There's a song we used to sing at youth group called "Screen Door". It goes somethin' like, "Faith without works is like a song you can't sing. It's about as useless as a screen door on a submarine."

Well, that's true. A screen door on a submarine doesn't do you any good. Same thing with faith. If you're not doing anything with your faith, it's useless. It's almost like you don't even have it. I've had that song stuck in my head all day.


Here comes trouble!

My church is going through some rough times right now. Some major members, including our pastor, left. We're praying for some new members, but it is totally up to God.

Anyway, our temporary pastor preached a sermon today about trials and how we can overcome them. We all face trials at some point in our lives. He told us that it is impossible to step around them, but how we deal with it is what matters.

Trials are predicted. They'll happen at some point in your life. Everyone faces trials. Some people believe that God shields Christians from trials, but that's not how it works. God gives us all trials to test our faith. There isn't anyone on earth who hasn't faced some hard times.

Trials are custom-made and individual. God may not need to test John in the same way he tests you. God sees which areas you need to grow in.

Trials are invisible. There is no way to see them coming. You can't step around them or over them. You have to go through them. Trials can come unexpectedly, when everything is running smoothly. You can't see them coming, otherwise you would run the other way. There isn't a single day that I wake up and say, "Dear God, please make this day really difficult. Please test me today." I don't think ANYONE has ever prayed that.

Trials are innumerable. After you've passed one trial, another one is flying in your face. You've learned something from the first trial, now it's time to learn something new. Trials are like days: they keep coming and coming until God calls you home.