Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. In today’’s broadcast, we share some further insights into the difficult periods of life, where we are undergoing intense trials and tribulations and can see no end to them.
Now sit back and enjoy the message for today.
The Necessity of Trials and Tribulations
Said Jesus, ". . . In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John Chapter 16, Verse 33
Brothers and sisters, what is the relationship between doing the Father’’s will and undergoing trials and tribulations? Why are trials and tribulations necessary? How do we master them? When we seek to do the Father’’s will, we are seeking to become perfect in spirit as he is perfect.
In this life, trials and tribulations apparently are a part of the transformation process of moving from the human self to the divine self. Why is it necessary to have the stimulus of trials and tribulations to move us towards the divine life? "Is unselfishness--the spirit of self-forgetfulness--desirable? Then must mortal man live face to face with the incessant clamoring of an inescapable self for recognition and honor. Man could not dynamically choose the divine life if there were no self-life to forsake. Man could never lay saving hold on righteousness if there were no potential evil to exalt and differentiate the good by contrast."
It requires quite a bit of effort to get down to the bedrock of our souls, where our true loyalties and desires reside. It requires a powerful stimulus to cause mortal man to desire and choose a life of self-forgetfulness. If we are cold and hungry, we have a powerful incentive to seek warmth and food. If we are comfortable and full, no incentive exists to do other than what we are doing. And herein lies the problem: The heavenly Father loves each of us; we are precious in his sight. He wants us to survive the moral life, but we can survive it only if we choose his will. We can survive if we forsake the self-life for a life of divine progression. We are fully rooted in the self-life, and we resist the effort to be uprooted.
We are ingenious in responding temporarily to the Father’’s will when we hit a bump in the road of life, but as soon as the road becomes smooth we resort back to old patterns. We must develop that attitude of mind and spirit where the doing of the Father’’s will is supreme. Whether the weather of life is fair or stormy, we must yield supreme loyalty to his will at all times, under all circumstances.
How does the Father induce us to choose his will, eternally? Well, there is an old saying: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can’’t make him drink." But if you give him salt, he will become thirsty, and he will drink. Likewise, the Father cannot make us drink the waters of life, but he can give us the salt of trials and tribulations, which will make us thirsty for the waters of life.
The Father wants us to be happy, where we’’ve chosen his will and can enjoy the indescribable pleasure of doing his will. But in order to continually enjoy the Father’’s happiness, we must place this state above our temporal happiness, our self-will, which is a temporary state of happiness. Consider this: The (divine spirit) ““does not disregard the personality values of the egoistic motive but does operate to place a slight preference upon the altruistic impulse as leading to the goal of human happiness and to the joys of the kingdom of heaven. Placing a slight preference upon the altruistic impulse as leading to the goals of human happiness and to the joys of the kingdom of heaven in concert with the trials and tribulations of life conspire to move us towards doing the Father’’s will. ". . . The world is not to be regarded as an enemy; . . . the circumstances of life constitute a divine dispensation working along with the children of God." Thus, we see again that the trials and tribulations play a pivotal role in inducing us to choose the Father’’s will, and in doing so, to choose survival. Again, "The greatest affliction of the cosmos is never to have been afflicted. Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation." And it is this wisdom that is acquired from being constantly afflicted by the trials and tribulations of life, and after being acquired induces the human will to choose the Father’’s will.
And now that we have established the necessity of trials and tribulation, what is the best way to endure them? How shall we quiet the emotional onslaught that arises in response to these disagreeable experiences? Shall we rage at the night of trials and tribulations, shaking our fists in their faces, as it were? Or should we resign ourselves to them without hope? When an infant is given the necessary immunizations to keep him safe from common childhood diseases, he screams at the top of his lungs. But his cry is short lived, and soon he forgets that he even received the injection. When this same child becomes an adult, he will receive injections that are designed to protect him from common infections such as flu. But the adult willingly submits to the injection without a hint of protest. It is the same person who as an infant screamed at the top of his lung but who now as an adult barely pays attention to the slight discomfort associated with the injection. There is a great differential between the status of the infant and the adult. The adult is able to more fully appreciate the value of the injection while the infant is not and therefore the emotional reaction is different.
In the moral and spiritual arena, we face a similar situation. Trials and tribulations do for us in an analogous way what the immunization does for us in the material realm. They provide protection from the overwhelming dominance of the material nature, protection that could not be provided in any other way. The trials and tribulations of life prevent us from the greatest material plague, of remaining a purely temporal material creature doomed to perish. Once we understand their necessity, we can submit to them without undue emotional reactions similar to the way we submit to the flu vaccine. We don’’t like it, but the value of it overrides any serious emotional response to it. We can enjoy spiritual peace in the very midst of trials and tribulations.
How shall we achieve peace in this life? We can achieve this peace by faith accepting it from Jesus. He says, "Peace I leave with you, my peace give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." "The peace which Jesus gives his children on earth is that very peace which filled his own soul when he himself lived the mortal life in the flesh and on this very world."
"The peace of Jesus is the joy and satisfaction of a God-knowing individual who has achieved the triumph of learning fully how to do the will of God while living the mortal life in the flesh. The peace of Jesus' mind was founded on an absolute human faith in the actuality of the divine Father's wise and sympathetic overcare. Jesus had trouble on earth, he has even been falsely called the "man of sorrows," but in and through all of these experiences he enjoyed the comfort of confidence that empowered him to proceed with his life purpose in the full assurance that he was achieving the Father's will. So we see that even though we must proceed through the trials and tribulations of this life, we can enjoy the spiritual peace that Jesus offers us.
By submitting to the trials and tribulations of life, we gain those spiritual values and meanings that constitute the living the divine life, and thus ensuring survival for our souls. By submitting to the trials and tribulations of life, we conquer them. We conquer them because each one that we submit to according to the Father’’s will, that is with faith, trust, and hope, we receive an additional revelation of truth, beauty, and goodness of the Father’’s love. We drain these experiences of their moral and spiritual values, and this constitutes the conquering of the trials and tribulations of life.
This concludes today's message on understanding why trials and tribulations are necessary. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.