Friday, November 25, 2005

Can you be the trials?

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina here in New Orleans, a friend asked me to post this message that had appeared in one of our past newsletters.

Having walked and served the Lord Jesus now for many years, I have heard many things said concerning God’s dealings with His servants.

One of the things that never really set too well with me was the statement, “There are only a few people that God could trust as millionaires.” This was usually said by a millionaire preacher on television wearing a $2000 suit and flying around the country in a Lear Jet that the poor untrustworthy television viewers paid for!

I do not believe that it takes a whole lot of character or even morality to be a millionaire— that’s easy. You can see wealthy people everywhere in our society– Hollywood, Professional Sports, Corporate America, Lotto Winners, etc and none of those areas had the prerequisite of trusting in Jesus!

Many times the “Church” gauges a person’s spirituality or right standing with God by their “measurable success.” Ministers (myself being one) are often the worst perpetrators of this fallacy.

“Oh, he has written a book and is well known. God must truly smile on him.” (or) “He has a mega-church and a TV ministry, he must be God’s Man.” (or even) “You can see the favor of God in his life. He never has a struggle!”

While all of these things may appear to be indicators of God’s favor and stamp of approval on a minister, ministry or individual, I feel that there is something else that God utilizes to reveal the heart, faith and character of those He would use as catalyst in these Last Days: Those who can be trusted in the trial.

“Have you considered My servant Job”, God asked of Satan who retorted, “You (have) put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands...But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."

God responded (pp), “Everything that he possess I will allow you to take– except his life.”
Now, honestly, how many of us would want God to put us in such a situation? Within a short amount of time, everything that Job had was taken from him– his wealth, his home, his flocks, and even his family.

He would be smitten with sores and – yet Job 2:9-10 says,

“His wife said to him, Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die! He replied, You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.”

He would later add, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him (God).”

Could God have trusted you in that trial? Would you have endured and glorified His Holy name or would you have shaken your fist at heaven and cried out, “Where were you when I needed you God!”

Because John 16:33 assures each of us that “In this world you will have tribulation,” the Lord Jesus is looking for those that will endure through those times of trials and tribulations and exalt His name in them.

When Peter was beaten for refusing to cease his preaching of the Gospel he “rejoiced that he was counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Christ.”

Peter could be trusted with the trial.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego could also be trusted with the trial as they were tossed into the fiery furnace!

The Word of God is full of individuals who went through extreme times of difficulty– physically, financially, circumstantially, etc only to glorify the Lord in the midst of their trials. These are the type of people that He is looking for now!

Some of you have been facing great and mighty mountains and have wondered if you have somehow “lost favor with God.”

Let me tell you this, God will never put more on you than you will be able to bear. When things seem impossible– rejoice, that like Job and those that proved “true through their trials,” that He sees something in you worth Glorifying His name in!

“But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:13


steve Ignowski said...

Great Message Pastor Troy... thanks for the post..

I particularly liked what you said about Job...
I’ve heard so much “strange” teaching in regards to Job
It’s good to read good sound doctrine.

Bless you!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh man. Troy I miss listening to you. Jimmy just clued me in to your blog and I'm so glad you've got one. I need a good kick in the butt from time to time. Since my visit to New Orleans ( my traveling buddies and I have tried to get together from time to time and keep going what was started there. Keep up the writing, I'll definitely be checking in.

Pastor Troy D. Bohn said...

Gina---wazzup! You guys were so awesome and we all miss you so much. THANK YOU for taking the time to come and help at such a critical time---BUT--- WE NEED YOU TO COME BACK!!! P-L-E-A-S-E

Mardi Gras 2006 Feb.24-28 -- we need you guys desperately. THIS is where we truly make the stand. Please pray about coming then (and then come!)