What do we do in the small and great trials in our life?
“But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” 1 Timothy 6:11. The virtues are the fullness of God. We can be “filled with all the fullness of God” by learning to know the depth of the love of Christ. “God is love.” 1 John 4:8. “For this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue … Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5,10-11.
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12.
From the above we can see that the virtues of Christ are eternal life. The virtues are the very opposite of our nature. Fighting the good fight means that you deny yourself by taking up your cross daily, and following Jesus. (Luke 9:23) Then the dying of Jesus will also work in our body “that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” 2 Corinthians 4:10-11.
It is necessary that we fight this good fight “daily.” Every day we meet smaller or greater trials in our life that reveal our content. Either the self-life, the “I,” or the life of Christ, the virtues, will be manifested. Such situations can be very brief. Then it is fitting to say, “Lay hold on eternal life!” The opportunity will pass us by if we are not interested in growing in the virtues of Christ and partaking more of the heavenly life.
At other times the trials can last longer—even for years. Then we are in a “fiery furnace,” a constant cleansing, if we understand the sufferings of Christ. (1 Peter 4:12-13) Then we experience what Paul prayed for: “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy.” Colossians 1:11-12. The Father qualifies us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
During this process this exhortation applies: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time …” 1 Peter 5:6-7. “For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought,” but we do know that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” They work together so we can be “conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:26, 28-29.
Can you imagine anything greater you can attain to here in this life? If you keep this in mind, your afflictions will be light and but for a moment and will work for you a “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.
This article was first published in BCC’s periodical “Hidden Treasures” in October, 1984.
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