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Saturday, September 3, 2016

When Faith Meets the Trials

I have reached the point where the attacks come from every area of life. I am not going to describe the intricate details here. Because if I will go into the details, I'll start crying. I can say that I was never that close walk away from my faith and from the Lord.

A few months ago I wrote about tragedies and negativity. I know that all people experience trials. However, things have been so hard in the past few months that I am wondering if my trials which I am enduring now will not be over until I reach the other side of heaven: perhaps not.
It's also been harder seeing how other people's  lives have changed: many got married, some got different jobs, others started dating. Some people got engaged.
Meanwhile, here I am struggling with day-to-day life.  I am the oldest person in my Bible Study group who is still single. I feel out of place when people start to talk about relationships. It also seems to me that they look down on those who are single as if we are second-class Christians. Nowhere in the Bible, it says that married people have superiority in God's eyes.
For many in the US/Canada, Christianity became sort of social club/entertainment/hobby: some will say if it's hard it's not God's will.

The  cost

Can may pinpoint the cost of their faith. Christianity is the most persecuted faith in the world. Many have to flee for their lives. They have to stay every day in different places. They may never see their families ever again., just like Judith. They get dishonored by the families. Many don't have places to worship. Many ae afraid to go to church because they may get killed. Some have to witness murders of other believers. In my opinion, the hardest plight is the one in which a believer has to witness multiple murders of his/her loved ones, including church family, and then live fleeing from place to place.
Meanwhile, in North America church goers complain about menial things: communion cups are not filled enough/too much juice, pew seats, choir was not entertaining enough, music was not good enough, air conditioning, not enough programs, not enough tea/coffee after the service, not enough food for potluck, carpets, wall color, screen angle, and many other menial things. I believe that some people have the attitude of the church like a service station: to get what they want.  That's why prosperity gospel flourishes.
According to the prosperity gospel, I am a huge failure. But according to The Bible, I am not. I believe that a big part of my trials is because of my faith.
I don't think a comfortable Christian life here will yield many, if any, rewards in heaven.
Those of us who don't have a family will get one. The health will be restored.
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds"  James 1:2

Looking up to heven


  1. Yes,I feel the same.Gospel does not promise us what we want in this world.(success,money,many friends,marriage,children,comfortable life,great career etc)

    But if we have true faith in Jesus, relationship between God remains.What Gopel promises us is this.We may loose many things in our life,but even when we are all alone,God is still there for us.

    Reading christian media in Japan,I got to know how many christians are persecuted in the world.

    And many serious believers in 1st world seem to feel that they cannot fit in modern church culture which pursue success and entertainment anymore,I feel.

    Missionary of my church(pastor's wife)said one time that two things happens to those who are chosen by God.

    One is that they have to experience many trials.Another is that they cannot live a life which they want.Because their life is not their own anymore.

    I agree with her,and this is also why I feel that you are chosen by God.

    I hope to pray for you,your family and Russian christians who are under persecution.God bless.


    1. I agree with you, Sanae, trials are a part of our Christian life. I may face bigger trials ahead of me.
      We don't know what lies ahead of us. The Lord does know. Thank you for your prayers.

  2. Dear Irina,

    Thank you so much for your honest sharing. I am so sorry to hear that you have felt you as a single woman are treated like a second-class citizen. Sometimes, I also feel like I am a second class citizen because I am a childless woman on this earth. As you and Sanae rightly said, God does not promise us the "fulfilled, perfect, and rich" life but most often our "barrenness" and our very lacking, sorrowful and desperate part will be used by His mysterious Hands to bless/encourage/heal other people around us. We don't know how but He knows. And I strongly believe (as He has been using you for His glory), He will use you in a special way,,,probably through the valley of tears. I will cheer you up.

    p.s. By the way, do you know that Sanae wrote to me, you look like a lavender flower? When I heard this, I thought she described your being so well. Yes, you ARE a delicate and beautiful lavender in a field, my dear Irina.

    with love,

    1. Dear Kinuko,

      Thank you for your comment. I liked the fragrance of lavender since I was a child.
      At this point I have to live day by day. I didn't know that Sanae told you about the flower.
      I cannot wait to see the Garden in Heaven. Bible describes the presence of the trees in New Jerusalem.
      Thank you for your comment.

      with love,

  3. Dear Irina,
    I feel so deeply for you! You know, when I was younger, I became disappointed in God because He didn't make things turn out the way I wanted them to. I had wanted for Him to cause some handsome, godly young man to become interested in me and pursue a relationship/friendship with me, later leading to marriage. When nobody was interested in me (at least nobody I considered worthy), I became very lonely and felt very abandoned. I reacted in an extreme fashion, and for several years of my life, I did throw out Christianity and God. I made horrible choices that have left deep scars and from which I am unable to completely recover at this point (though of course I am making progress).

    So, my counsel to you is this: don't be like me. Be strong and persevere this trial, for if you do, you will come out on the other side laughing and rejoicing because of all the good things God will create out of it.

    I think of other godly, single women (who also never had children): Joy Ridderhof (Gospel Recordings), Gladys Aylward (missionary to China), Joanne Shetler (missionary to the Balangao people in the Philippines), Florence Nightingale (nurse and health care activist/reformer), etc. Being single is a gift. Use it for God. Of course it's hard, but God says to be content in whatever state we find ourselves in. So, you should practice contentment. I think I'm learning the same lesson as you, just in different terms. Every time I think a complaining thought about my situation, I need to think grateful, content thoughts, giving praise and thanks to God for what He's given me.

    Thank you for sharing this. I agree with what you wrote about churches sometimes focusing on menial things, and I understand how frustrating that is! Do you think God wants you to find a different congregation to fellowship with? I wonder where He might be leading you... It's exciting!

    1. Dear Jessica,
      Thank you for your comment. Right now I am at the point of my life where everything seems like it fa.
      I sure have been through the trials before, but never through such where every area of my life is under the fire.
      Its' interesting that you also mentioned changing churches. I might be moving to anther part of the country within next year or two.
      You are not the first one to mention the change of churches. The Lord may be leading me that way. I'll do that if I move to another city.

  4. Hi Irina!
    I stumbled with your blog and read something I could have written a couple of months ago...

    You see, I'm 27 not married, not engaged, not dating, and I think that there´s not a man I could be married with... My dad passed away 5 months ago, and life has been hard, many things have happened...

    But all these things have helped me to see that His mercies are new every morning, and that He is good always. We can wait in Him. Prayer has been my comfort through this season. I pray constantly that I may feel His presence and love with me. He has been faithful, I´ve learned to love Him in a new way because He has been more beautiful and awesome than the earthly things (though they´re good things) yearn for.

    Pray alot, delight in Him, ponder in His words... and never stop thinking He is good and that He loves you! And He wants us to be single now, not because we´re less, but because that His perfect and good will for us right now...

    And yes, we need to pray alot for our chutches, here in Mexico, that happens often, we´re more worried about those things instead of being willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel, for the lost souls... we need to pray, we need to be faithful right where we are... But remember, without Him, we can do NOTHING... let Christ liveand Irina be crucified :)

    1. Ola Almita!
      Welcome! Thank you for the encouragement. Thank you for coming to my blog!
      The hardest part for me is to come t terms that I may never see my family again. You see I am the only believer, to my knowledge, in my family.
      It's so refreshing to meet believers from different countries. God bless you :)