"You have the choice of resigning or being terminated, effective immediately." My heart sank. The president of the company had just walked into my office, pointed his finger at me and uttered those words. How could this be happening to me, and what was I going to do? As the director of a retirement community, I lived on the property, so I was losing my job AND my home.
What was the incident that had cost me my job? Reading the Bible and praying for a needy Christian resident on my day off. As a result, I was suddenly without a job, homeless, threatened with a lawsuit, betrayed and slandered. Great fear bombarded my mind. WHAT was I going to do?
What DO we, as Christians, do in the face of such adversity?
I have learned that the tests and trials in life are golden opportunities to glorify and honor our heavenly Father. As we walk in trust, we position ourselves to see Him move on our behalf in mighty, miraculous ways.
Sometimes we wait until God has answered our prayers or brought us through a great trial before we stand up in church and give glory to Him by sharing our testimony. Yet I believe we give Him the GREATER glory when we trust Him and hold fast to His promises without wavering while we are still in the midst of the trial—BEFORE the victory is manifest.
Look at the children of Israel. After they passed through the Red Sea on dry ground and their enemies were swallowed up, they praised and glorified God for His miraculous deliverance. But what did they do BEFORE they passed through the Red Sea?
They were fearful, and they murmured and complained against God rather than thanking Him for past victories and trusting that He would be faithful to deliver them again.
In fact, nearly every time the Israelites were faced with a major obstacle or crisis in the wilderness they grieved God by harboring unbelief in their hearts and murmuring and complaining with their lips. Sadly, those who complained never entered the Promised Land because they never learned how to give God glory in the midst of the tests and trials of life (see Num. 14:26-38; Heb. 3:16-19).
Sarah, on the other hand, is a powerful example of one who received a miracle from God because she gave Him glory in the midst of her trial of barrenness, before she ever conceived Isaac:
"By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised" (Heb. 11:11, NKJV).
When did she judge Him faithful? In the midst of her impossibility, when she reckoned her aged body unable to conceive and when circumstances and nature seemed to be against her.
In both these cases, we know the end of the story. I don't know the end of mine yet—at least I don't know HOW God will miraculously deliver me and turn my situation around for His glory. I was fired just a short time ago and have yet to pass through this painful experience and come out on the other side.
But I have chosen to give Him the GREATER GLORY now by walking in love and forgiveness toward those who have wronged me, by trusting Him to take what the devil meant for evil and turn it around for good, and by believing and holding fast to the promises He has given me, regardless of how things look.
Are you or a loved one going through a great trial? See your situation as a golden opportunity to glorify and honor your heavenly Father. Remember, as you glorify Him in the midst it, you position yourself for great victory. It's your choice.
For the month of August we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!