Probably not a lot of hands went up, but it’s true.
Peter lists six blessings of God for which we can bless Him (see 1 Peter 1:3-3-9):
- God’s great mercy
- New birth
- Living hope
- An inheritance that can never perish
- God’s shielding power
Peter is quick to tell us that trials only last for a little while, but they are sent our way to prove that our faith is genuine. He says that trials result in praise, glory and honor from God to us, and that successfully going through our trials lead to “an inexpressible and glorious joy.”
In trials you probably don’t feel like praising God, but our God-breathed soul is made up of more than just emotions. We also have been given a mind and a will. So here’s what I would suggest—in your trials, use your mind to reflect on the blessings of God. Then use your will to open your mouth. When you you do this, you will experience the emotion of an inexpressible and glorious joy.
In other words: you are more likely to act yourself into feeling than you are you feel yourself into action!
Look at how David did this in Psalm 34. In a huge trial…
- …he used his mind and will: I will extol the Lord at all times.
- …then his emotions kicked in: My soul will boast in the Lord.
- …his worship helped others: let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
- …and this pointed everyone to God: Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.
Seeing your trials as a way to bless God not only benefits you, but it draws others to God’s sustaining power as well.
If you live near Cedar Springs and don’t have a home church, it would be great to have you join us this Sunday as we continue in our Aliens and Strangers series. If you can’t make it in person, you can tune-in via Periscope (search for @craigtowens).