Standing Your Ground When You Face Trials
What’s your first reaction when you experience trials? For many years, my natural response was to avoid them, because they caused me to question God, myself, and my direction.
But then I learned that difficulties play a valuable role in the life of every believer. In fact, they have helped me grow in my faith as I have seen God resolve situations I never could on my own.
Today I’d like to share a few things I've learned about handling trials when life doesn't go as expected...
James 1:2-3 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."
Notice that it does not say if you face trials. Instead it says when you face trials. Whenever you attempt something that has the potential to make an eternal impact, it should come as no surprise that there will be trials—or even blatant opposition. These verses encourage us to embrace difficult times because the end result is perseverance and faith strong enough to withstand trials.
In any situation, two factors exist: those outside your control and those under your control. Knowing the difference between the two is a game-changer. Whenever you experience a trial, take a moment to clearly define these elements before you react.
For the things you cannot change, pray specifically and expectantly for God to do the things that only He can do. For the things you can change, pray for wisdom, strength and courage. Pray that God would strengthen your resolve during the times when it would be easier to give up. Pray for God to clearly show you His purpose for this time of trial.
For the things you can change, it’s time to get going. Move with boldness and confidence knowing that God is with you. You’ll discover that His movement is often even clearer during times of adversity as you learn to trust and obey.
Finally, be encouraged by the words of Psalm 46.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3)
Questions for Reflection: Are you experiencing a trial? If so, have you identified what's under your control and what isn't? Have you specifically prayed for wisdom, strength, and courage to move forward as God directs? Is there something that's stopping you from taking action for the things you can change? If so, ask God for the courage to get moving.
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