Fire has some unique characteristics. It can melt or it can harden; it can boil or it can burn; it can turn some things black and turn other things white. Like fire, trouble also has some unique characteristics. It drives some people away from God, yet it may draw other people closer to God. Knowing these possible outcomes should alert us to be careful when trouble arises. We see this at work in the experience of the Apostle Paul. After preaching the Good News in Thessalonica and leaving the city, he was concerned that persecution might be taking a toll on the believers there. He feared that Satan had used trouble to rob these believers of their spiritual fervor and cause them to go back to their old way of living to avoid persecution. So he does two things: he prays for them; and he sends Timothy to encourage them in their faith. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians Chapter 3, “We sent [Timothy] to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith, and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through.” So we today must be very careful lest trouble causes us to fall away from being faithful to God and rob us of all the many benefits of living close to our Heavenly Father.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More