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Blessed Is The Man Who Remains Steadfast Under trial

2 eCount it all joy, my brothers,2 when you meet trials fof various kinds, 3 for you know that gthe testing of your faith hproduces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be iperfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial…

Our Heavenly Father also dearly loves us. He promises to give us the crown of life, but James 1:12 says we must first do something. We must persevere under our trials. We must successfully walk through the tests that come our way. We must accept the word that God calls us when those trials come our way - BLESSED.

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The first blessing of remaining steadfast under trial is looking for the kind of approval that can only come from the Lord. It involves focusing on the affirmation that comes from what God thinks of us, what he knows to be true, and his evaluation of our lives.

The ancient Church of Scotland was at this period a little smouldering coal, to all appearance, just about to expire, under overwhelming misfortunes. For a long time its worship had been illegal, and had been celebrated in upper rooms and secret places; and even then it was barely tolerated, and so far as it was known was the object of the bitterest prejudice. Still it had preserved not only the apostolical succession; it had maintained THE FAITH in its purity; and, having been deprived of all its temporalities, was entirely free from the State, and able to act for itself. When Seabury began to think seriously of applying to what were sneeringly called the Jacobite Bishops, for the boon which our mother Church, in her gilded fetters, could not grant, his daring purpose must often have been shaken by anxieties which only prayer and faith could dispel. The obscurity of such a source of Orders, must have been the very least objection which he had to confront and put aside. The whole responsibility rested upon himself.--How his course would be viewed at home, and in England; what effect it would have upon the different parties in America; whether he would be welcomed as a deliverer, or censured and disowned for having transcended his instructions; whether it was an expedient suggested by human wisdom, or was an act of faith in God who had opened an unexpected door-all these questions must have been thoroughly canvassed in the circle of his few advisers, and in the lone watches of the night. His decision, and its issue, show that his head was as clear, as his heart was sound. Those who have never studied the political questions connected with the Scottish Church, cannot possibly estimate aright the delicacy of his position, or the real greatness of his determination. The Church to which he now addressed his petition was almost unknown in America; in England it was scorned; in Scotland it was persecuted. Yet it was this suffering Church, that was now honored to send an apostle to the New World; and she that was ready to perish, was made the blessed means of saving us from [6/7] perishing. How wonderful are the ways of God! When, a century before, that Church was despoiled, and all but destroyed, it seemed an inscrutable providence. But suffering had purified her, and fitted her for a noble work; and after a hundred years it began to appear that when William of Orange--the butcher of Glencoe--became the spoiler of Scotland's Church, he only enabled her to extend herself into another hemisphere, and to become a blessing to the ends of the earth! So, then, the Church which they counted dead and buried, was alive again; and privileged by her Master to do that for America, which the Church of England, with all its outward glory, was not permitted to perform. See, dear brethren, how God overrules the wrath of man, and makes the princes of this world work out His good pleasure, when they suppose they are only doing their own!

When I review this remarkable history, with some of its bearings and consequences; when I observe its ripening fruits, and anticipate its yet unfulfilled results; results that are even now reacting on Scotland, and England too; I cannot but recognise and adore the visible hand of God. And in spite of our present degrading difficulties and awe-suggesting dangers, when I reflect upon this signal proof of His goodness and favor towards us, and compare it with passages in the History of the Primitive Church, and that of the ancient people of God, I cannot but feel that He has called our Church into being for some noble end, and that she is destined to perform some magnificent part in His great plans of mercy to the world. Let it teach us, in all trials, and under all temptations, to have steadfast faith in God!

If the faith was imperfectly held in those times, it may be inferred that the theology of the day, was very loose and defective; for theology is only the faith illustrated and applied. Of our pulpit, though there were not wanting noble defenders of the primitive teaching, which distinguished the theology of England in the 17th century--I fear that Hanoverianism was the prevalent tone. Witnesses for Catholic doctrine were indeed posted here and there throughout the land; but Seabury was their champion and chief, and strange as it may sound--New England was their tower of strength. By the blessing of GOD, those inspiring principles, into which he baptized and catechized and reared his people, have gradually spread through the length and breadth of our Church; and before them the cold rationalism with which it first contended has dwindled away. In spite of the rapid increase of our members, and the almost indiscriminate additions which have been made to our ministry, on account of the wants of our population--it is impossible not to see the most encouraging proofs that sound principles are taking deeper and deeper root, and more and [10/11] more leavening the whole mass of our people. Disorganizers and fanatics among us seem only to develope our strength, and work their own confusion and rebuke; and successive sessions of our great legislature, representing the recent, and the older dioceses ogether, shew that we have, on the whole, an intelligent and faithful laity, the best proof of a sound and working clergy, and an index of what may be hoped from their children, when they shall succeed to the care of the Church, as humble and devoted laymen, zealous priests, or reverend fathers in GOD. For these blessed results, contrasted with a beginning so inauspicious, to whom are we chiefly indebted! I do not forget to acknowledge, first of all, beloved brethren, the HOLY SPIRIT, manifesting His presence with us; guiding us into all truth, and causing us to take root downward and bear fruit upward. I do not forget the sanative and plastic influence of a primitive ritual, correcting and amending the abuses of those who would administer it unfaithfully, and like a living stream clearning itself, as it goes on, of all that would discolour its brightness. Nor do I forget the noble labors of Bishop HOBART; a prelate to whom, under GOD, our theology owes more directly, than to any other man, its purification and the practical energy with which it has been imbued.--But I remember that Hobart wore the mantle of Seabury, and ever rejoiced to bear testimony that the principles which he afterwards proclaimed throughout the land, were witnessed, and carried into consistent practice, from the beginning of his episcopate, by the first Bishop of Connecticut.

The blessed Abu Bakr was a model of genuine belief and he always feared about his end. Those who are not anxious about their ending will meet an end to be anxious about. With the same understanding, Umar ibn al-Khattab was also concerned about his fate.

So many times from the past to present, God Almighty blessed people who wholeheartedly turned to him in the midst of troubles and misfortunes with extra graces and bestowals, and blessed them with a new revival. Today as well, He may make the present generation bound for such an awakening. This is as long as we correctly understand the meaning of troubles and misfortunes and turn to Him in utter devotion, in a spirit of destitute imploration and conscious of our state of impotence and poverty before Him.

Answer: People gathered around such a lofty ideal as making the face of humanity smile and letting the breezes of happiness blow worldwide have so far seriously endeavored in order to realize this ideal. So it seems that God Almighty has rendered their endeavor fruitful, let their efforts yield a thousand fold fruits, favored them with showers of blessings, and made them successful on their chosen path. For these achievements, which are but the results of Divine favor, to continue, the sincerity of purpose and commitment to the core ideal of this issue must remain. May God protect us, if we ignore the showers of blessings pouring down on us abundantly, lay personal claim to the achievements we are blessed with, or let the means replace the purpose; for then we will also fall like all previous societies did. Actually, when the underlying reasons for the losses experienced in different periods by Muslim societies are thoroughly investigated, such deviations of thought will turn out to be the cause.

Answer: Above all, considering their essential values, believers should not change attitude in accordance with conditions. Their manner is their honor, even in the face of the most relentless and unfair attacks. They must remain steadfast on their righteous course. People who wish to understand and read them should never face a contradictory fact that might raise doubts in their minds. Otherwise, believers cannot be convincing and cannot make headway in letting others feel the inspirations of their spirit.


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