Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 8 - December 2005 / January 2006 > Pastor's Piece - The Trials and Sorrows of Life

Pastor's Piece - The Trials and Sorrows of Life

by Dr Barry Wright

It has often been said that nothing can soften the human heart or enrich a person's life and make him or her more compassionate, than the trials, suffering and sorrows of life that we often have to face.

Long periods of serious illness, unemployment, divorce and death are some of the stresses that can confront us all at some time during our stay here on planet earth. When they do strike, it is never easy, and the question that we all inevitably struggle with at such times is 'How do I cope?'

It is during these times that the support of friends and family become very important. It is also important to involve ourselves in activities that give us feelings of worth and fulfilment until life can return to some sense of normality.

Maintaining a positive attitude is not always easy, but it is important to make the best of any situation, rather than allowing the bitterness of sorrow to take charge of our lives.

However, in all these dark experiences of life, we need to recognise that God teaches us the precious lessons of trust. He knows that we need to reach out for help during these difficult times. The Scriptures make clear that God can overrule in these crises and turn them into blessings.

We need to be reminded that life's adversities, if rightly carried, can strengthen us to face other hardships that may later come our way, and trials, if they are borne with courage, can develop patience and make us strong in Christ.

It is important to remember that the Lord says we are not alone. The following texts provide a wonderful assurance of God's special promises to you.

Hebrews 13: 5 'I will never leave you or desert you.' (NEB)

Isaiah 43: 2 'When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and  through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.'

Psalm 145: 18 'The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that  call upon Him in truth.'

John 16: 32 'Yet, I am not really alone, for the Father is with me.'

Psalm 121: 5 'The Lord is thy keeper.'

Rom 8: 28 'We know that all things work together for good to them that  love God.'

Psalm 29: 11 'The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.'

Matt 28: 20  'Remember, I am with you always…'

We all need to learn to rest in the Lord and receive the peace that He promises to give each one. John 16: 33 reminds us of Jesus' words when He says, 'I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.' (NIV)

James 1: 2-4 tells us to 'Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature, and complete, not lacking anything.'

No matter what happens to you, it is important to understand that God knows and cares. He wants you to allow your pain and suffering to bring you closer to Him regardless of your circumstances. When you do this, you can be certain that God will use your sorrow to enrich your life and make you, in the words of James 1: 4, '…mature and complete, not lacking anything.'

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