Today’s message focused on a couple of items for which I needed reminding. The one is that trials in our lives are nothing more than lessons God is using to bring us into more of His likeness. The other focus is that reasoning is quite different from discernment. A gentleman I’ve been meeting with is truly struggling with trials in his life presently. As we talked yesterday for a moment, I reminded him that his obedience to God’s leading today will take these trials and turn them into growth lessons which will result in his being more Christ-like. He’s very discouraged with himself presently. I think all of us have been at this point in our lives (more than a couple times!).

This other point about reasoning vs discernment is a real awakening for me. When we are in the midst of deep trials–struggles in our lives, our minds try to give us guidance: flee, fight, ignore, lash out, etc. However, God’s Holy Spirit often gives us a discerning message which doesn’t make sense at the moment, yet, if we listen and obey it, we find a peace in the midst of it. God’s discerning message is to always follow His timeline and not to create our own from our own reasoning. Discernment requires Trust and Obedience. Reasoning requires answers which satisfy our self-thinking.

When Jesus was telling His disciples about what He needed to do: suffer many things, be tested, be disapproved, be rejected and lastly–put to death (Mark 8:21); Peter took him aside to rebuke what He was telling them. However, Peter’s reasoning was way off-base. He hadn’t yet learned to discern–TRUST what Jesus says. This is a huge lesson which all of us must face in life far more than one time. Yet, in so doing, God becomes more and more real and intimate for He is our One True God!

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