TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS: THE DIVINE QUALITY CONTROL PROCESS

 

Pass Fail Buttons by Stuart Miles

Today, I want to focus in on James 1:2-4 (NIV), which says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Let’s face it, when we go through trials we rarely consider it a joy. In fact in our attitude is usually, “Count it all aggravation and frustration when you fall into divers temptations. Knowing this: the trying of your faith worketh on your nerves.” That, Saints, has got to shift if we are going to become all that God wants us to be and get to a new and higher spiritual level.

God’s Quality Control Process
God gave me an analogy to help me to understand why He allows trials. Before a product goes out from a manufacturer to the public, there is a quality control or QC process that must take place. This inspection process proves that the product is fit for the consumers to buy. This keeps the company name and brand from being tarnished by the product’s failure to live up to public expectations. When the QC process is done right, there will be no necessary recall of items back the factory. In the same way, God has established a “QC” process that we all must go through. It’s called trials.

Are You Ready to Leave the Factory?
When we go through trials or testing, and we pass the test, this proves we are “ready to leave the factory,” or go to the next spiritual level and receive more visibility. Once we have been tested, God can trust that our character and integrity are intact so that we will not end up embarrassing Him. He has confidence that He won’t have to do a “recall,” meaning He won’t have to sit us down and take us out of the limelight because of a “product failure.”

How We Hinder the QC Process
One of the problems we create for ourselves is the thwarting of the “QC process.” James 1: 4 says, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” “Let” implies that we have control over whether the work is finished or not. How do we impede the process? Murmuring, complaining, failing to trust God, getting mad at Him for allowing us to go through the situation, and focusing on “Why?” instead of “What is the lesson I need to learn, and what response does God want me to give?”

Therefore, if you are going through a test, submit to the hand of God. The pathway to wholeness is paved with trials and tribulations that expose weaknesses and build strength. Embrace what you are going through right now because, in the end, if you handle things properly, you will rejoice when you see the results.

What has God taught you about James 1:2-4? Please leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

 

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THE DANGER OF JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS

Jumping_to_Conclusions_Quote

Today, I want to talk to you about the danger of jumping to conclusions. The Holy Spirit has been dealing with me heavily about this topic lately.  It’s so easy to make assumptions and jump to conclusions about a matter, only to find out that what we perceived was not actually the reality of what was really going on.

For example, I remember when my fiancé, Steve (God rest his soul) would make some comment, I would jump to conclusions about what he meant, and “intense fellowship” would follow. Am I the only one who’s ever had “intense fellowship” with a significant other? But anyway, after we talked it out, I would find out what he really meant and have to repent because I didn’t ask for clarification before I responded. Once I started making a habit of asking what he meant before I responded instead of jumping to conclusions, things went much smoother.

The point I am making is that it’s dangerous to jump to conclusions. God wants us to make sure we look past first appearances and make sure we are making a right judgment because as Iyanla Vanzant once said, “The truth is not always visible to the naked eye.” Let’s take a look at a couple of scriptures to support this:

Proverbs 31:30 ~ Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

I Samuel 16:7 ~ The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

These two verses highlight the importance of not jumping to conclusions based on what people look like on the outside.  What God is saying is that good looks are not to be used to make decisions about a person’s character. We must take a closer look and see what is on the inside.  In other words, never be impressed with a beautiful exterior until you find out what is inside that beautifully wrapped package. Physical appearance is the least important attribute.

As you can see, what’s inside the heart and a person’s love walk is what really counts. However, it’s also important to not jump to conclusions based on situations we observe. Take a look at these scriptures:

John 7:24 ~ Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.

Corinthians 4:5 ~ Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.

These two verses encourage us to refrain from jumping to conclusions when it comes to what people do.  You see the problem is that we don’t know everything about the situation or the person under scrutiny. There are hidden factors that only God can see.  That’s why God is the only righteous judge (II Timothy 4:8). James 4:12 says, “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?”  Therefore, it’s important to make sure you have complete information before you judge if you want to judge correctly.

So I want to encourage you today to refrain from jumping to conclusions. Examine the situation. Pray and ask God for insight.  Wait until the Lord comes. Let Him shed the necessary light on what is going on so that you can make a right judgment and avoid being deceived, having to repent, and needing to apologize.

Have you ever jumped to conclusions and regretted it? Please leave a comment below.

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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Image courtesy of piccsy.com

 

HOW TO EFFECTIVELY HANDLE INSULTS

Girls Staring each other down - Stuart Miles

 

The other day, I decided to read the account of the battle between David and Goliath in I Samuel 17 once again. I love stories about people overcoming great odds! As I read the passage, it dawned on me that David was insulted three times! Each incident was probably within minutes of each other, but he did not let his emotions get stirred up. Amazingly, he still had the presence of mind to face Goliath and defeat his archenemy. I wanted to know how he did that, and when I examined the passage further, this is what I found:

He Ignored Negative People

When David showed up at the battle, his brother, Eliab, questioned his integrity. He asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle” (v. 28). David refused to take the bait and get off track and defend himself. What did he do? He turned away and ignored him. He probably realized that his brother’s emotions were still raw from being rejected as king and having to watch his little squirt of a brother be anointed. Therefore, he chose to ignore him and shifted his focus to others who gave him respect.

He Rehearsed Past Victories

King Saul hurled the second insult. When David told Saul he would fight Goliath, the king said, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth” (v. 33). However, that put-down did not phase David. He shifted his focus from Saul’s comment to a focus on his track record of killing a lion and a bear. He argued against the insult that he knew to be untrue. In other words, he rehearsed his past victories. When the enemy tries to discourage you and tell you that you are incompetent, don’t focus on what one person says, focus on what you know to be true, and all the other experiences you have had that will fuel your faith and confidence.

He Remembered Who He Was and to Whom He Belonged

 Finally, Goliath, the giant, insulted Him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?”…“Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals” (vv. 43-44)! He threatened David with bodily harm. Again, David shifted his focus, this time to God and Who He was in his life.  He told Goliath, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the  Lord  Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” (v. 45). When people insult you, you have to remember who you are and also Whose you are. When you know who you are in Christ and to Whom you belong, you know that whatever people say to you cannot diminish your worth and value. Your righteousness cannot be altered by what mere mortals say or do. So the next time you are insulted, let the Lord defend you and remember who you are in Christ.

As you can see, the key to dealing with insults initiated by the enemy is to shift your focus. Shift your focus to others who love and respect you. Shift your focus from what one individual says and refuse to lose sight of what others say about you or what experiences you have gained to refute the lies of the enemy. Shift your focus to God, remember what He has said about you, and let Him defend you. When you shift your focus, like King David, you will be able to stay on track, avoid distractions, keep your emotions in check, and accomplish what God sent you here to do.

How do you effectively handle insults? Please leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

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Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net (Stuart Miles)