Life isn’t perfect and eventually, at some point, every believer will face a trial. It could be the loss of a job, a marriage crisis, failing health, or even the death of a loved one. And while believers might disagree on what constitutes a trial, I think we can all agree that trials are never easy regardless of which form they take.
But how we deal with trials can make all the difference.
Scripture teaches a lot about trials and that’s exactly where believers should turn to when searching for answers. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t turn towards other believers when going through times of trouble; we all pretty much know that spiritually-filled friends and family are a great help and can offer sound advice in times of distress. But Scripture itself shouldn’t be ignored; it teaches a great deal to believers about how to respond and react when facing difficult circumstances.
First, we have to remember that we are never alone in our struggles and that God is always with us. Often during times of difficulty, feelings of abandonment can invade our thoughts and we might even begin to question whether God is even around or paying attention to what’s going on in our lives.
But listen to what Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (NIV). And again in Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (NIV).
Second, we need to remember to go to God and ask him for help. It’s often during a trial where we find ourselves needing much more comfort, much more strength in our faith, and much more hope. Listen to what Paul says,
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV).
Third, we need to remember that God is in control of everything. Admittedly, this is hard to grasp, especially if going through a very painful trial. But again, let’s look at what Scripture teaches,
“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will…” (Ephesians 1:11 NIV).
“So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good” (1 Peter 4:19 NIV).
And lastly, we need to remember not to lose heart. Again, this is hard to do when going through a painful trial but Scripture teaches that God promises to provide us with what we need when we need it. Our focus needs to remain on him and not on our circumstance.
Listen to these verses, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV).
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NIV).
So, let’s remember these promises. Don’t ever forget that God will meet you in Scripture and through prayer. He is ready and able to help all of us through our problems and struggles, filling our hearts with a joy and peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) — even in the midst of a trial.
All we have to do is reach out and ask him.
Donna Hughey is an award-winning Christian author and columnist. She lives in Crescent City.