Several weeks ago, I dropped something on the floor. When I bent over to pick it up, I lost my balance and fell headlong into the kitchen cabinet, thus causing a small, but offensive wound on my bald head.
Needless to say, I was not a happy camper!
Life can be full of wounds caused by various "off-balance" situations. Some by accident, and others of our own making. Regardless, we are not happy about any of them.
Paul, in writing to the Christians at Thessalonica, gave standing orders for the church in which he said: "Rejoice always ... in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:16; 18).
You may remember some years ago, there was a television commercial advertising Aqua Velva aftershave lotion in which a man was slapped hard across the face by someone. He responded by saying, "Thanks! I needed that!" Though such a slap across the face is hardly something I would thank my attacker for, the truth remains that life's adverse situations can be praiseworthy.
In writing to Christians who were suffering severe persecution for their faith, the apostle Peter wrote: "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:6-7).
Note the words "if need be," and ask yourself, "When was the last time I had a trial of any proportion, in which I said, "Thanks, Lord! I really needed that?" My guess would be never!
We would prefer that everything in our life go smoothly. We don't ever want to face hard times. We would prefer that our life be the proverbial "bed of roses." In reality, life just isn't that way.
Lest we become discouraged in the face of adversity, we need to understand that even though God does not create our problems, He will always use them for our benefit, when we allow Him to.
Peter declared that the trials of our faith will always make us stronger, as faith that is tested is strengthened.
When we endure the test with grace and humility, and learn to give thanks to God for the fact that He is in control of the situation, God will receive the honor and glory that He deserves.
So, the next time you fall on your head, as I did, don't curse the wound, but give thanks unto God as He rubs the sore spot with the balm of His comfort and grace that will see you through the discomfort, and bring you through a better person because of it.
Jerry L. Dunn is pastor of Oak Street Baptist Church. To read other articles visit www.oakstreetbaptistchurch.com.