Have you ever been through a test or trial so severe that you did not know how you were going to make it through? You may also have felt confused or forgotten by God. Going through trials or other painful experiences is not pleasant, however many times these experiences can shape us for a greater purpose. This does not negate the fact that what we experience can be painful as I really believe that there is a grieving process that needs to take place so that one can heal in a healthy way, however the aim is to not stay in that place.
As I thought about many trials I have experienced, God showed me the process of how a diamond is created. A diamond is a precious stone and is described as beautiful due to its multiple facets and shiny appearance. They are mainly valued due to their natural strength. There is, however a refining process that takes place before diamonds are formed. Diamonds are created under immense heat.
Like the diamond creation process, we also go through periods of pressure, some more intense than others. One of my hardest moments was losing my Grandmother under horrific circumstances in 2016. Your period of pressure may be very different from mine, however we should never be defined by what we go through, instead we should allow difficult circumstances to refine and transform us. The truth is, without pressure, nothing ever grows.
Navigating through trials is imperative to Christian growth. Have you ever noticed that one of the questions asked in job interviews is “how do you work under pressure?” This question is asked, because pressure is inevitable and being able to function under it is a recognised skill.
Scripture tells us that we should rejoice when we go through trials- James 1:2. This is not because we are mad and enjoy going through pain, the answer is actually found in the next two verses.
“knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”– James 1:3-4 -
Similarly, Romans 5:3-4 says that trials, build our character. Difficult circumstances can either make you bitter or better. I’m not sure about you, but I desire to be better.
God wants us to come out better than we were before the trial occurred. Job went through various trials within close proximity of each other including losing his children, live stock, properties, and health, however, amongst it all, he chose to persevere.
“But He knows where I am going. And when He tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.”– Job 23:10 –
We may not understand the painful experiences that we have gone through or may be going through at this current time, however we can trust God. Proverbs 3:5 says that we should not lean on our own understanding. I believe it says this, as God is sovereign and we do not see the whole picture or the ending.
If you are going through a difficult time right now, remember that God promises to work all things out for your good. Things may have not worked out the way that you hoped, or you may have incurred failure, but God wants the best for you.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”– Romans 8:28 –
Below are some helpful pointers to remember when going through trials:
1. Have Faith That God Will Bring You Through It.
Often times, a trial is a sign that something bigger is coming. Look at the story of Job. After he went through various trials the Bible says that his latter was greater than the beginning. Trials are very difficult to go through, however we can have a positive outlook when we experience them. The Bible says that we should rejoice when we go through trials, but we can only do this if we have faith that God will bring us through them.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” – James 1:2-4 -
2. Exercise Gratitude.
“…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”– 1 Thessalonians 5:18 -
I have found that remembering the times when God delivered me from things or took me out of dark places helps. David did this when he faced Goliath. He remembered a lion and a bear that he previously had victory over and I believe that this gave him the motivation to face Goliath. Remembering your previous victories, and being grateful that God brought you through them will help you to overcome your current situation.
Prayer is effective, and the Bible says that we should do this constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17). When we cry out to God He hears us and delivers us from not just some, but all of our troubles.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.”– Psalm 34:17 –
4. Resist Temptation.
Many times when we go through trials, temptations can come our way. We see this played out with Job when his wife told him to curse God and die and Jesus when He was tempted in the wilderness. Wilderness seasons can make us vulnerable to temptation. During these times you will need to endure temptation, knowing that your perseverance comes with a promise.
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”– James 1:12 –
5. Be Hopeful.
As long as you are still breathing, there is hope. Despite anything difficult you are facing right now, God has a plan for you that prevails against your current circumstances.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”– Jeremiah 29:11 –
6. Speak Positively.
Whilst it may be tempting to complain or speak negatively when going through a trial, please note that this is an open door for the enemy to infiltrate your mind and heart. Also, words have power. Make a conscious decision to praise and worship your way through difficult times. Meditate on the word of God trusting that He will bring you out of it.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”– Psalm 19:14 –
7. Encourage Yourself In The Lord.
1 Samuel 30:6 tells us that when David was greatly distressed, he encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord. We should also do this, as there is beauty in crying out to God. You will find that when you don’t have strength, He will give you His strength.
“As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.”– Psalm 138:3 –
8. Surround Yourself With People Who Encourage You.
Whilst there are times when we need to spent time with God, or time alone, we need to exercise balance. Remember, the enemy works amongst isolation. One of Gods greatest gifts to us is through relationship. We need to ensure that we are connected to the right people. Surrounding yourself with the right people, people who genuinely want the best for you and that can encourage you when you encounter trials will benefit your life in so many ways.
“Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”– Proverbs 11:14 –
9. Finally: Persevere.
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” – Galatians 6:9 -
Queen, I would like to encourage and remind you that you are a diamond and your suffering has not been in vain. There is actually a promise attached to what ever you have either been through or are going through.
“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”– 1 Peter 5:10 –
Also remember that through Christ you can overcome. God says in John 16:33 that in the world we will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, He has overcome the world.
With that, I pray that this blog post has encouraged you. Feel free to share your views by leaving a comment below.
Stay blessed and encouraged
Love, Nkay xxx