I go through them. You go through them. All God’s children go through them.
Storms. Trials. Tribulations. Call them what you will, but you cannot deny their existence.
I’ve always found that these seasons of life have something to teach me. The thing to remember is to seek the Lord during them and learn all you can in that season.
Seasons, by their very definition, do not last forever. The trials of your life are not meant to be permanent.
There’s a whole lot of teaching in the Bible about suffering and how it relates to life. My blog posts are not designed to be exhaustive studies. So, I’ll stick with my title.
Let me give you six powerful principles for enduring the trials of your life. Each of these will be a letter which when placed together form the word, TRIALS.
T – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart…” (see Proverbs 3:5a & Mark 11:22). Trust God during this most difficult time, and He will surely bring you through. Grab ahold of your faith with the tenacity of a bulldog and don’t let go. Have faith in God!
R – Rest and receive from God (see Psalm 46:10, John 15:7, & Hebrews 4:9). There is a rest from God that can come during the trials of life. Some will place you flat on your back, and you’ll have no choice but to physically rest. But perhaps it’s mental and emotional rest that you need. Avoidance of Sabbath-like rest is detrimental to your health. So just be still and acknowledge that God is God and you are not.
And in that stillness begin to receive from His Word. That’s right, use the trials of life to dig deeper into promises of God’s Word, chapter by chapter.
I – Invite the Spirit’s presence (see Psalm 34:6, Isaiah 5919b, & Jeremiah 33:3). Yeah, I know all about His omnipresence. But you know that there are those desperate times when you and I need God to tangibly show up and show out. Just like the Disciples were ready to wake up Jesus during the storm, I’m telling you that it would be good to send up an SOS to Heaven. Verbally invite the Holy Spirit to manifest His presence and power to accomplish great things in the midst of your trial.
A – Abide in the Vine (see John 15:1-5). Don’t allow this time of trial to shake you loose from your faith. This storm is no match for the mighty life-source that flows from the Vine. Jesus is the Vine, and you are a branch. Stay put. Don’t back off from your prayer life, the study of God’s Word, or joining with His people for worship. Abide in the Vine, and before you know it, your life will yield much fruit to the glory of God.
L – “…lean not on your own understanding” (see Proverbs 3:5b-6). This might be the most difficult of them all. However, you have to stop trying to figure out everything by yourself. You’re really not that smart. Acknowledge that. Now lean into God’s grace and allow Him to direct your next steps of faith.
S – This final letter stands for supplications (see Ephesians 6:18 & Philippians 4:6). A supplication is a prayer request on behalf of yourself. It’s entirely acceptable in times of trials to get humble and pray for yourself. Physically, get humble in posture and get in touch with the Master.
Alas, the S also stands for a plurality (see 1 Peter 1:6 & 4:12). Anytime we add the letter S to a noun we are indicating more than one. You might not be going through a trial right now. But don’t forget about the last one that really had you humbled. And thank God for the grace that will sustain you in the next trial of life. Another one is sure to come.
The key to your endurance is to walk by faith. Don’t wallow in self-pity. Keep moving in the disciplines of your Christian faith. Practicing these six points could help diminish the severity and the length of your trials.
Are you currently going through a trial? How can I pray for you during this season?
“And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?”