This past Thanksgiving was like any other. Relatives visiting from out of town, 2 or 4 (maybe 4) servings of turkey and pumpkin pie, and enjoying what we are thankful. So what’s the problem? Actually, there isn’t a problem, because we all have something to be thankful during the holidays let alone everyday. Throughout this past year however and especially over thanksgiving, I really began to think about what I was really thankful for. Family? Of course. Friends? Absolutely. My girlfriend. Oh yeah. My education? Without a doubt. My job as a writer at Geeks Under Grace? Heck yes! This list can go on and one without no end in sight. With all these great people and good things in life that I am thankful for, I was also thankful for some things that are quite unusual, some things that Christians and people in general would be surprised by.
I am thankful for the trials and tribulations God has put me through.
Sounds out of the norm, right? Who would want to be thankful for all the bad things that happen in their life? For all the times they were down, depressed, and felt alone? I am thankful for these because I would not be the man that I am today. As Thanksgiving was coming up I thought about all that had happened within the past year, where I was just a mess in my relationship with God. Academically, socially, and spiritually, my life was falling apart inside and out. For nearly 7 months I chose to blame God than trust in Him during trials and tribulations. Yet despite my brokenness, despite how I responded and acted towards what God was putting me through, He still brought me out of it, gave me a second chance, and since then I have put him first when times of trouble came, minor or major.
Throughout the Scriptures, the Apostles cover the importance of trials and tribulation and how we endure it for God…
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” – Romans 12:12
And my personal favorite, “Count it all joy, my brothers,when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4
The trials that God puts all of us through, should not go overlooked. I am sure that they never were overlooked by the apostles. In fact, they greatly rejoiced during their trials because they had God at the center and God always brought them out of their troubles, no matter how long it took and no matter the physical and emotional pain they suffered.
Some of us may see our past trials as a dark time in our lives. It could have been a time where you were like Job where almost everything was taken away from you. It could have been a time where you were like Joseph where your family betrayed you. It could have been a time where you were like David where you paid a high price for disobeying God to do what you wanted. Within all these trials and tribulations of Biblical figures, God was there with them and He is still is during ours.
I am not saying that you should belittle or disregard the blessings God has given you or the people that are in your life that you love and care for. What I am saying is to always remember how far you have come your trials, to thank God for your trials, and to to be ready for whatever comes next as you hold fast to God.
Trey Soto holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from Biola University, emphasis in Interpersonal/Rhetorical Theory. He has been a Film Critic/Analysis for over a year at Geeks Under Grace and other websites such as Temple of Geek. In his spare time, he enjoys comic book literature, screenwriting, production assistant freelancing, photography, cosplay, and hosting his own film podcast T.V. Trey on Podbean and iTunes.
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