Expect The Unexpected

Sunday, March 19, 2017
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1 Peter 4:12 – Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. (NLT)

Ominous clouds threatened as my wife and I eased into the parking space.

Hot, humid weather had been the pattern for the past week, so pop-up showers had been increasing. On this particular evening, I had a wedding to officiate. A few rain showers had already passed by earlier in the afternoon, and I was hoping for fair weather, since the reception was outside.

Shortly after we pulled into our parking space, large pellets of rain began to fall. As the winds increased, I anxiously watched the reception tent. Though a few odds and ends blew away, most things stayed in place. They had expected the unexpected. The tent was securely staked. Long, heavy tablecloths clung to the tables. Wrapped utensils kept the napkins from blowing away. Apart from a little trash and dirt blown in by the wind, the reception went on as usual, despite the earlier storm.

Peter speaks of another type of storm: persecution. Those early believers were facing their share of it. Though they might have been surprised, they shouldn't have been. After all, Jesus had been persecuted and had told them that they would be as well.

When I remember the impact of sin on people and the world in general, I'm no longer surprised by the trials that I face. People infected by sin will behave in harmful ways. Sinful natures are responsible for physical and verbal abuse, crimes of all sorts, divorce, financial mismanagement, and elder abuse. The list is endless. The infection of sin can also make nature behave badly: tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, etc.

But not all trials are caused by sin or sinful people. As long as they don't violate His nature, God, too, can send trials. The Bible is decorated with stories showing how He did just that. The difference is that God's trials are beneficial. When we respond to them with a positive attitude and draw closer to Him for wisdom and guidance, we grow spiritually, and our faith is enhanced. Remaining in a close relationship with Christ helps us to survive and even to thrive when the unexpected comes along.

Let's not let the unexpected blow us away, but let us remain grounded in Christ.

Prayer: Father, when the trials of life come, may we find our anchor in You. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Martin!

    Thanks for sharing this experience with us and the lesson drawn from it. Blessings.

    Good Morning Martin and Robin,
    Thank you.

    An interesting slant on an old truth, Martin.

    So true Martin. May the Lord always be our refuge and strength in times of trouble.

    Thank you and may God Almighty richly continue to bless you fingers as you share your insights with others, James

    Thanks, Martin, for this message. I think this is one of those things that is easy to say, but difficult to do when in the throes of it.

    Thank you for this.
    I am having a stiff and achy morning and appreciate the reminder of Who is in charge!

    Dear Martin,
    A good observation to reflect on and bring into focus. The Devil loves the grey where he can hide in plain view.

    Hello Martin,
    I cannot believe how succinctly your message radiated to me. A few days ago I fell injuring my left leg. My life has done a huge 180. I went from being a useful, independent member of society to being in pain and totally dependent on others.
    As a retired nurse; I have some idea what is going on. To me all of a sudden the support prayerfully and otherwise is huge. So thankful that my husband and I have a nice group of friends, church and otherwise.
    It felt like you were talking directly to me. Blessings and thanks for the support.

    Dear Marten,
    I look forward to The Daily Devotional every day and wonder if it is always a challenge to come up with an interesting story for those of you who sit down at the computer when your turn comes around.
    I am reminded of the delightful year when we travelled through the United States. The warm winter was a delight for us, especially the Christmas season we spent while we were there.
    We were surprised to discover that the weather became quite chilly and ended up buying an electric blanket while we stayed in Texas. It was one of the many surprises we experienced during in our travels.
    Wishing you much joy as you prepare your devotionals.
    God bless you and be with and your family.

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