Archive for the ‘Trials’ Category

March 9th, 2014

Faith Revealed by Trials

“For this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 3:7-8 (ESV)

God allows trials to come into your life to reveal your faith. Whatever is on the inside of you will come out during trials. When trials come, your faith is featured in the display window of life. If doubt, bitterness, and resentment are lingering inside of you, they will seep out during the season of trials. God will purge you of anything that does not bring honor to His Name.

God also uses trials to develop your faith. As you know, God does not waste the trials He allows into your life. God will develop your faith to match the assignment He has for you. The testing of your faith will develop perseverance (James 1:2-3). Spiritual muscles are built through the resistance trials produce. Without pain, there is no growth. God will convert the pain into something beneficial to accomplish His plan.

Paul, Silas, and Timothy were immensely encouraged by the faith of the church of the Thessalonians. Their faith had been revealed through the trials they endured. Living out their Christian faith in a pagan culture was not without resistance. God developed their faith to match the assignment He had for them. Standing firm in the Lord was their faith response to living in an anti-Christian environment.

What do the trials you are facing reveal about your faith? Are you standing firm in the Lord? You have the Holy Spirit living in you making intercession on your behalf. Jesus is at the right hand of our Father interceding for you. No need to retreat. Advance through adversity by standing firm in the Lord.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, March 9th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, Standing Firm, Trials.
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March 7th, 2014

Friends Sent by God

“And we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this.” 1 Thessalonians 3:2-3 (ESV)

Paul had a deep abiding love for the church at Thessalonica. The new believers were developing in their faith and understanding of God’s will. After a season of separation, Paul sent Timothy to reconnect with the congregation in order to strengthen and encourage them in the midst of their trials.

Living out the Christian faith in the sin dominating culture of Thessalonica was not easy. The believers were persecuted for their faith in Jesus. The magnetic pull of their former lifestyle continued to pull at them. The believers were unsettled by the persistence of their trials. Timothy invested time and energy in them to strengthen their faith and to encourage their faithfulness.

God does not intend for you to live the Christian life without His enablement. God has empowered you by the Person of the Holy Spirit living in you. Stand firm in your faith by surrendering to the control of the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to fuel your faith and to ignite your enthusiasm.

You need Christian friends to live the life God has for you in this fallen world. Don’t fly solo! Don’t try to accomplish God’s will without the people God brings into your life to encourage you and to strengthen you. Remember, to have a friend, you need to be a friend. As you serve others, watch how God brings godly friends into your life to encourage you along the way.

Take a moment to list and thank God for the Christian friends He has brought into your life.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, March 7th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Encouragement, Friends, Trials.
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February 17th, 2014

Trusting Jesus in Your Storm

“And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. ” Matthew 8:24 (ESV)

Trials have a tendency to sneak up on us like weeds in a flowerbed. We can be living in the land of the familiar and enjoying our daily routine when all of the sudden, we get surprised by an unexpected interruption. Maybe we get an unwanted notice in the mail, or the check engine light in our car comes on, or the doctor walks in the room with a concerned look in his eyes. Life is filled with seasons of uncertainty.

Who do you turn to when trials come into your life? The disciples went to Jesus and woke Him and said, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” We must give them credit at this point. They knew to turn to Jesus. But, Jesus questioned them about their lack of faith and their pressing fear. Why would they be afraid of anything, knowing that Jesus was with them?

Jesus seized the opportunity to demonstrate His power over nature. Jesus rebuked the winds and the waves and it was completely calm. The disciples experienced the demonstration of Jesus’ power.

Whatever trials come our way, remember that Jesus is our sufficiency. The storms of this life can never catch Jesus by surprise.

Jesus is in the boat!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, February 17th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Storms, Trials, Trust.
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February 14th, 2014

Building Your Testimony

“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)

Without a test, there is no testimony.

God allows trials to come into our lives in order to prove the authenticity of our faith. We are like a tube of toothpaste, when squeezed whatever is on the inside comes out. Trials have a way of revealing character. When our faith is tested, we have the opportunity to demonstrate the character of Christ being developed in us. Our testimony is enriched as our faith increases. Learning how to trust God when trials ensue is part of our spiritual formation. God does not waste the trauma that comes into our lives. When difficult circumstances are in view, our faith is fortified.

  • Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that isset before us.” Heb. 12:1 (ESV)
  • “Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.” 2 Thess. 1:4 (ESV)

Review your spiritual journey and identify those hard places in your life that proved your faith. You will find that some of your most meaningful moments with God were during those seasons of intensity and adversity.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, February 14th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Character Development, Testimony, Trials.
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February 13th, 2014

Obtaining God’s Perspective

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5 (ESV)

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!’” Ps. 46:10 (ESV)
  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Prov. 3:5-6 (ESV)

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

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, February 13th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Prayer, Trials, Wisdom.
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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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September 11th, 2013

When You Face 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)

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.

Rejoice is a choice. 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 Pet. 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
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Rejoicing, Trials, Trust.
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July 29th, 2013

Standing Firm in Trials

“Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 3:7-8 (NIV)

God allows trials to come into your life to reveal your faith. Whatever is on the inside of you will come out during trials. When trials come, your faith is featured in the display window of life. If doubt, bitterness, and resentment are lingering inside of you, they will seep out during the season of trials. God will purge you of anything that does not bring honor to His Name.

God also uses trials to develop your faith. As you know, God does not waste the trials He allows into your life. God will develop your faith to match the assignment He has for you. The testing of your faith will develop perseverance (Jas. 1:2-3). Spiritual muscles are built through the resistance trials produce. Without pain, there is no growth. God will convert the pain into something beneficial to accomplish His plan.

Paul, Silas, and Timothy were immensely encouraged by the faith of the church of the Thessalonians. Their faith had been revealed through the trials they endured. Living out their Christian faith in a pagan culture was not without resistance. God developed their faith to match the assignment He had for them. Standing firm in the Lord was their faith response to living in an anti-Christian environment.

What do the trials you are facing reveal about your faith? Are you standing firm in the Lord? You have the Holy Spirit living in you making intercession on your behalf. Jesus is at the right hand of our Father interceding for you. No need to retreat. Advance through adversity by standing firm in the Lord.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, July 29th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Standing Firm, Trials, Victory.
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July 28th, 2013

Triumph in Temptation

“For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.” 1 Thessalonians 3:5 (NIV)

Paul cared about the status of the faith of the church of the Thessalonians. He sent Timothy to encourage them in their faith and to measure their progress. Paul knew the power of the evil one to dilute passion and to diffuse spiritual power. The tempter might have tempted them to return to the lifestyle God had delivered them from.

As you walk with the Lord each day, be alert to the strategy of the evil one to distract you from your passion for God’s will. The enemy will seek to divert your focus from godliness to worldliness, from selflessness to selfishness, and from eternal things to temporal things. Satan’s goal is not to get you to move twenty miles off mission. He just wants you to move an inch today. And then, tomorrow he will seek to get you to move away from God another inch. Before you know it, you will have drifted far from God and lose your passion for the things of God.

  • “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” 2 Thess. 3:3 (NIV)

Stand firm by anchoring your faith to the rock of God’s character. The Lord is faithful. He will not waver in the storms of life. God will not shift in the assault of Satanic attacks on your faith. The Lord will strengthen you in the midst of the battle. He will protect you from the flaming arrows of the evil one. God’s grace is more than sufficient for the temptation you encounter and the battles you fight.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, July 28th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Temptation, Trials, Triumph.
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July 27th, 2013

Faith and Friendship

“We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. You know quite well that we were destined for them.” 1 Thessalonians 3:2-3 (NIV)

Paul had a deep abiding love for the church at Thessalonica. The new believers were developing in their faith and understanding of God’s will. After a season of separation, Paul sent Timothy to reconnect with the congregation in order to strengthen and encourage them in the midst of their trials.

Living out the Christian faith in the sin dominating culture of Thessalonica was not easy. The believers were persecuted for their faith in Jesus. The magnetic pull of their former lifestyle continued to pull at them. The believers were unsettled by the persistence of their trials. Timothy invested time and energy in them to strengthen their faith and to encourage their faithfulness.

God does not intend for you to live the Christian life without His enablement. God has empowered you by the Person of the Holy Spirit living in you. Stand firm in your faith by surrendering to the control of the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to fuel your faith and to ignite your enthusiasm.

You need Christian friends to live the life God has for you in this fallen world. Don’t fly solo! Don’t try to accomplish God’s will without the people God brings into your life to encourage you and to strengthen you. Remember, to have a friend, you need to be a friend. As you serve others, watch how God brings godly friends into your life to encourage you along the way.

Take a moment to list and thank God for the Christian friends He has brought into your life.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, July 27th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, Friends, Trials.
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