Trials 1 - Introduction
Who would you most like to meet right now? Wherever you are: who would you most like to see come through the door? Maybe it’s someone you’ve never met before but you'd like to get to know them, or someone dear to you who lives far away and so catching up with them would be great. Whoever your answer is, your motivation for choosing them is almost certainly that their arrival would bring you joy in one way or another, or many ways. This being assumed, here’s an amazing line from the Bible:
“Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you meet trials of various kinds.” (James 1:2)Hang on, what? If a trial were to walk through your door right now, the right response would be joy? How is this possible? In this series I’m going to explore what what trials are, why we need them, and how to prepare for them and respond to them. This is a sensitive area, and an amazing one, if we will learn the lessons God has for us.
This teaching is directed at Christians but if you’re reading this and you don’t believe in Jesus, I hope you’ll be able to see how He is able to rescue and transform people, and that He wants to do the same for you. He doesn’t promise you an easy life, He promises something much better.
Next: What is a trial?
Part 2: What is a trial?
Part 3: Where do trials come from?
Part 4: We need trials
Part 5: Responding to trials 1
Part 6: Responding to trials 2
Part 7: Gaz's story
Part 8: Summary, conclusion, and other resources
With thanks to the University of Bedfordshire’s Christian Union for inviting me to speak on this subject, and thus provoking me into thinking and writing about it.