Embrace The Trial

I know this will seem foreign to most of us, but it’s worth being said anyway . . . “Embrace the trial.”  It seems contrary that any one of us would long to go through hardships, but this was one of the exemplary characteristics of the apostle Paul . . . He embraced the trials.
We remember the story.  He and Silas cast a demon out of a slave girl only to find themselves thrown into jail due to the monetary loss incurred by her owner.  There they are, sitting in prison, singing hymns and praying, while everyone around listened and watched the two wretched followers of Jesus.  Or, at least that’s how it seemed on the outside.  But there was something much bigger going on which Paul later expounded on in his letter to the Philippians:
“But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”  Philippians 1:12-14
Do we get this?  As others watched, and listened, the Gospel was not hindered . . . It was empowered!  The jailer got saved.  His household got saved.  The guards heard the gospel (estimates range that there were about 9,000 of them) Everybody knew the story and what Satan tried to use to quench the Gospel only emboldened it!
Why are we allowed to go through all of the trials we do?  Simple . . . To further the Gospel.  Therefore, embrace it.  I humbly say this from experience.  When my bride got diagnosed with cancer, the question, “Why?”, came to my heart.  Now, in hindsight I get it.  My prayers were deepened.  My dependance on God was exponentially increased.  And, everyone around who “listened and watched”, heard the gospel.  Not all responded to it, but they all can testify as to the fact that it was brought to the forefront like never before.
I have no idea what any of you who read this are going through, and I’m not going to pretend that those situations aren’t difficult and burdensome.  But keep this in mind . . . They were allowed by God so that the Gospel may shine.  Therefore, embrace the trial.

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