Trials Should Cause Us To Soar Above With God

Everybody—Christian or non-Christian, believer or unbeliever, agnostic or atheist—everybody is exposed to trials. No one doubts that some trials can be devastating.  A home or property destroyed by fire is a painful experience. Receiving a call or a reverse 911 to leave your premises can be an unsettling inconvenience. Losing your job can be stressful. Failed marriages and family relations can affect us deeply.
The difference for us as God’s children is not avoiding trials but  learning how to deal with trials. The Bible teaches that trials are not to our detriment but add to our growth (Romans 5:3-5). Kite flying, which use to be a popular recreational activity, will serve as an example. The kite flyer must take in hand the string of the kite and run or begin waving the kite until it begins to lift toward the sky. But to fly a kite there must be wind. Every kite flyer knows that wind is necessary for flying kites. But kites do not rise with the wind but rise against the wind.
This is a fitting analogy for dealing with trials. Here is the point:  Christians will ascend to patience, long suffering and maturity only when we ascend against trials as opposed to being defeated by trials. Ask and answer this question: DO TRIALS MAKE YOU SOAR ABOVE, OR JUST PLAIN SORE?
The Lord tries us in many ways. Sometimes the trials are designed for our personal spiritual growth. Sometimes they are designed for our growth by assisting others. We pray for and reach out to help anyone we can who is hurt economically or spiritually or socially.
Remember in all of your trials there is always GOD’S HELP FROM ABOVE thru the saints who live below.

Dr. Taylor A. McKenzie

The Importance of Arriving At Biblical Truth

How may we be sure that our Christian beliefs and practices are approved of God? I believe that most people who desire to establish and sustain a relationship to Jesus Christ desire the approval of our Heavenly Father. However, it is sometimes interesting to discover how some people arrive at that which they believe to be Biblical truth.
For example, it is not uncommon for some well-meaning people to base their “Christianity” on emotions. In other words, a person feels strongly about something that is done for Jesus and because the strength of the feeling is so dominant, one believes that feeling to be the “truth.”  Thus, there are those who proceed from feeling to fact. By following that procedure one could establish almost any belief as a Biblical fact. Also, by placing feelings first, one betrays the very purpose of the Bible which is to reveal that which is true. (John 17:17). We should base our religious feelings upon Biblical fact and not fact upon our feelings, such as “this has always been the Church’s position” or “We have always taught it this way.”
Then there are those who first believe that “something” is a fact.  And because the belief is a strong one, to them it must be the truth simply because they believe it. Such people attempt to adjust the Bible to their beliefs as opposed to adjusting their beliefs to the Bible or they “create” an inference. The attitude of placing belief before fact has resulted in the accusation that “you can make the Bible anything.” Such an indictment is true if the procedure is from faith to fact to feelings.
The Bible order of following a lifestyle which God approves is: FACT (Biblical evidence), FAITH (believing the evidence), FEELINGS (an emotional response to the evidence). Paul stated it best “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). The Bible way is not feelings first, or belief first, or this is what the church teaches. But Scriptural fact first, then basing our beliefs and feelings upon the facts of God’s Word (John 17:17, John 13:17).
What order do you employ to arrive at Christian truth? Are your beliefs and feelings supported by Biblical fact?    
Dr. Taylor A. McKenzie