{TRIALS} learning to trust in the midst of difficulties

Monday, June 25 , 2018

How do we respond to the obstacles that are often put in our way? How do we respond when we're faced with a trial that is seemingly unfair?

God gives each of us unique experiences that are meant to draw us to Himself. He works on an individual basis, calling each of us through the things that He places in our paths daily.

And I think that's partially why we all go through different things in our lives. God uses each valley and mountain top moment to try and point us to Him. 

He tries to get us to see Him in the good times, the times that we should be most thankful for everything He's done for us, but it seems like it takes something difficult, like a trial, to make people see how God truly has blessed them.

Sometimes we bring trials on ourselves, by the way we live and the choices we make. But other times we wonder why God would allow us to go through difficulties when we're living for Him. 

The Christian life isn't promised to be free from trials. In fact, there are many times in the Bible that speak about the trials we may endure, and how to handle them. 
"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." ~ John 16:33 kjv
And though we are guaranteed trials in this life, as Christians, we can still have hope and joy and peace through it.

Because our good God doesn't leave us in the shadows. He's right there - with us through it all - and we have only to take His hand and let Him lead us.

That is where the trouble is though. We, wretched creatures that we are, are blinded by our trials and do not see God anywhere. We do not open our Bibles and read of His faithfulness. We do not pray as if He is listening. We do not remember all the times He's provided for us already.

We thrash about with efforts to cope with the reality we live with. And in our thrashing, we only sick further.

God will not force Himself on us. We have to willingly reach out our hand to His and let Him lead us through the valley.

Whatever trials God calls us to can lead us one of two ways: either toward Him or against Him.

There's two different stories in the Bible that make me think of the two different ways we can respond to the circumstances in our lives.

The first example is that of Jonah. Jonah was told to bring a message to a place he didn't like to a people he didn't think were worth it. He tried to run, but the Lord redirected his course; through a great fish. Jonah endured three nights in the belly of that fish and only cried out to God to escape his suffering. He did deliver his message, but it was more because he had to. At the end of this story, things don't go like Jonah had planned and he ends up a bitter man who just wants to die.

Jonah brought a trial on himself because he refused to obey God and God corrected him. But even after the correction, Jonah still had his own agenda and refused to accept what God had chosen.

Turning against God because of the circumstances in your life only lead to bitterness.

The second story is that of Job. Job was living a holy life, and the Bible calls him "perfect and upright" (Job 1:1 kjv). Job was living a righteous life, so why would he have troubles? Well, as we all know, Job lost everything he had, all his possessions, his children, his friends, and even his health. Job's friends told Job that he was enduring all these things because of some sin in his life, and day after day they accused him.

Job didn't seem to deserve this horrific turn of events. Job had lots of questions about why God would allow him to suffer through the things he suffered - but at the end of the day, Job was able to say with confidence:
"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." ~ Job 13:15 kjv
At the end of the story, Job gets twice as much wealth as he had before and had 10 more kids.

Sometimes it seems like our trial will never end. But remember:
"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalms 30:5 kjv
I've been through my share of difficult times, but I wouldn't take any of those times back for anything. You know why? Because I have seen God work in ways that I never would have seen, I have seen Him provide in ways I never would have imagined, and I have drawn closer to my Lord in ways that would have never been possible.

The difficult things in life; the trials; they are what shape you into the person you become.
"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." ~ Romans 5:3-5 kjv
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