We all face seasons in our lives that seem bleak. It could be illness, loss of a loved one, or a financial struggle. These seasons disturb our lives, they cause uncomfortable changes, and quickly lead us down the path of doubt and discouragement. This pathway can ultimately lead to bitterness. Bitterness is darkness, it consumes all joy from our lives, and begins to affect those around us.
"And the Lord restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before." Job 42:10
Despite Job's "perfection", he wasn't perfect, because he wasn't God. In order to really know the Lord, he had to be humbled. Through his unimaginable trials, he reached the point where he began to know the Lord. His humbling began, his compassion grew, and he began to pray for his friends instead of himself. Through faith, he began to give.
When we're walking through one of life's fires we have two choices. We can focus on our own story, our disappointment, our pain, our suffering, or, we can focus on others. In the midst of our loss we can choose to give. This won't erase the pain, it wont' answer the questions, and it won't end the trial, but acting in faith will assure us that God is in control. There is no greater comfort than knowing that God is there for us. You may not have enough money to pay your bills, but you will be able to sleep at night because you trust in the Comforter.
We all give in different ways. For some of us we give by spending time with people, or helping people. Others choose to give financially, using their personal wealth or lack of wealth. There are those that give through intercession, prayer, and dedicating time to praying for others.
Next time you're faced with a trial remember that through giving you are acting in faith. And acting in faith produces faith and brings us closer to Christ.
"What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.
I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.
You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation."
1 Peter 1 : 3-9 (The Message Translation)