The topic of "trials", as-in "those sent by the Almighty"; I have (historically) avoided. It has always seemed to me to be a kind of discourse to be AVOIDED. We have a song (hymn?) in our church. One of the lines goes something like; "tempted, tried, and sometimes failing"...speaking of ourselves. My "take" on it, has usually been, "What do we mean by "sometimes"?
I mean isn't it just a tad depressing to recognize the serial nature of collapse after collapse, failure after failure? What gives with the "sometimes" stuff?
To ask, "Will I stand-up under the test?", has always seemed a silly question. It wasn't a question of "if", but "when", the coming collapse, and I had (or have) zero "faith" otherwise!
If you stand up three paper matches into the framework of a very small "tee-pee"...in a hurricane; will they fall down? Uh, yeah, very likely! If you firmly order a jellyfish to stand at attention,...will it? Uh, I doubt it. Is it possible, (after all) to knock over old ladies? Sure! Why not?
So, if I'm the spineless sea-creature, if I'm the flimsy "house" made of paper matches, if I'm the weak-fragile one falling down; where is the margin in ASKING WHETHER I fall down? This never "filed" as a theme for consideration...Why is this "interesting"?
The trials of the LORD, will I stand? Uh, NO! Now what would you like to talk about? And it never "occurred" to me until today or yesterday that the "trials" as a topic, is NOT a question about Adam-in-me, but about Christ-in-me. Who knew?
So, the short version is; if we discuss me-in-myself, or me-all-alone, will I triumph over the struggles of life? Uh, in a word, "No". But that was NOT the real question!
Christ-in-you, the hope of glory. "Glory" (in the Bible) has a lot in common with two words..."light" and "weight". The "weight" of His glory is "heavy". The old-me (in Adam) cannot, under ANY circumstance EVER hold-up under the press of that "weight". The flesh cannot please Him (it's going the wrong direction (!) for one thing). And (oddly) the "old-me" knew (knows) that...and just gave up! Why bother? Are we trying to "find out" what we already know? Need I also jump off a house to "find out" if gravity works?
The whole thing was just bizarre, as a kind of "brain-racket", this idiotic dialogue (with nobody) that I always lose!? No sir, the true discussion isn't about whether (in-Adam) you will fold like a cheap suit when under pressure... we already know that! It is instead, given the fact that you (in-Christ) certainly SHALL bear that "weight" up (one day)...how much can you NOW bear? It is begun!
You see? The good news has legs, uh; two of them! They are: 1. "Rethink your life, start over", which is "repent" in Bible-speak. But why? Because, 2."The new dominion is already begun!", a.k.a. "the kingdom is at hand". That new creation, which is "coming" is ALSO (get this!) "come"! The future is crashing into the present.
In Christ, we do not know (beforehand) how much of the "hope of glory (weight)" you CAN stand. "Potentially" (whatever that implies), it HAS NO "upper limit"!
We use weights to train through resistance. Strength training is meant not to build (so much) "bodies beautiful", but to DO the WORK of lifting! In reality, Jesus Christ BEARS the load. He (in Person) is a bit like "Atlas",the guy (imagined as) bearing weight of the world upon his shoulder. Jesus-coming, is ALSO Jesus-come. Pssst, this is where you come in...
The "trials" are the fly-weight "load", the pee-wee "stress" which is designed and built to "cause" Christ-in-you to stand up UNDER that freight...and it's working!
He keeps adding more weights, not because He's "mean" or "uncaring", heck He hasn't hardly begun to load us! The holy angels (unfallen!) shield their eyes...UNABLE directly to behold His glory as they shout..."HOLY!!!".
If that weight were placed upon me today, I'd be squashed like a bug...but one day, I won"t! Thus, we strength-train for a real future, which is already commenced.
The "good news" of "trials" is that we are (now) freed to thank Him. Why? Is it because we are masochists who love pain? Never! No sir, the loading of that freight of glory...is already at work. The kingdom IS come! We can begin today!
Sure, it's (at this point) baby-steps, sure it's ounces and not pounds, (let's forget TONS just now) of glory-weight...but it IS real! We give thanks for trials! Not because we are twisted lovers of pain, but because (ultimately) we SHALL bear the "weight" unimaginable...being ABLE to stand; EYES OPEN (!) in His presence...shouting WITH the angels! It is THE "sure thing"..and it is begun!