Any sin or struggle we may have as Christians can be traced to a lack of faith. We forget who God is, how big He is, and when trials come we fear them. This leads to a series of miserable self-preservation attempts because we’re afraid of discomfort. We push God away and try to put ourselves in His place, thinking we can do a better job. But in seeking material comforts, we forget that the Bible teaches the only thing we have to fear is separation from God’s love. No earthly discomfort can compare with eternal separation from God.
Paul wrote from prison in the midst of persecution, “My God will supply all your needs according to the riches in Christ Jesus.” But what are we supposed to make of that statement when Christians in Africa are starving to death? God isn’t promising to make our lives easy and comfortable. He promises to supply us with all we truly need. As Satan tempted Christ with food–a basic necessity of human life–Christ responded “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” We’re so afraid of what this world can do to us that we lose sight of our one true need. All of creation groans for Christ, yet we would trade our birthright for a few fleeting minutes of false comfort. We forget that without God our lives are nothing more than a meaningless series of day and nights leading to eternal torment.
God uses our circumstances to makes us more like Him. Christ desires to present us spotless and blameless before God, but we would trade in eternal love for a false sense of security. We would trade God’s purifying fire for fleeting pleasures that lead straight to Hell. Following God is dangerous and scary, but James tells us we should consider it all joy when we undergo trials because trials produce endurance. Rather than fearing the trials, we should rejoice, because the fires of sanctification are infinitely better than the fires of Hell.
In Christ all of our blessings–no matter how small–and trials–no matter how great–teach us God is faithful. God is refining us, His saints, so He can one day say to us, “Well done, my good and faithful servants.”