation really an investment to help us continue to touch lives each day with this radio program. So will your contact us today John Pastor Greg a note and let them know what his teachings mean to you and then when you include a donation. Be sure to ask for turn your season around, and we won't be mentioning this much longer. So contact us soon you could write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org will Pastor Greg offer several more insights on why God allows trials in our lives. If you know someone going through a dark time right now. Invite them to listen next time and possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor great free daily email devotions and harvest.org


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