March 1, 2019

Dear Brethren,

I was reading a very beautiful letter recently written by one of our Church members. This member has had severe health problems for several years. I’m very pleased to tell you that their health has improved substantially in the last few weeks. I could see their joy and happiness just reading the opening sentence of their letter. They wrote, “Isa 53:4; 1 Peter 2:24, What precious knowledge, what amazing unmerited blessings! I just want to give you a quick update on my health…” At the end of their letter this person wrote, “Only a loving God can heal like this… I remember your comments about Job in the sermon last Sabbath. There was no rejoicing in the trial, but joy in the knowledge that came from it.”

ANY trial can be difficult for us, and yet, we see the following written in the book of James…

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4).

When facing a trial, counting everything as “JOY,” can seem like a hard task. Most likely, all of us have asked the question, “WHY?”, when we experience painful trials. “WHY?” is the proper question to ask rather than, “WHY, ME?” There’s a difference between the two questions as we approach God’s throne! One thing for certain, God’s people can always know that whatever the situation, they’re NEVER overlooked or forgotten. “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ ” (Hebrews 13:5)

As we read in the book of James (quoted above), we see that the “trying” of our FAITH should be producing something positive. That’s what our Bibles tell us! Verse 3 shows that the trying of our faith works PATIENCE, if we’re using His Spirit. “Patience” is one of the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit.

Brethren, as we approach God’s Holy Days, we might find personal trials and tests to be on the increase. In the number of years we’ve been in the Church of God, I’ve known that to be the case. However, God has a plan for us that’s well worth it in the end!

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

3 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever (Daniel 12:3).

Please have a wonderful Sabbath day.

Your Brother in Christ,

Gary Liebold

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