Experience.† It is a characteristic we look for in selecting or employing those who provide services for us because we want to be assured that the work will be done correctly and efficiently.† It is a factor that gives us confidence in the advice we receive from others because they are familiar with our type of need and proven to be capable of guiding us to the solution.† It is a trait we seek in others when we begin to form a relationship with them in matters of importance because we need to be able to rely upon them.† Experience is a history of success in the application of knowledge, though it is gained through successes and failures alike.
Christians are called to gain experience through the practical application of the Word of God.† Most every child of God is convinced that God loves them, but to know assuredly that you are loved and kept by Him when in dire circumstances, comes only from experience in trusting Him through such times.† Thank God for experience, for by it we overcome the gravity of personal tragedy and learn to soar on the wings of faith.
According to Romans 5:3-4, experience stands like a bridge between the anguish of patience in tribulation and the blissful state of hope.† The context of the passage reveals a pattern or sequence through which experience is accomplished; it is fashioned by knowingly exercising patience toward God in a time when our faith toward God is being tried.† It is that undetermined period of time when our current circumstances, when taken at face value, seem to contradict what God has promised us.† Yet, because we are convinced that Godís Word is true, we wait for Him to manifest His faithfulness in the matter. And with the successful endurance of a trial, our hope or confidence in God is strengthened for we have experienced the mighty Hand of God and the deliverance He surely accomplishes through Jesus our Lord. Thus, by the cycle of patience in tribulation and its accompanying experience, followed through to the point of having hope, experience is fashioned.
This means of spiritual growth was common
knowledge to the early disciples and was taught accordingly.† As previously referenced, Paul wrote to the
Roman church (Romans 5:1-4) detailing two reasons for rejoicing; (1) because of
the promise of our being partakers with God in glory in Christ Jesus, and (2)
the existence of tribulation and what it accomplishes through faith.† The saints were blessed (and in turn blessed
God) when Peter and John were released from questioning (Acts -30).†
Blessings extracted from tribulation.†
Later, as recorded in Acts , the apostles rejoiced (after being
beaten by authority of the council and ďall the senate of the children of
James boldly declared (James 1:2-4) that falling into manifold testing was grounds for considering the condition to be one of joy because of what the trying of faith (which accomplishes patience) would eventually bring forth.† It would work a spiritual perfection or maturity that would not otherwise be accomplished.† Tribulations are one of the means by which we become Christians experienced in the power and working of God through Christ Jesus the Lord.† It is patience in tribulation that accomplishes experience in all of the blessings that are ours to enjoy through the calling of God.† How precious to my soul has been the counsel of experienced Christians who were able to encourage me through difficult times by their voice of experience.† We can assuredly know that those who have deeply touched our lives in spiritual matters have endured many a battle in which they have learned to overcome through faith in the Word of God.
The Apostle Paul makes it clear that not only are we the blessed recipients of the abundant grace of God, but that we are also the blessed students of the abundant grace of God.† Looking at Titus 2:11-15 we see that it is a solid bridge carefully constructed to span a seemingly uncrossable divide and capable of supporting an ever increasing load.† It is a bridge that must be built in each individual Christianís life by the practical application of the Word of God and yielding to the Holy Spiritís leading.† Each exercise of faith in God is like a steel beam purposefully set.† Each promise believed is like a rivet hammered into place, securing the structure to safely carry itís precious load.
Experience is a must.†
Through the nurture of Godís grace, we grow in experience through successes and failures alike, as we apply the Truth of Godís Word to our lives.