Heather Bellamy considers how God uses trials
A few weeks ago I was talking to God and seeking good things. I didn't mind what it was, but I wanted something good and not another trial. It had felt like I had had to face one thing after another for a long period of time.
As I was telling Him this I had the thought that maybe I should look up some scriptures about trust and pray them through; that maybe that would help my soul.
For some reason, the first scripture I went to was Psalm 4 and I began at verse 6 reading:
'Many say, Oh, that we might see some good!'
As you can imagine, I felt God arrest my attention and I knew He was answering the seeking of my soul. The full answer was:
'Many say, Oh, that we might see some good! Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord. You have put more joy and rejoicing in my heart than [they know] when their wheat and new wine have yielded abundantly. In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.' Psalm 4:6-8
I knew that my Father was speaking to me with loving care and discipline. As a Father, He was giving me His voice, authority, strength and understanding. He was saying I've heard your cry, but at the moment it's not a season in your life for me to give you the type of good things you're looking for; it's not that they'll never come again, but right now the 'wheat and new wine aren't going to yield abundantly', but I am giving you and have given you good things, (peace, sleep, safety and the ability to trust), even during this season; even though life is hard in the natural.
As a daughter, I knew the truth my Heavenly Father was speaking; he had given me much joy in my relationship with Him that isn't based on any circumstances in life and isn't taken from me when hard things happen. I also knew the deep work He had done in my life over the last eight years that has brought me to a place where I now sleep well and have a peace and sense of safety and trust that I didn't have before. I also knew that although I would have liked some good things for my flesh, if it was a choice, these treasures my Father has given me are worth far more than whatever I might have been looking for and I wouldn't be prepared to exchange them.
I share this with you because I know that in this world, during our life, we will all face trials at one time or another. I am sure and certain of this because scripture says so in James 1:1-4 and John 16:33; so this answer God gave to me in a season of various trials might have some relevance, hope and encouragement for you too.
Our trials may look different to each other, but at some point we will face something that isn't nice. It could be ill health, death, rejection, financial trouble, relational difficulty, broken dreams, hope deferred, failure, loved ones walking away from God, affairs and betrayal, the list is endless. Many of these trials won't be caused by us, but as James says, they are ones we simply 'encounter' as we journey through life.
The great thing about knowing Jesus and abiding in our relationship with Him though, is that we discover day by day, bit by bit, the other sure and certain truth: like John said, He has overcome the world!
That overcoming also looks different at different times: it isn't just one type of overcoming. Sometimes it looks like a miracle, healing or supernatural provision. Other times it looks like being given the grace to endure, be patient or wait. Another time it might look like receiving the comfort of God, peace, sleep and joy. Whatever God knows we need to overcome; whatever we need to mature (Ephesians 4:15); whatever He wants to give us that is His best gift to us at that moment we can be assured that He will give it abundantly (John 10:10). He doesn't give half measures!
We don't know what tomorrow's trials will be and we may not be through yesterday's or today's trials. But we can be sure and certain that if we love God, (including loving Him during our trials) and if we are called according to His purpose, (meaning we are willing to seek what His will and purpose is and then submit to it), then He will use everything, including every trial, for our good! (Romans 8:28)The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
View all Life Files by Heather Bellamy