Archive for the ‘Suffering’ Category

February 12th, 2014

Rejoicing in Trials

“Count it all joy, my brothers,when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:2-3 (ESV)

Rejoice is a choice.

Living in a fallen world comes at a price. The consequences of sin have rippled throughout our family tree all the way back to Adam and Eve. When sin entered the human race, trials became the shadow. Trials are as much a part of life as the air we breathe. The question is not a matter of whether we will face trials or not in this life. The issue is how we choose to respond to the trials we face.

Trials are inevitable in a fallen world. We can choose to rejoice in the midst of the trials we navigate. We need not be surprised by the multifaceted trials that come our way. Instead, we need to live in the ready mode in order to anticipate trials and more specifically, plan our response to trials. Will you choose to rejoice? You cannot choose your trials, but you can choose your response to the trials.

  • “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.” Phil. 1:29 (ESV)
  • “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” 1 Pet. 4:12-13 (ESV)

Consider the trials that you are currently experiencing. How will you respond today? Will your choice be to rejoice?

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Rejoicing, Suffering, Trials.
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April 25th, 2013

Suffering as a Christian

“However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” 1 Peter 4:16 (NIV)

When you received the gift of eternal life, you were saved by the grace of God. Your name was written in the Lamb’s book of life and your eternal security was sealed by the Holy Spirit. Your position in Christ is that of having a right relationship with God and a right relationship with others. The sacrificial death of Christ upon the cross provided you with a new identity, in Christ, as a child of God.

Receiving the benefits of salvation is a joy. However, what you may not have realized is that being a follower of Jesus Christ includes suffering. You cannot be on mission with God and give your life to fulfilling the Great Commission and live out the Great Commandment without an element of suffering. Going against the current of culture will produce a level of suffering. Combating the satanic opposition from the kingdom of darkness will generate a level of suffering. Denying yourself and crucifying the flesh in order to walk in the Spirit will spawn an encounter with suffering.

Do not be ashamed if you suffer as a Christian. Maybe you work in a difficult environment where Christianity is not well received. Maybe your home is not conducive to the reality of your Christianity. Perhaps being a Christian on your campus, at work, or in your home places you in the minority. Do not be ashamed. Give praise to God that you have high honor and privilege of bearing that name. You are Christ on your campus. You are Christ at your work. You are Christ in your home.

Everywhere you go, you are representing Jesus! You are continuing the ministry of Jesus on the earth by doing what He did. You wear His name and you bear His identity. Remember, you may be the only Jesus others see!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, April 25th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Comfort, Suffering, Witness.
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March 27th, 2011

Suffering as a Christian

“However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” 1 Peter 4:16 (NIV)

When you received the gift of eternal life, you were saved by the grace of God. Your name was written in the Lamb’s book of life and your eternal security was sealed by the Holy Spirit. Your position in Christ is that of having a right relationship with God and a right relationship with others. The sacrificial death of Christ upon the cross provided you with a new identity, in Christ, as a child of God.

Receiving the benefits of salvation is a joy. However, what you may not have realized is that being a follower of Jesus Christ includes suffering. You cannot be on mission with God and give your life to fulfilling the Great Commission and live out the Great Commandment without an element of suffering. Going against the current of culture will produce a level of suffering. Combating the satanic opposition from the kingdom of darkness will generate a level of suffering. Denying yourself and crucifying the flesh in order to walk in the Spirit will spawn an encounter with suffering.

Do not be ashamed if you suffer as a Christian. Maybe you work in a difficult environment where Christianity is not well received. Maybe your home is not conducive to the reality of your Christianity. Perhaps being a Christian on your campus, at work, or in your home places you in the minority. Do not be ashamed. Give praise to God that you have high honor and privilege of bearing that name. You are Christ on your campus. You are Christ at your work. You are Christ in your home.

Everywhere you go, you are representing Jesus! You are continuing the ministry of Jesus on the earth by doing what He did. You wear His name and you bear His identity. Remember, you may be the only Jesus others see!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, March 27th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Comfort, Suffering, Witness.
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February 12th, 2010

Rejoicing in Trials

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2-3 (NIV)

Rejoice is a choice.

