Listen to this devotional:
Ecclesiastes 3:1 – To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. (NKJV)
Genesis 8:22 – While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease. (NKJV)
Living in New Brunswick, Canada, we are certainly well acquainted with the seasons. Every season brings with it its own unique beauty. While I may complain about the cold winter weather (more so since getting older) and scooping the snow, I would still miss winters if I didn't have them: enjoying the warm heat from the woodstove, observing all the beauty of the fresh-fallen snow and the evergreens laden with snow, and taking pleasure in the great variety of our feathered friends and squirrels in our backyard!
The adversities that we face during the winter months serve several purposes. When winter is followed by spring and summer, we are more appreciative of the warmer weather than someone who has the heat the year around. And chopping wood and scooping snow make us stronger.
Similarly, the hard times or winters of our spiritual lives make us grateful for joy and relief in the peaceful times, and looking back, we realize that adversities have produced perseverance and made our faith stronger.
When we look at the Old Testament character Job, we see a great example of how his patience was increased by tribulation.
Job 42:12 – The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. (NKJV)
The same is true with us today.
Romans 5:3-4 – We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. (NKJV)
James 1:2-3 – My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (NKJV)
Acts 14:22b – We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God. (NKJV)
1 Peter 4:12-13 – Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (NKJV)
2 Corinthians 4:17 – For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. (NKJV)
I know in my own life, I have had many trials or winters which in turn have strengthened my trust in God. We can always rest assured that God has a special purpose for the trials that come into our lives. They are there for our growth and to bring glory to His name!
Some readers today may be going through trials. Sometimes, it seems like a long, cold winter, and the temptation is to think that spring will never come. We can rest assured that just as God dealt with Job, our latter end will be greater than the beginning. We will be better for it, and we will be able to give God the glory!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, so often, we thank You for Your many blessings and for all the good things that You bring into our lives. We also rejoice in the fact that You bring trials into our lives, which You use for our own good and for Your glory. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.