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tests or opportunities?
Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner. 1 Peter 4:12-13 (MSG)
Every test is simply an opportunity to trust God! The tests allowed in our lives are not to break us but to promote us! Similar to today's Scripture in 1 Peter 4:12-13, the Message version of James 1:2-4 encourages us to "consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." Promotion is just on the other side of the test as we remain calm and trust God. Since promotion is just around the corner, our first response to tests should be to "count it all joy" or to "rejoice" (James 1:2 and 1 Peter 4:13 NLT)! Glory is the byproduct of every challenging story! God is seeking to promote us! Not only are tests opportunities for promotion, but they are also growth opportunities. That is the reason the Message version of 1 Peter 4:13 states that tests are "a spiritual refining process." Tests are an opportunity to see the integrity of God's character and nature in a deeper manner and to grow and go to another spiritual level in which we no longer respond to the temptation in the future as we always have in the past! It is important for us to go through the spiritual refining process and not try to short circuit the work that God is seeking to do in our lives. Don't view your current difficulty as something that will break you but as an opportunity to trust God, grow, and be promoted!
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