Living in a fallen world comes at a price. The consequences of sin have rippled throughout our family tree all the way back to Adam and Eve. When sin entered the human race, trials became the shadow. Trials are as much a part of life as the air we breathe. The question is not a matter of whether we will face trials or not in this life. The issue is how we choose to respond to the trials we face.

Trials are inevitable in a fallen world. We can choose to rejoice in the midst of the trials we navigate. We need not be surprised by the multifaceted trials that come our way. Instead, we need to live in the ready mode in order to anticipate trials and more specifically, plan our response to trials. Will you choose to rejoice? You cannot choose your trials, but you can choose your response to the trials.

  • “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him.” Phil 1:29 (NIV)
  • “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 (NIV)

Consider the trials that you are currently experiencing. How will you respond today? Will your choice be to rejoice?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, February 12th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Rejoicing, Suffering, Trials.
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November 30th, 2009

Looking Down From Heaven

(Today’s Devotional Submitted by Guest Writer: Jeff Skipper, Associate Pastor of Student Ministries, Champion Forest Baptist Church)

“After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.’ At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.” Rev 4:1-2 (NIV)

If you have lived very long in this world you know life can be downright difficult at times. We are faced daily with disappointment, defeat, destruction, devastation, desolation, divorce, and death. The interesting thing is the Bible promises this type of suffering. The good news is that we are also promised it is only temporary and it will produce in us something that far outweighs all that we suffer.

God offers John a view that none of us will get before the second coming, yet we need to understand that view. John finds himself in a transcendent reality where he sees for the first time the world from God’s throne room! He sees death, destruction, disappointment, Nero, the Roman Empire, the past, present, and future from heaven! It’s as if he is looking down on his life through God’s eyes.

Have you been struggling in this life? Have you had a bad day? How about a bad year? What if, for just a moment, you were called to God’s throne room and you could see your situation from heaven’s perspective? Remember that the island of disappointment and doubt you find yourself in is only temporary, for God has something in store for you that far outweighs it: heaven. I pray that you will see life today from heaven’s perspective.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, November 30th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Heaven, Perspective, Suffering.
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October 8th, 2009

Becoming Like Christ

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Romans 8:29 (NIV)

God saved you to become like Christ. Your sin has been forgiven and your eternal destiny has been secured. In Christ, you are adopted into God’s family and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Now you are in the process of becoming who you are in Christ. God predestined that you be conformed to the image of Christ. You get to participate in the process of that transformation.

What are some of the tools God uses to conform us to the likeness of Christ? Sometimes God uses the hammer of adversity and the chisel of suffering to bring us into conformity with the character of Christ. Other times, God may use seasons of silence to test our faith and to prove our devotion. God allows fully yielded and fully devoted followers of Christ to come into our path to model Christ likeness. They give us a portrait of what we can become as we mature in our faith.

Assess your current reality? How is God conforming you to the likeness of Christ? Are you being responsive to His prompting? Allow God to chip off anything in your life that does not bring honor to Christ. Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal any area of your life that distracts from your spiritual progress. Daily surrender to the Lordship of Christ and seek His face in prayer. Embrace the reality of God’s will. God desires that you become more and more like Christ each day.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, October 8th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Sanctification, Spiritual Maturity, Suffering.
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August 16th, 2009

Real Trials: Proper Perspective

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 (NIV)

View your trials from God’s perspective.

Knowledge is needed to take things apart. Wisdom is needed to put things back together. When your life is coming apart, you need God’s wisdom to put your life in order. Trials tend to skew our vision and stifle our passion. It is so easy to lose perspective when facing trials. Our tendency is to be captured by the immediate and bypass the future that God has in store for us.

