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Friday, July 24, 2020

Poole Forge Covered Bridge, Lancaster County, PA
Poole Forge Covered Bridge, Lancaster County, PA
Click on photo to enlarge

"When Trials Come"

Message summary: Today some of you are going through an extended trial. You are, in God's providence, going through what may seem like a spiritual vibratory tumbling machine.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4).

Vibratory tumbling machineSmucker Laser, one of our companies we serve as chaplains, just put a new machine in service this past week. It's called a vibratory tumbling machine, used for finishing metal parts. By vibrating the metal parts with a stone like media, the parts are deburred, cleaned, and polished. During our weekly visits we often visited with the laser employees as they spent many work hours hand filing small laser parts and it was a very time consuming and tedious part of their finishing product, so this machine is a very welcome addition. (For the terminally curious like me here's a video.)

As I observed the mechanics of the new machine I considered that at times it might feel like we've been placed in a vibratory tumbling machine! We are getting tossed here and there, banged from one side to the next, and we just wonder what good it is doing and will it never end!

Vibratory tumbling machine
We have on our hearts a friend who has endured a very lengthy trial which began over a year ago with many ups and downs. He had a difficult time last week and texted a request for prayer. What a joy to read this followup text from him, "God is good and showing me that I need to remain strong, hopeful and optimistic."

Today some of you are going through an extended trial. You are, in God's providence, going through what may seem like a spiritual vibratory tumbling machine.

James writes,
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds". The Greek word for "trial" that James uses is very interesting. "Peirasmos" conveys a "putting to proof" or by implication, "adversity". These times of testing are difficult but necessary in proving our faith in God to be genuine and effective.

Pastor Steven Cole writes,

"Biblical joy in times of trials is not natural optimism. It is the joy of hope in God and His sure promises. This radical attitude results from a deliberate choice. The choice is, “Will I trust in God and His promises, or not?” As James says, it is our faith that is being tested. When you are faced with a trial, you have a choice: Will I trust God and the promises of His Word, as I have professed to do, or not? To trust God and experience His hope and joy in the midst of trials is a radical attitude that James commands us to adopt."

James tells us what our outlook is to be when enduring trial, "Count it all joy". Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe defines joy as "that inward peace and sufficiency that is not affected by outward circumstances. You may be thinking, 'Experiencing joy and enduring a trial just doesn't go together, it's like mixing oil and water'. The blend of joy and trials sounds like juxtaposition. But focus only on the pain involved and you’ll miss God’s perspective on this subject."

Jesus has much to teach us in the midst of a trial; He has much to model for us in the Scriptures; He wants to prove His love is present as we endure and He wants us to learn the blessing of endurance, a cousin to longsuffering that’s listed among the nine Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22,23. One more thing: He wants us to model a Biblical response to trials so that we are an example to others and most especially our own family.

We encounter various trials
    that test our faith.
        Which produces endurance.
               Endurance has its perfect result (full effect, complete work),
                    so that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

So today we urge you to endure and sing along with us,

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blessed
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we pray that You will help us to grow in Your grace and knowledge, that we will continue to mature in our Christian walk. Scripture, repeatedly, indicates that spiritual maturity is a result of enduring trials of various kinds.  Today we make every effort to add to our faith those characteristics that will sustain and grow us in our Christian walk. In doing so we will be effective and productive in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, during times of ease but even more so during times of difficulty. Keep us faithful and keep us growing, in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"When Trials Come"  Video  Together For The Gospel Live

"Like a River Glorious"  Video  The Bob Kauflin Hymns Project

Anthony and Derek at vibratory tumbling machine
Anthony and Derek working at the vibratory tumbling machine.

Lancaster County country home
Yesterday we were on some back roads in eastern Lancaster County and passed this rustic country home. The front porch rocking chairs face a beautiful farm scene and sure look like an appealing place to sit and relax, hull some peas or snap green beans!
Click on photo to enlarge

Lancaster County fresh flower cart
Many stands we drove by yesterday sell fresh cut flowers. These arrangements sell from $12.00-$14.00.
Click on photo to enlarge

Lancaster County farm scene
Driving near Churchtown yesterday we viewed one farm landscape after another. One of the things that is most attractive in Lancaster County are the rolling hills with varying shades of vegetation.
Click on photo to enlarge

The Poole Forge ironmaster mansion house
The Poole Forge Ironmaster Mansion
Click on photo to enlarge

Poole Forge Covered Bridge, Lancaster County, PA
Another view of the Poole Forge Covered Bridge over the Conestoga River
Click on photo to enlarge

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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