Sitting down and praying to God has been hit or miss with my lately. I have been WANTING to pray daily but never get around to it or have some excuse. I find myself praying only when I need or want something. Is that fair? No, and what kind of relationship is that? Would you want to be in a relationship in which you give more than you take? While reflecting one night I prayed and asked God to help me have a better relationship with Him, to please make me WANT to know AND need him daily. I did not know what I was asking. Matter of fact, I still don't! I had no idea of the trials and tribulations God would put on me, nor do I know the ones that are in store for me! But I have learned that that with God by my side I will be okay! I just need to keep my faith!
I haven't been to church in a long time, not since I moved to Florida. I have officially lived in Florida for 2 years. As soon as we moved here I found a job working at a gas station in which I worked 15 hours every Sunday (7am-10pm). Working those kinds of hours I could not attend church. I told myself and God that if I was able to leave the gas station (financially) then I would find a church and work on my relationship with God. God allowed this, as my last day at the gas station was June 9. Since then 4 Sundays have passed. Today was number 5 and I finally honored my promise and made it to church! In the last few weeks leading up to today several things have been great! Other things as far as my career have been "the road less traveled," in other words, rough. I was struggling and praying to God to help me fix these things. It wasn't until this Friday, July 12, that I realized what I was going through! I was going through Trials and Tribulations! On this day something terrible happened to me while I was working at the gas station (I was doing the owner a favor just for 2 days so he could attend his religious festival.) I am not ready to talk about what this "bad" is yet but I will share at a later time! I promise. I goggled, because Google has the answer for everything, Trials and Tribulations and what I found impacted me tremendously!
Trials and Tribulations are put on God's children to test us to stay loyal to God and to trust that he will get us through our conflict. God gives us these conflicts to help build our relationship with Him, to help increase your faith and trust in Him, that you will ask, Lord please help me get through this. He wants you to turn to Him in your time of dire need. This is a time where it can make or break your faith! This morning I went to a church my friend attends. She was not able to come today so I went alone, probably better anyway since I was a blubbering mess. But can you guess what this mornings message was??? It was Prophet Endurance..... in another words Prophets trials and tribulations. Think that is a coincidence?? I am not so sure.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12Think about all of the Prophets in the Bible....Jeremiah, Daniel, Job, Jonah, Hosea, Zechariah, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, James and even Jesus. Now think of their stories, think of their trials and tribulations and all the conflicts they went through. Daniel was a slave. Could we remain faithful dealing with what Daniel went through? Hosea married the prostitute Gomer and continued to forgive her. Could we have that kind of forgiveness for our spouse? Jonah disobeyed God and refused to go to Nineveh and got on a ship to sail in the opposite direction. He ended up jumping ship and was swallowed by a great fish. In this whale's belly where he sat for 3 days and 3 nights he repented and cried out for God. How many times have you ignored the word of God... or simply not heard it!? During these trials, during these tribulations we need to be patient and have trust, faith, praise and prayer with God. He is teaching us the endurance we will need later in life.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12One last tidbit of information... One should not confuse trials and tribulations with consequences to your bad actions. There is a fine line.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9