When we face a trial it is so easy to get caught up in how tired we are from life’s circumstances. It’s in moments of trial that every weakness surfaces and our vision becomes blurry, our hearing is drowned with loud unclear thoughts. We become dizzy with thoughts of hopelessness, disappointment and despair. In all honesty we make it so much more difficult for ourselves than it needs to be. I learnt some truths for facing trials this year and I thought I’d share them with you.
Realign your thoughts
Satan is a liar and he likes to tell us lies, especially when life gives us an unfair hand. He likes to tell us that we are not worthy, that things will never go our way, that we are not strong enough to handle the situation. He likes to tell us that we should be angry at God because if He really loved us then why should life even be dealing us an unfair hand. He lies to us so much that if we listen we get tired and weary and can’t find hope to carry on.
The truth is that in this life we will face trials, of all different kinds. God doesn’t necessarily want us to be faced with these situations, but He does allow them because it’s through these trials that He teaches us our greatest lessons. We may face trials, but God equips us with the tools to be able to face them head on! It’s up to us to realign our thoughts, actually stop and think about what we’re thinking about, grab hold of those tools and use them to push through.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 NIV
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:2 NIV
Grab your tools
It’s so important to spend time reading God’s word. One thing I have learnt about God’s word, is that its not just a book of law / guidelines but it’s a book of tools, truth, encouragement, hope and so much more than just law. It’s when we really spend time in God’s word, prayer and worship, that we come to know Him for who He really is. Like any other motivational video or piece of writing, God’s word is there to help guide us in every situation we may face throughout our lives. His word is truth! Satan may tell us lies, but the truths found in God’s word equip us to fight off those lies and negative thought patterns. As we read and get to know God’s word, we are able to memorise Bible verses / stories that will be of encouragement to us when Satan is trying to play his rude tricks on our thought life. When tempted Jesus quoted scripture, we need to be able to do the same!
I have had to face many trials this year alone, and now knowing the truth of God’s word, I have been better equipped to deal with them and see them through. In the past, however, I was so weak I struggled to see the strength and authority God has actually given me. We need to let go of the lies Satan tells us and focus on speaking life and not death over ourselves and the situations we face.
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31-32 NIV
Take back your authority
In Jesus, we have authority over our situations. It’s just a matter of realigning our thoughts with Christ’s, and pushing forward in the authority He has given us. There is power in the name of Jesus, to break every chain, every stronghold, every lie and to move any mountain. We have the power of Jesus Christ to speak life into any trial / situation we may face.
“No weapon formed against us will prosper”
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
1 John 4:4 NIV
In the moment of trial, it always seems bad, but the truth is that God can work anything together for good. I find it comforting to know that He is working in the background to work everything together for good. We don’t necessarily need to know what’s going to happen next because it’s already been shaped together by God. Find comfort in Him, be still and know that He is God.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 NIV
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew 5:4 NIV
When we surrender our trials to God He is able to move. When we surrender we are showing that we trust that God knows what He’s doing and has it all planned out. He promises to see us through every trial, to never leave or forsake us. It’s during our trials that He carries us, if we let Him! God wants us to realise that He is supernatural, He wants us to completely surrender all areas of our lives to Him and have full faith in Him. Let Him take the steering wheel!
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
James 4:10 NIV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
Go deeper in prayer
God is a great listener, it’s OK to tell him how you feel as you face a trial. It’s OK to tell Him you’re disappointed, it’s OK to tell Him you’re afraid or tired. He understands we are humans made up of human emotions, He made us. It’s when we rest our thoughts and emotions on Him, that He is able to show us how much He loves us and how much strength we actually do have in Him. He brings us to a place of peace and our crazy thoughts settle and we’re able to hear His creative advice on what to do next. Don’t be shy to ask Him for guidance or to show you the way out. God loves it when we spend time talking to Him, when we take the time out of our day to spend with Him and go deeper in our relationship with Him. He sometimes will even use a trial to catch our attention to our prayer life.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:12-13 NIV
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.
James 5:13 NIV
Go deeper in praise / worship
A guest pastor at our church said something so profound: “The answer to our current problem is in our previous problem”. God has previously moved mountains, and He can definitely do it again! Take a look back on moments that God has come through for you before and remember that if He did it then, He is able to do it now. We serve an awesome, loving God who is worthy of our praise. I find that when I’m in worship, my thoughts silence and I’m focused on the goodness of our God. There have been many occasions where I have been singing a song I have sung for years, but suddenly there is one line in it that I never noticed before that will speak into my life. Worship brings us to a place where we let go of the focus on ourselves and put our focus back on God again.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Hebrews 12:28-29 NIV
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:4-5 NIV
When facing trials it’s important that we realign our thoughts with Christ’s, surrender the trial to God, grab hold of the tools He has laid out for us, take back the authority He has given us, find comfort in Him and go deeper in prayer and worship! He has everything all planned out and before the trial came about, He has already planned the way out of the trial and complete recovery.
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31 NIV
I trust these lessons will bring you hope and encouragement for whatever trial you are facing in your life at the moment. I pray you would find your strength in Him!
Praying for you!