Understanding The Trials When Doing Right
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
(1 Peter 1:6-9)
We go through many trials and tribulations in our lives. Sometimes so many we wonder what we’ve done wrong to have to keep going through so much. Some people may also wonder what you’ve done wrong or just contribute it to a dark cloud hanging over your head or bad luck. To a Christian, however, we know there are several things we must look at because we don’t believe in dark clouds or bad luck. We do believe, that there are reasons we may go through such trials and problems, which we will take a look at today.
There are several reasons we go through trials and problems. First we do have to look at ourselves. Is there anything we are doing to cause these problems. Are we living the wrong way, leaving spiritual doors wide open due to sin. If not, then we have to ask the Lord what we need to understand about our problem. What is He trying to teach us…patience? Self-control? Forgiveness? Or maybe spiritual growth. Are we undergoing a testing to see where we are in our spiritual walk or in our healing and how we are handling it as opposed to our old ways. Or even a testing such as with Job. Yet, maybe it’s a refining fire to get us to where we need to be before we die so we will be with the Lord.
There are reasons we go through our situations. But the one thing we must never do is give up. When we make the decision to follow Christ, change our ways and live the way He’s called us to live, we must expect opposition from the enemy and at times testing from God. We must expect problems and trials to occur as it’s a part of life whether we are a Christian or not. The difference is when we are a Christian, God is gracious to give us a heads up sometimes of why we are going through it or direction on what to do to get through the problem through His Word, other people, and through sermons. The closer we get to God, the more we will hear Him. Giving up should never be an option no matter how difficult the problem, addiction or obstacle can be. We must remember that we serve a great and mighty king who not only has the strength to defeat anything coming against us but can also give us the strength and patience to see the problem through so we can become spiritually stronger and wiser. Philippians 4:13 states:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”
Many times the problem isn’t with God not helping us, but with our impatience to wait on Him for help. We live in a society that everything and every answer needs to be delivered quickly, but in that quickness, there is no time to learn anything. Instead we seem to grow more impatient the more we quickly get what we want. Soon, the more we may occasionally have to wait for an answer or for something we are seeking, the less patience we have and the less self-control we have of our emotions; self-control being a fruit of the Spirit. A good example is texting. How many times have you text someone and became upset when they didn’t text right back. Before texting we had what is now called “snail mail” or writing letters and mailing them. We’d send a letter off to someone and then anticipate their reply in time. The excitement would build up over the course of days to hear what they had to say. When my husband was in the military and deployed overseas, they couldn’t have cell phones with them at the time or utilize computers so we either had short phone calls or had to mail letters. The anticipation of getting that call or letter made it worth the wait! But with today’s quick technology, although it would still be exciting to get a call, text, email or even a letter, I don’t believe one can truly experience the same anticipation and excitement as when you had to wait for it.
When things are given to us quickly, we tend to lose that excitement or anticipation (expectation or hope) for it. We come to the point where we assume it will be given to us and just expect it to happen. When it doesn’t happen in the time frame we’d like, we become very impatient and upset people.
Many times in our striving to do the right thing in our lives and following the Word of God, we may undergo periods of waiting. This means we may have to go through trials and problems that cause us to have to wait for an answer or resolution. If we are trying to overcome addiction, it will take time and work to break it. If we are trying to heal from hurts, it will take time to heal. Our bodies do not heal instantly, so we can’t expect our emotions or problems to be healed or resolved quickly. It is through the waiting period of our difficulties and healing that God teaches us and we spiritually mature. It is through these trials and problems that our faith in God grows. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 it states we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear and that God is faithful and will give us a way of escape so we can bear it. It doesn’t say He will remove the temptation but He will give us what we need in order to bear it. This is why the slower method of healing is so important…because it’s a more permanent method. We learn how to deal with the problems that come along, healing from them, and most importantly we build a much more closer relationship with God. This relationship will enable us to get through more and more trials and our faith will grow stronger. The more we learn, the more we can teach others about God and support them in getting through their trials and problems.
God refines and tests us which not only gives Him and indication of where our faith is, but it allows us to see where our own faith is. When we are allowed to go through the refining fire, it will burn away our impurities. It also gives us an indication of the sin that is being burned away that was in our hearts. We will see many sides to ourselves in this refining fire that isn’t good that we may not have given thought to before. Sometimes it’s a pretty ugly side. But when we allow the refining fire to do it’s job, burning away the impurities from our hearts in order to bring forth the beauty that is within, we will see God’s true masterpiece. Someone we never knew that was there. But we will never be able to see His masterpiece in us if we quit and walk away because we feel the heat of the problem, illness or addiction is too great. If we fail to keep moving through the trial, we will never get to the other side of it. Instead we will only have to go through it again.
No matter how difficult the situation or how hard the temptation to go back to your old ways may be…don’t give up. No matter how bad a situation may look even to the point it may seem as though there is no hope…don’t give up. God hasn’t forgotten you, He hasn’t given up on You, and He hasn’t stopped loving you. These are all fiery darts of the enemy to get you to give up and walk away and he does this through our emotions. If someone can control your emotions, they can control you. But when we turn our problems over to God and allow Him to help us, the one trying to control your emotions now has to deal with God. This doesn’t mean we won’t feel pain or be free from problems. In fact, we may feel it all the more, but only for a time. Christ never said that if we followed Him we would have no more problems or pain. The main scripture above shows otherwise. But He did promise He would help us through it as we see in Psalm 34:19:
“The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all“
He may not answer our prayers according to our wishes at times, but He will answer them according to our best interest and need.
Stand firm in your hour of trial. God has not left you but in fact He’s standing right beside you just as He was with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego in the fiery furnace in Daniel 3. Hold tight to the Word of God and spend time with the Lord for strength. An answer is coming. Deliverance is coming. Just re-shift your focus back to Christ and wait on Him. Your Savior is near.
“Lord, I am tired and the wait has been long. The battle is intense and I feel weak. Help me to stay focused on You and renew my strength in the battle. Help me to stand firm when persecuted. Help me to not waiver when falsely accused. Help me to not give up when the obstacle in my path seems unmovable. You are the one who can help me to stand firm, not waiver and not give up. I look to you now for the strength to keep moving and for direction. Open my spiritual eyes as you did for Elijah’s servant, to see Your army ready to battle for me in my hour of need. Thank you for never leaving me and always loving me. I ask this in the name of Jesus…Amen.”