January 18

“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

“God gets His greatest victories out of apparent defeats. Very often the enemy seems to triumph for a little, and God lets it be so; but then He comes in and upsets all the work of the enemy, overthrows the apparent victory, and as the Bible says, ‘turns the way of the wicked upside down.’ Thus He gives a great deal larger victory than we would have known if He had not allowed the enemy, seemingly, to triumph in the first place. . . . If there is a great trial in your life today, do not own it as a defeat, but continue, by faith, to claim the victory through Him who is able to make you more than conqueror, and a glorious victory will soon be apparent. Let us learn that in all the hard places God brings us into, He is making opportunities for us to exercise such faith in Him as will bring about blessed results and greatly glorify His name.” (Streams in the Desert)

Our current understanding of “trial” is from Middle English in the 1570s when it came to mean “examining and deciding of the issues between parties in a court of law.” It was not long before it was extended to describe any ordeal. The phrase “trial balloon” translates the French ballon d’essai, and was used in 1826 to designate a small balloon sent up immediately before a manned ascent to determine the direction and tendency of winds in the upper air. My response to adversity says less about me, and far more about my Father. Each time I encounter great difficulty someone goes on trial, but contrary to popular opinion, I am the star witness, not the defendant. I take the witness stand as I endure hardship; testimony comes less from what I say and more from what I do. Whether they will admit it or not, both acquaintances and strangers judge the direction and tendency of the Father by what I reveal when put to the test. My responsibility and opportunity in adversity is to testify well the grace and glory of God.

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