I used to be one of those believers who went around thinking ‘now that I know Jesus nothing will ever go wrong again.’ I have come to realize in the journey of my Christian walk that, in many ways, life has actually become more difficult. Now, I have an enemy who seeks to destroy me like a roaring lion every moment of every day (1 Peter 5:8). Even though Christ won the battle at Calvary over 2000 years ago, the enemy still wants me spiritually dead – walking in sin – and even physically dead.
Because he wants me out of his way, I go through many trials that could completely break me, physically, emotionally, spiritually. I believe that God uses those circumstances to grow me and test me, to make me better tomorrow than I am today. I also believe that he uses that which the enemy intended for evil, for His good and the furthering of His Kingdom, not only in my heart but also within the world (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28).
I am not alone. Neither are you. There are countless examples of men and women of God who experienced trial and tribulation in the Bible: Joseph, Job, Esther, Ruth, Paul, to name a few. David is another. He was the anointed King of Israel and yet, before he was fully given the throne, he was forced to run for his life, live as a fugitive for many years, and hide from King Saul who wanted him dead for fear of losing the crown.
Many of the Psalms were written while David was in exile, a wrongly pursued man. These Psalms help remind me of where my focus needs to remain while I am in the midst of what seems like never-ending ordeals.
- Be angry – but don’t sin. (Psalm 4:4)
- Meditate and be still in the Lord. (Psalm 4:4)
- Offer myself as a sacrifice of righteousness. (Psalm 4:5; Romans 12:1)
- Trust in the Lord – He has heard my weeping, my supplication, and my prayer. (Psalm 4:5; 6:8-9)
- Evoke gratitude – remember the goodness in God: His countenance upon me, gladness of heart, increase out of season, peace, sleep, safety (Psalm 4:6-8)
Psalms five and six also encourage me to cry out to God and know that He will heed me. He will hear my prayers and meditations, lead me, open my eyes to understand and see His direction, return to me, deliver me, save me, and have mercy on me.
“Use your head—and heart!—to discern what is right, to test what is authentically right.” John 7:24 (MSG)
When in the midst of hardships, I have a habit of becoming very emotional, before settling down and thinking about things rationally or even looking to God for the answers or help. But He gave me Holy Spirit to walk with me and support me. As I trust Him and lean not on my own understanding, I am then able to discern the right path to walk on to walk me right through the trial (Proverbs 3:5-6)
It may sound a little cliché, but if I focus on Jesus, the mountain of problems I have will become a mole hill…if I am given lemons, I can always make lemonade…I can look at the glass half empty or half full. That doesn’t mean I can’t cry, or shout, or feel sorry for myself, but I need to get over it quick and put my focus back on God.
Yesappa, help me keep my focus on You during trials and tribulations, small or big. Help me to be overcome by Your presence, not overwhelmed by troubles. Help me to cast my cares upon you and lay my burdens at your feet. Help me walk in the garments of my salvation and to always rejoice in the Lord in good times and bad. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India