Trials aren’t fun. What’s a trial you ask? Simply put, a trial is a difficult or troubling time in your life. Do you ever think, “Sign me up! I want to go through some trouble, please!” If so, you’re amazing, because you have evidently figured out the key to maturity. I’ve gone through a lot of trials. I’m sure you have, too, but maybe you’ve not realized that these seasons of difficulty are what bring you godly character and maturity to your life.
James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Do you desire to be mature, complete, and pleasing to the Lord? What do you run to when trials come your way? What fills that void when you’re hurting? Do you turn to the Lord for comfort? Perhaps you escape to other things in search of comfort, like media, food, shopping, and work or even drugs and alcohol. Things such as these are counterfeits. They are not really comforts, but just something to temporarily ease the hurt and pain you’re going through.
I recall a hard trial in my life a few years ago. I fell to my knees, called out to the Lord, cried for His help, and dove into his word. But, my flesh searched for relief, something that would promise security and ease my heartache. Food and shopping filled the void temporarily, but my spirit knew better and knew what I really needed. I needed the Lord. He fills every void and every need. I was reminded of Galatians 5:17, “ For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” That was exactly what was happening!
As I drew close to the Lord, He revealed to me in a dream that I was to reach out to my friend who was currently discipling me. I went to her for her help and wisdom, and ended up going through RTF emotional healing. The Lord showers His grace on us in our time of need, and sometimes, His grace comes through others. I sincerely believe that the Lord uses those who are closest to us to help us through troubling times. Galatians 6:2 says, “ Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” And, in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, it says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
One day during a leaders retreat, Jeff and I were given a prophetic word. Something in the word caught my attention. It said, “What came against your marriage was from the enemy and he was trying to take you out. But the only reason you made it was because you hung onto the Lord. God was your anchor. And the Lord fought on our behalf.” It also said, “The Lord came against the enemy and that the Lord is going to refresh and restore you.”
Sometimes, we may not see the spiritual war that goes on behind the scenes; I sure didn’t. During that time I thought, “Lord, where are you? Why aren’t you helping me?” Little did I know He really was fighting. He was coming against the enemy, fighting on our behalf. And so now, He tells me again, “Trust me.”
I learned so much through that trial. Shopping and food aren’t the things that keep us afloat…He is. I can trust Him. I don’t need other comforts. His love is enough. The Lord speaks to us, as He did with that prophetic word. The prophet had no clue what was going on, but the Lord knew. Again, the Lord uses people to help us in our times of need!
So, what trials in your life are you fighting? Is your flesh running to comfort or are you running to the Lord, allowing Him to fight your battles? Get into His Word. Would you reach out to your community of believers, your small group, a trusted friend, or a leader to seek help, wisdom, direction, and prayer? Seek the Lord for wisdom. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
You may not see the spiritual battle being fought but He is fighting for you. Remember the story of David and Goliath? I always thought that I needed to be like David to conquer my “Goliath” trial. Part of that is true; we do need to stand against the enemy, fight in faith and prayer, and not be idle! But, we should also trust Jesus. From Louie Giglio’s book, Goliath Must Fall, he encourages us, “Jesus is our David. Jesus is the one that takes down the Goliath in our lives.” Praise Him and thank Him that He is fighting for you.
Through your trial, the Lord wants to refine you, mature you, and bring truth and freedom to your life. You will learn to stay intimately close to Him, just as Mary of Bethany did. She sat at His feet, not distracted, but loving the Lord. Don’t drift away from the Lord. In trials, you’ll need Him by your side fighting and pouring His love on you.
Finally, meditate on these verses and see how good the Lord is! He won’t leave you! He will never let you down! Hang on to Him!
“For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
“Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God Himself will fight for you.”
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
Connect Group Ministry Leader