Second Thoughts: Be Thankful and Get Ready for Trials!

“Now that Thanksgiving is coming you should meditate on those things: “How much do I appreciate the amazing privilege to be in the church of God?”  – Mr. Hernandez

In assembly this week, the mention of Thanksgiving by Mr. Hernandez got me thinking. We certainly have much to be thankful for. God continuously pours out many physical blessings on us in great abundance. Our warm, cozy homes that shield us from the elements, our tanks of gas that continue to be filled, and our tables that never go empty, offer small illustrations of these blessings. However, Mr. Hernandez challenged the students to look beyond the physical blessings, and be grateful for the opportunity to be called to be a part of the Church of the Most High God and to receive the knowledge of truth.  It truly is an amazing privilege! But Mr. Hernandez gave us more to consider…

“God is going to test you. Be absolutely sure of that…The thing is that you have received much, and God is going to see, ‘What are you going to do with everything you have received?’”

Mr. Hernandez pointed to Luke 12:48 which states: “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required…”. When I think about all the blessings I have received from God in my own life, and the gifts He continues to give, I often think about this verse. It brings to mind the responsibilities that come with the blessings, as well as the tests and trials. Mr. Hernandez pointed out that this does not mean we should be afraid, rather by knowing that we will undoubtedly be tested we can better prepare for it.  So how do we prepare for trials? How can you be sure you will pass the test?

“If you neglect your relationship with God – day by day prayer and take enough time to [do] it…If you neglect that…you get straight A’s in all the classes but you are not developing your relationship with Jesus Christ and His Father, it will not be enough. That’s the foundation, and He will help you succeed if you have the right order of priorities”

First things first, Mr. Hernandez advised the students to establish their priorities. I take this to mean that we must know what matters most to us and we must decide how those things should impact our lives from day to day. Mr. Hernandez told the students “You must develop your relationship with God”, making time to fulfill your priestly responsibilities to offer the morning and evening sacrifices (our prayers in the spiritual sense).  I took note of Mr. Hernandez’s warning: “You are going to face a world that is rotting very quickly, and if that relationship with God is not built upon the Rock that is Jesus Christ, you are not going to stand.” His comments give me pause to consider: Is my relationship with God strong enough to endure any trial that comes my way? I am reminded again of Thanksgiving, to be grateful for the things God gives to us, but also for the trials and tests. As Mr. Hernandez reminded us, “God will test you so He can bless you even more”. So, how can we be thankful AND ready for the next test?