Trails always reveal to me who I am and how much more I need Christ. Some trials are enormous spiritual battles, and others are everyday moments demanding that my flesh dies, (I guess that’s a pretty big spiritual battle too.) In trials, I am reminded of John 16:33
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Jn 16:33). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Yesterday, the family sat after Bible study discussing some of the Truths we had just read.
As it often happens in our home, Bible study ended, and a family meeting/conversation began. One of the children commented on making sure to resist pride when they have success. They shared how they picture themselves successful and how they purpose to respond to those situations.
Then, I asked… “Who are you in the trial?”
The room became quiet, and everyone thought for a moment. I continued, “We can often picture ourselves having success. What we would do with a million dollars, what we would do if this business deal works out, or if this move takes place, but do we ever picture who we want to be in the trial?”
Trials can take us by surprise. We are wise to consider our response in advance, so we are purposeful in the decisions we make and words we choose to speak. Consider who you want to be when financial, health, family or any other trials happen. Will you whine, complain, get angry at God? Or will you decide ahead of time to say like Paul,
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things, I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
There are two things for sure in the Christian life: Sin and Affliction. There will be troubles. Salvation does not grant us a free pass from trials instead it offers us an eternal Hope in the midst trials. How many times, have I cried out for the Lord to lead me to green pastures, to make me rest, and to anoint my head in the presence of…
Who do the Scriptures tell us are standing by watching?
Even in green pastures, even in places where He leads, our enemy is standing by watching, waiting, ready, just as a lion to attack. Who will you be when the enemy decides to make his move?
1 Peter 5:8
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
Now is the time for each of us to decide who we will be in the times of trial.
Who will I become in the Trials?
I had a dream some time ago. Suddenly standing before the Lord, I didn’t see him or anything else for that matter. Everything was light, but I knew I was standing before the Lord. With bewilderment and surprise, I said, “Is that it? is it over?” I didn’t hear Him reply, but I knew His answer was, yes. With a deep sigh, I replied, “Lord there’s still so much I didn’t get done. I would try to accomplish something, and then a trial would arise.” His reply woke me from my sleep, “The trials made you love me more.” I knew He was right. Had it not been for the trials I would have fallen in love with this world.
Discover 5 Essential Ways to overcome trials.
- Study the Scriptures for heroes of old who have given us an account of their trials and how they responded. Lor for similarities, list the negatives as warning signs and the positives as guides.
- Write your discoveries in your journal under a page titled, “How to Navigate the Trials.”
- Pray. Ask the Lord to strengthen you in your weakness, reveal areas of growth, and give you the courage, tenacity, and peace through the process.
- Connect with others. Finding a group of women to support you through the trials before they arise is always helpful, but it’s never too late. Get plugged in with ladies who want to pray for you and encourage your success. If you need help, email me and I’d love to connect you with others.
- Encourage and help someone else who’s in the midst of a trial. One of the best ways I’ve found my way out from under the pressure of the trial was in helping someone else. When I focus on my trials, they grow larger, however, when I focus on helping others somehow my trials seem dim.
- Trials cannot be an excuse for us to not accomplish what God has set before us. Yes, it’s challenging; life is not comfortable. However, if we’re intentional and thoughtful before the trial we can navigate them more successfully.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “When Christ calls a man He bids him come and die.”
I pray that God will show Himself strong in my weakness; I pray for the courage to crucify my flesh, the same flesh that will fight against that death. Finally, I pray that I will be a vessel who brings Him eternal glory instead of seeking my temporal comfort.
If the thought of trials brings us, anxiety let us consider this beautiful reminder from Robert Hall:
“If your mind is overcharged or overwhelmed with trouble and anxiety, go into the presence of God. Spread your case before Him. Though He knows the desires of your hearts, yet He has declared He “will be sought after;” He will be “inquired to do it for you.” Go, therefore, into the presence of that God who will at once tranquilize your spirit, give you what you wish, or make you more happy without it, and who will be your everlasting consolation, if you trust in Him. He will breathe peace into your soul, and command tranquillity in the midst of the greatest storms. How much are they to be pitied who never pray.”
Fixing Our Eyes On Eternity
Let us not look for our treasure, comfort, or a life free of trials here on this earth. Instead, let us set our eyes on eternity, take up our cross, and follow Him!
Who are you in the trials? Life has plenty of them to help us answer this question.
Until our next chat,
P.S. If you’ve not read our devotion in Proverbs, go read it today. The Apple of God’s Eye: Proverbs 7: 1-2