SMALL ANNOYANCES

Pocket
I don’t know about you, but I don’t automatically think of scripture with every event in my life. However the other day, as it does on occasion, it happened that a scripture popped into my mind, in an unusual place.
The occasion was when my wife and I were having lunch at our favorite Chinese Restaurant. With the meal we received the standard “Fortune Cookie”. You know that little cookie with the small piece of paper inside with your supposed future or life lessons described, usually in vague terms. Mine read, “Put up with small annoyances to gain great results“.
The scripture that immediately sprang to mind was 1 Peter 1:6-7, where Peter encourages us with these words: “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith, of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire, may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed“. (NIV)
The human side of me says, “I love God and I don’t need a test or a trial to prove it”. God says however, “Yes, you do!” Personally I don’t like the trials in my life. I just want my life to flow along smoothly without any bumps in the road. I like it that way, but it’s been rare where there has been a period of time in my life that has been without some kind of trial which tests the strength of my faith.
Another scripture that comes to mind is Hebrews 12:11-12 where the writer reminds us that: “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening, it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees“.  (NLT)
Personally, I’m looking forward to more “peaceful harvest of right living”. God expects us to show continual growth in our spiritual lives. That’s why the testing? To strengthen our reliance upon God for our help. To grow to a point spiritually that we can say with the apostle Paul, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)
So, putting up with small annoyances is only one way our faith is tested, because they can easily turn in to big problems. When they do, how do deal with that “refining” of your faith? Isaiah put it this way in Isaiah 26:4, “Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal“.

So how are you doing? Personally, I’m still struggling and still growing and still learning to “trust in the Lord forever“, because he is “the rock eternal.” 

Pocket
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