March 5, 2021

Dear Brethren,

Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread are quickly approaching. Sometimes, God’s people will experience an even greater number of trials during this time of year. Satan the Devil would love to discourage us to the point of not taking the Passover, or at very least to observe it in an “unworthy manner” (I Corinthians 11:27-29). God’s Holy Day plan reveals real hope for us and for mankind. We must never forget the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who gave His life for us, paying the penalty for our sins.

Tonight, I am sending an excellent “Personal” article from the Good News magazine, dated February,1960. Mr. Armstrong addresses the subject of “trials.”

Please have a good Sabbath, everyone!

Your Brother in Christ,

Gary Liebold

 

Good News

February 1960

Vol. IX, Number 2

Heart to Heart Talk with the Editor

SOME Seem to think God’s people never encounter difficulties, meet trials or tests, but are blessed continually with smooth sailing!

Because this great and important work of God, conducted through His called human servants, has had to survive a long and severe series of crises and tests of faith, a few used to conclude, “Well, if it has met with some trouble, and is in a crisis, I guess it isn’t God’s work after all. I guess God has deserted it.” And then they proceeded promptly to desert it themselves, just when it needed their help the most!

Does the Bible teach smooth sailing for true Christians whom God is using? Did the men of God, whose lives pleased God, as recorded in the Bible, have only an easy time of it, or were they constantly meeting trials, tests, troubles of every sort — being continually forced to cry out to God for deliverance?

Listen to God’s own instruction:

“MANY are the afflictions of the RIGHTEOUS: but the Eternal delivereth him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19).

“For I was envious of the arrogant, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked … They are not in trouble as other man … Behold these are the ungodly who prosper in the world; they increase in riches … For all the day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning” (Ps. 73:3-14).

“We must through MUCH TRIBULATION enter the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).

“ALL that will live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION” (II Tim. 3:12).

“If we SUFFER, we shall also reign with Him” (II Tim. 2:12). “For as the SUFFERINGS of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether WE BE AFFLICTED, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the ENDURING OF THE SAME SUFFERINGS WHICH WE ALSO SUFFER” (II Cor. 1:5-6).

But is God unfair? Does He hate Christians and punish them, while He loves the ungodly and prospers them? NOT AT ALL!

There is great purpose in the trials, tests, tribulations, and sufferings the Christian must endure. For these are the very means of strengthening CHARACTER — of developing fine, upstanding, strong Christians.

God does not BLESS THE UNGODLY with wealth — they acquire it usually in one or both of two ways: by setting their heart and mind on acquiring it, and following through this purpose to the exclusion of all else, until without realizing it, the pursuit of MONEY becomes the pursuit of their god, destroying the soul; or by dishonest means.

But God does bless those who seek Him FIRST — not always with great money wealth, but always, in the end, with material prosperity they never would have had otherwise. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness,” admonished Jesus, “and all these things (material prosperity in shelter, food, clothing, etc.) shall be added unto you.” That is Jesus’ PROMISE. God loves to see His servants prospering. So He says through David and John. He corrects and chastens every son whom He loves. He allows His true children to suffer much — to fall into troubles, difficulties, to face trials and tests for their strengthening. But if we ENDURE these tests, hard though they may be — and if we seek FIRST our God, His righteousness, and His Kingdom, putting material interests second in our hearts, then in His own due time God will always prosper His children even in a material way!

“But WE GLORY IN TRIBULATIONS also: knowing THAT TRIBULATION WORKETH PATIENCE” (Rom. 5:3). Therefore it produces GOOD in, and for us.

“My brethren, COUNT IT ALL JOY WHEN YE FALL INTO DIVERS TEMPTATIONS” — alternate translation: “TRIALS.” “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience” (Jas. 1:2-3).

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning THE FIERY TRIAL WHICH IS TO TRY YOU, as though some strange thing had happened unto you: but rejoice” (I Peter 4:12-13).

Moses suffered affliction in order to lead the children of God, choosing this rather than the riches of the king’s palace and the pleasures of sin for a season.

David suffered constant criticism and false accusation, his enemies continually tried to unseat him, and his trials were so great sometimes it seemed God would NEVER come to his rescue — yet God always did! Truly these trials teach us to be PATIENT — for it often seems an eternity before God finally delivers us.

God chose Paul to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, and the Lord said, “I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake” (Acts 9:16). And late in life Paul wrote: “In all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in inprisonments” — (people probably would call Paul a crook, racketeer, an imposter and a jailbird today) — “in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings” etc. (II Cor. 6:4-6). Paul outlined more of his troubles and sufferings in II Cor. 11:23-28.

Perhaps a chosen servant of God may be called upon to endure more trials, troubles, and tests of faith than other Christians — but every Christian shall suffer persecution, and meet fiery trials, sorrows, troubles, tests of faith. All our readers who are Christians will understand. Let us not murmur or grumble.

Let us have FAITH, and endure in our faith PATIENTLY. And above all, LET US PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER, and help one another!

Brethren, continue to stand loyally by this great work of God now encircling the world! Let us continue to pray earnestly for one another, and we shall march forward through Christ to great victory!

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