How do you handle stress?
Do you get angry? Curse at others? Take out your frustrations on your family? Fall to your knees in prayer? Ask a friend to pray for (or with) you?
When troubles in this world happen, and they will, as a believer your faith may be tested in ways you never even imagined – so what will you do when that time comes?
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45
Ultimately, what is inside of us will make its way out.
Sure, one can often put on a “good front” and act like everything is okay.
Many of us have deep roots of pride, often thinking we are better or more holy than we actually are.
But when the rain comes and the storms of life appear – it’s often then that we realize just how sinful and prideful we truly are, and how much we desperately need Jesus in order to live a life of holiness.
When one stressed-out mom wrote to Pastor John Piper asking advice on how she should handle the challenges motherhood often brings, John Piper said it best on Desiring God:
“I picture Christians in this condition like a glass of water. While the glass of water is very still, sitting on the counter, the sediment of pride and other sins can lie unnoticed at the bottom of the glass.
So the water is clear and seems cleaner than it really is.
But if you bump the glass — and that bumping corresponds to the pressures of motherhood, for example — then the sediment of pride and sin is stirred up and shows itself in attitudes and words and actions that show that the glass of water isn’t as clean as we thought it was. It’s more sinful than we thought.”
So what does this mean?
Sometimes God uses trials to refine and deepen our faith.
Trials purify us, and if we press into Jesus when the storms hit, we can slay the hidden sin in our lives.
As we continue to be sanctified, our sinful flesh will continue to die as we become more like Christ.
Those who trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior are saved – but the sanctification process and our purification will continue throughout our lives until the Lord calls us home.
This is a painful process, but it allows the power of God to be displayed in full force.
He often uses trials to humble us and bring us to our knees.
While some believers allow the trials in life to purify them – others take an opposite approach.
Some become overwhelmed with self-pity or fear – thinking they are a victim or powerless to do anything.
Instead of choosing to lean into Jesus, they act out – taking their anger and frustrations out on everyone and everything around them.
Trials reveal that some who thought they were believers really weren’t. These folks often curse God and run away from the faith.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27
But as a believer in Christ – rest assured that if your faith is genuine and true – nothing will snatch you from our Father’s hand.
God is always with us, and if you cry out to Him during moments of temptation and distress, He will answer you.
So when the storms come, cling to the cross – don’t curse it! And watch the power of God continue to transform your life.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
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