"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

The Blessing Of Trials

By Rich Carmicheal

    If you are in the midst of trial or distress in your life, do not lose heart, but press in ever closer to the Lord, and take comfort that He is faithful to sustain you. He is "our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psa. 46:1), and He is able to bring blessings out of your troubles.

    For example, consider this brief account of the life of Joseph: "The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him, and rescued him from all his afflictions, and granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh…and he made him governor over Egypt…" (Acts 7:9-10). Joseph certainly faced great afflictions including the cruel jealousy of his brothers, separation from his family, slavery, false accusation and imprisonment. Although it could seem in light of all of these troubles that God had abandoned him, the very opposite was true: "God was with him, and rescued him from all his afflictions." In fact, Joseph later acknowledged to his brothers that what they had intended as evil against him, God intended for good in order to save many lives (Gen. 50:20). God worked through Joseph’s afflictions to accomplish a much greater plan for his life than anyone could have imagined.

    Friend, as you entrust your life and circumstances to the Lord, you can be assured that He is with you and is working through your troubles to accomplish His greater purposes for you and your life. He may be working through them to prepare you for future service and ministry. He may be helping you learn more fully that He is the God of all comfort who comforts you in all your affliction so that you can in turn share His comfort with others in their affliction (2 Cor. 1:4). He may be working through your trials to produce greater character, maturity and hope in your life. Thus, James writes, "Consider it all joy...when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (Jas. 1:2-4). Likewise, Paul writes that "tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope" (Rom. 5:3-4).

    The Lord may also be working through your trials to help you learn to rely more on Him and His power (2 Cor. 1:9). He may want you to experience more of what He means when He says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:9).

    So if you are going through a trying time, a time in which you are facing "conflicts without" and "fears within" (2 Cor. 7:5), even to the point that you are burdened excessively, beyond your strength (2 Cor. 1:8), then place your life in the Lord’s hands and ask Him for His comfort and strength. Thank Him that He knows all about your tribulation (Rev. 2:9) and ask Him to help you persevere and to bring you safely through it (2 Pet. 2:9). Thank Him that He is with you always and that nothing can separate you from His love, not even "tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword...Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Rom. 8:35, 37). And take to heart this encouragement from Jesus: "…In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world"! (John 16:33).