My wife got the opportunity to speak at a youth camp in June. She shared her story and talked about the lessons she has learned from the tests and trials in her life. If you’re currently going through a test or trial or if you are human, you need to listen to this message. The storms of life come to all of us, but how we respond to the storms of life makes all the difference. In this message, Laura will teach you how to successfully navigate the storms of life. Listen here:
Encouragement Through Trials
Trials vs. Consequences
A trial is a painful circumstance allowed by God to change my conduct and my character.Trials are not something you caused or something you chose.
A consequence is brought on as a result of sin in your life. (Ex: you punched your sister, so the consequence is you are now grounded).
John 16:33 – Jesus said “In this world you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart (be undaunted) because I have overcome the world.”
We see it all throughout the Bible:
• Daniel was thrown into a den of Lions
• Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers
• David had to fight Goliath
• Paul was shipwrecked, beaten, stoned, cold, hungry, etc
• Moses struggled with stuttering
• Gideon struggled with fear
• Elijah was suicidal
• Job lost his whole family
Nothing touches you without touching God. He sees. He knows. He acts. A sovereign, powerful God sits upon the throne, and nothing misses His gaze. He will right all your wrongs.
There are 6 billion people in the world. What separates us is not WHAT we’re going through because weall go through trials. The great divider is HOW we handle the times when life is hard.
The question isn’t why God? The question is what are you going to do when you don’t know why?
James 1:2 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers when you face trials of many kinds.
Joy is VERY different than happiness. Happiness is circumstantial and in the moment.
Joy is a supernatural delight in the purposes of God.
1) GOD WANTS TO USE YOUR TRIAL TO ADVANCE HIS PURPOSES IN THE WORLD (and that’s why we should be joyful!)
Joy says “God I know you have a purpose even in what I’m going through.” If life is hard, don’t waste it! Don’t go through these hard times and not see the purpose for it, or get the good God intended for you. Open your life to wide to what God wants to accomplish in you. He can use your trial for a specific purpose! Your trial can be a defining moment where you’re called to shine your light most brightly! Everyone knew my mom had cancer, and they were watching to see how I would react. It’s a defining moment when you can point people to Jesus! In all the pain, in all the hurt, in all the questions, I still serve God! 10 years from now someone who doesn’t know Christ may be going through your same trial. The whole purpose of you going through it first may have been to relate to them and get them saved!
(Hebrews 12:1-3 MSG) – Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed— that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
• There was PURPOSE to his suffering. It was YOU! And if you feel yourself losing faith, go over that story again! God wants to use your trial to advance his purposes!
WE ARE NEVER WITHOUT HOPE. Non-christians have no hope!
And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not. Malachi 3:18
2) GOD WANTS TO USE YOUR TRIAL TO BRING HOPE TO THE WORLD
When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation. (Proverbs 10:25 NLT)
When I pass through waters, you are with me. When I pass through rivers, they won’t sweepover me. When I walk though fire, I will not be burned, the flames will not set me ablaze because you love me and I am precious and honored in your sight. Isaiah 43:2-4
1 Thessalonians 4:13 – Don’t be full of sorrow like people who have no hope! Christ died and rose again.
2 Corinthians 4 – These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times.things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow.
Have you experienced pain? Small potatoes. Did you ever lose a loved one? Small potatoes.Someone bully you? Small potatoes. Cut from a sports team? Small potatoes. Feel alone in this world? Small potatoes! Thrown in a den of lions? Small potatoes!!
Life is the shortest thing we will ever do! Don’t get caught up in a moment of pain. Don’t let grief incapacitate you and make excuses for you. Get rid of the victim mentality!
James 1:2-4 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.’
3) God wants to use your trial to GROW YOU
Trials separate the men from the boys! Trials test your faith.
The highest reward for your faith is not what you get for it, it’s what you become by it!
There’s something about going THROUGH the valley, that you learn about yourself and youlearn about God. My trial grew me up! I thought I had faith. But when you don’t see, when it doesn’t turn out how you expect, when it gets tough, when all your friends leave, when it would require you to sacrifice my social status….. Do I really believe God’s word? Is this alltheory? Sometimes we all need to be put to the test! God wants to use your trial to grow you!
In my struggling, my strength increased, my tolerance increased, my ability to handle pain increased, my wisdom increased, I care about less trivial things. I’m stronger, I got more fight, fire, etc.
My Trial VALIDATED and proved my relationship with God was genuine. As a family we made a decision that NO MATTER WHAT WE SERVE GOD. No matter what, do you serve God? Or do you quit before the 12th
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. (AMP) if you fall to pieces in a crisis,there wasn’t much to you in the first place. Proverbs 24:10 (MSG)
Habakkuk 3:17-19 “Though the fig trees do not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines… yetI will rejoice in the Lord. The Lord God is my strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army. He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk (not stand still in terror) and make spiritual progress upon my high places of trouble, suffering, or responsibility.” God will cause you to make spiritual progress in the midst of my personal suffering!
Job 23:10 – He knows the way that I take and when he has tried me, I will come forth as gold.
“Your greatest ministry could come out of your greatest pain.” -Rick Warren
1. So for those that are in a trial right now: God wants to use your trial to advance his purposes, to bring hope to the world, and to grow me in more ways than you can imagine.
2. If you’ve gone through something difficult and came out on the other side, it’s time to mentor someone.
3. For those of you that are not in a trial right now, I want to challenge you with one scripture.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27 NIV)
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