Years ago when our children were young we would put them to bed with “ Patch the Pirate” music. In our church we would also have children drama/ musicals that were written by Ron Hamilton who had trademarked “ Patch the Pirate” material. One of Ron’s earliest songs was “Rejoice in the Lord.” Ron wrote this song back when he first was diagnosed with cancer in his left eye. Eventually he lost that eye and began to wear a patch, thus he became known as " Patch the Pirate."
Though Ron and Shelly did not understand all that God was doing at that moment, they learned to trust in God’s gracious hand and let their sovereign God do what He knew was best.
After going through such tragedy as they looked back, they were able to see that God was preparing their family for a lifetime of musical ministry to children as “Patch the Pirate.” As you hear of Ron’s testimony, it is clear that he would not change one step of their trial and he is careful to give God the glory, rejoicing in the Lord.
The words of the song have now become very special to those who are going through trials:
“God never moves without purpose or plan, When trying His servant or molding a man. Give thanks to the Lord, though your testing seems long; In darkness, He giveth a song.
“O rejoice in the Lord, He makes no mistake. He knoweth the end of each path that I take. For when I am tried and purified, I shall come forth as gold.”
When God sends times of trial they are not meant to be enjoyed but to be endured and enlisted. And if God’s children will enlist them as lessons to be learned then they can trust God, in time they will reveal the divine purpose of such difficulty. While we may not always fully comprehend what God is doing at the moment, we can understand that God never moves by guesswork , but with purpose to shape us, cleanse us, and prepare us for the greatest blessing- Christlikeness!
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:2–4)
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” (1 Peter 1:7)
When we go through times of testing, trouble and trial, we must faithfully ask the Lord to help us see His hand as He works to purge us, strengthen us, and clarify His plan for our future. When we do this, He enables us to face each trial and trouble with a sense of His purpose and trust for His good plan for us.
“Now I can see, testing comes from above; God strengthens His children and purges in love. My Father knows best, and I trust in His care; through purging more fruit I will bear.”
The ultimate goal in God-allowed trials is to bring us to the place where we can bear more fruit ( John 15). The testing, the trials, the learning to depend upon Him all work together to make you and me more productive in God’s harvest field and to give us an amazing testimony to bring glory to our Lord! After all God mandates us to bear fruit and in so doing we will bring glorify Him in it.
Whatever trials we have passed through recently. Whatever trials we are enduring this very hour? They can help us grow in our relationship with the Lord, bring us to maturity in the faith, strengthen our resolve, and produce humility of spirit?
Remember that God allows these times of trial to make us holy and our enemy the devil will be at the same time tempting us to be unholy. When we experience our spiritual fruitfulness increasing, then we can join in singing, “O rejoice in the Lord, He makes no mistake. He knoweth the end of each path that I take. For when I am tried and purified, I shall come forth as gold.”
Terry has been the Senior Pastor of Liberty for 30 years. He and his wife, Karen, have 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 1 spoiled dog named Cooper.