Why do we wait so long in the process to turn to God in prayer? We try to figure out circumstances on our own and frantically search for answers apart from God. Nothing comes into our lives without God’s permission. If God permits trials, then God will use those trials for our good and for His glory. If only we can embrace that reality earlier in the process of our trials. God is both the Creator and Sustainer of our lives. He knows where we are and what we are facing and where we are heading.

  • “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalms 46:10 (NIV)
  • “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Prov 3:5-6 (NIV)

In faith, turn to God and ask for His wisdom. Seek to gain God’s perspective on the trials you face.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 16th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, Perspective, Suffering, Trials, Wisdom.
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August 15th, 2009

Real Trials: Rejoice

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2-3 (NIV)

Rejoice is a choice.

Living in a fallen world comes at a price. The consequences of sin have rippled throughout our family tree all the way back to Adam and Eve. When sin entered the human race, trials became the shadow. Trials are as much a part of life as the air we breathe. The question is not a matter of whether we will face trials or not in this life. The issue is how we choose to respond to the trials we face.

Trials are inevitable in a fallen world. However, we can choose to rejoice in the midst of the trials we navigate. We need not be surprised by the multifaceted trials that come our way. Instead, we need to live in the ready mode in order to anticipate trials and more specifically, plan our response to trials. Will you choose to rejoice? You cannot choose your trials, but you can choose your response to the trials.

  • “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him.” Phil 1:29 (NIV)
  • “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 (NIV)

Consider the trials that you are currently experiencing. How will you respond today? Will your choice be to rejoice?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, August 15th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Adversity, Rejoice, Suffering, Trials.
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May 9th, 2009

Suffering as a Christian

“However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” 1 Peter 4:16 (NIV)

When you received the gift of eternal life, you were saved by the grace of God. Your name was written in the Lamb’s book of life and your eternal security was sealed by the Holy Spirit. Your position in Christ is that of having a right relationship with God and a right relationship with others. The sacrificial death of Christ upon the cross provided you with a new identity, in Christ, as a child of God.

Receiving the benefits of salvation is a joy. However, what you may not have realized is that being a follower of Jesus Christ includes suffering. You cannot be on mission with God and give your life to fulfilling the Great Commission and live out the Great Commandment without an element of suffering. Going against the current of culture will produce a level of suffering. Combating the satanic opposition from the kingdom of darkness will generate a level of suffering. Denying yourself and crucifying the flesh in order to walk in the Spirit will spawn an encounter with suffering.

Do not be ashamed if you suffer as a Christian. Maybe you work in a difficult environment where Christianity is not well received. Maybe your home is not conducive to the reality of your Christianity. Perhaps being a Christian on your campus, at work, or in your home places you in the minority. Do not be ashamed. Give praise to God that you have high honor and privilege of bearing that name. You are Christ on your campus. You are Christ at your work. You are Christ in your home. Everywhere you go, you are representing Jesus! You are continuing the ministry of Jesus on the earth by doing what He did. You wear His name and you bear His identity. Remember, you may be the only Jesus others see!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, May 9th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Comfort, Suffering, Testimony.
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June 9th, 2008

Real Trials (7)

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!’” Luke 15:17 (NIV)

Do you have someone in your life who is currently suffering the consequences of their poor choices? Everything within you wants to shift into rescue mode. You want to pull them out of reaping what they have sown. Their trial has become your trial because of the love you have for them.

The prodigal son traveled down the road filled with the potholes of selfish choices. The consequences of his sinful lifestyle were in full bloom. The fast lane had not delivered what it promised. What I admire most about his father, is that he allowed the natural consequences to flow. Instead of rescuing his son, the father gave God room to work and to produce deep conviction in his straying son’s life.

Yes! It took a pigpen experience for the son to come to his senses. What if the father would have interrupted the process? What if the father would have chased the son down and prevented him from reaching the pigpen?

Sometimes we just need to give God room to work to bring those He has created back to Himself. There are times when God wants to use us in the process of bringing a rebelling son or daughter back into alignment. Don’t bypass God’s disciplinary process.

  • “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Heb 12:11 (NIV)

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, June 9th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Alignment, Discipline, Suffering, Trials.
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