Trials and Temptations
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."1
John Newton, the converted slave trader wrote the following poem, the title of which is, "I Asked the Lord That I Might Grow."
I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.
'Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He'd answer my request;
And by His love's constraining pow'r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow'rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.
Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
"'Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.
These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may'st find thy all in Me."2
As God's Word also says, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all."3
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in every trial and difficult time I experience, please use it to help me grow and become the person you envision for me to be. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. James 1:2-4 (NIV).
2. John Newton.
3. Psalm 34:19 (NKJV).