Trials and Tribulation

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

Hello, friends!  As I mentioned in my last post, the Lord is doing some deep work in me these days, but I’m still not ready to detail it.  I am in the midst of trials and tribulation on many fronts.  It makes me think of 2 Corinthians 4:8-9We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  He is teaching me things through trials that I can’t learn while on the mountain top.

In my spiritual immaturity, I used to ask the Lord, “Why me, God?” when trials would hit my life.  Friends would point me to verses in the Bible that talked about rejoicing that trials had come.  What???  That made no sense to me.  I especially disliked the often-quoted Romans 5:3-5Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame…  I’m pretty pain-averse, and I just wasn’t sure that hope was worth all the suffering that it apparently took to get it.

I also couldn’t reconcile why I was facing trials when Jeremiah 29:11 promises that His plan is “to prosper you, not to harm you”.  The trials were causing me pain and anxiety and I did not understand how that was going to prosper me and not harm me.  It sure felt a lot like harm and a lot less like prospering.  I just kind of gritted my teeth until I got through it.  I didn’t grow a lot during those times, I’m sure.

I guess I must have grown some, at least, since those days, because now I don’t spend nearly as much time saying, “Why me, God?” and whining to Him about my circumstances.  Now I’m more apt to ask Him, “What do you want me to learn through this, God?  How is this shaping me to look more like You?”  I certainly don’t do this perfectly, but I’m growing in it.  He’s definitely teaching me to keep my eyes on Him in the midst of the storm.  (Read more about that in this post.)

I had a light bulb moment when I recently read over this passage in 1 Peter:

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Wow, did that ever strike me.  The trials have come so that my faith can be proven to be genuine.  Not only that, but it will result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  That’s amazing!

Yes, I’m going through a very difficult time right now, and I can’t yet say that I’m fully rejoicing in those trials.  However, I have His peace and I have His hope to get me through it.  I know that He is bringing some Isaiah 61:3 beauty from things that look like ashes right now, and I look forward to seeing it.

How about you?  Are you facing a trial or a storm in your life?  One of my spiritual gifts is that of intercession, or prayer, and I would deeply cherish the opportunity to pray for you.  Just comment below with as much or as little detail as you would like, and I will lift you up as you go through it.  May all the glory and praise and honor go to our Lord Jesus Christ!

 

7 thoughts on “Trials and Tribulation

  1. Author Ryan Callahan

    I’m lifting you up in prayer sister! Believe me, after almost 7 years suffering Celiac (with many of those years being in extreme pain), I understand! I stopped asking “Why me?” a long time ago. I can testify that the Lord is faithful and He will develop perseverance and many more good fruits in us through our trials! I appreciate your prayers too! God is with you sister! Grace and peace to you!

    Reply
  2. francesrogers

    Liz, it is good to find you through Bill’s Unshakable Hope. This is the same hope, from the same source, that takes the Lord’s new-borns, holds them as babes, holds their hands as toddlers and walks with us, to bring us to Himself. He is our goal and He brings us the same path through which He brought His Son, our Lord. We will never experience, in what we think are the good times, such grace as during the times of adversity. Jesus continues to guide us because He has been through this wilderness and knows what we need. Every trial brings us closer to HIm. The older we get, the more precious are the trials of our faith. I pray the Lord’s blessing as He draws you closer to Him through the years ahead.

    Reply
  3. Ward Pimley

    Liz — Thank you for your offer to pray for your readers. I offer that, too, and I just realized as I’m typing this that I keep waiting for someone to respond — meanwhile, there is no reason why I cannot lift prayer for my readers without my even knowing who they are or what they need! I do pray that my blog will meet their spiritual needs as God intends, but I need also to pray that the Great Healer will touch their physical lives and current struggles. That being said, I am praying for you and other bloggers who share the Word of God through your personal experiences. God bless! Ward

    Reply

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