Daily in the Word
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Daily in the Word is the Radio and Internet ministry of Dr. Paul Chappell, Senior Pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church and President of West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster California. Visit www.lancasterbaptist.org for more information.
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Consider His Invitation—Part 1
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Rejoicing in Trials“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”James 1:1–4When Decius became emperor of Rome in 249 AD, he wanted to unify the vast empire and restore the power over his subjects that had been lost through the years. The plan Decius came up with was to require every Roman citizen to make a sacrifice to the Roman gods. Everyone was required to perform this offering before a magistrate, and receive in return a document certifying that they had complied with the emperor’s order. For those who worshiped many gods, it was a small thing to sacrifice to one more, but for Christians, it was a great test of faith. The penalty for disobeying the edict was death, and while some turned away from their commitment to Christ, many died rather than deny Christ. The Decian Persecution sorely tested the church.Most of us have never faced a life or death choice to deny our faith, but many endure trials and difficulties. Rather than viewing these as unfair or surprising, we should recognize that faithfulness in a world opposed to God will produce trouble. We should recognize that God remains in control, and that there are rewards for those who remain faithful in the face of trials. “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:12). None of us are eager to volunteer for persecution, but when opposition and troubles come, we need to keep our focus on what God is doing, and ensure that our attitudes remain joyful rather than bitter.Today’s Growth Principle:
If we understand the purpose of suffering and the promise of Heaven, we can rejoice even when trials come.
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Date published: 2013-09-19