Trusting God through trials can be a hinge point of doubt for many Christians. It can feel like we are on a teeter totter, balancing between fear of falling and trusting that we will rise.
So why does it matter that we trust God with our difficulties? Why is it important to seek His face during a trial?
Trusting God Through Trials
Recently, the Lord gave me a word that I want to share as a source of encouragement for those who are teetering through a trial. It is a simple word picture, but I hope it can help bring perspective to those on the edge of doubt.
Seasons of Struggle
March in Michigan is a precarious season. The age old saying “March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb” rarely holds true for our midwestern state.
More often, we see the lion and lamb toying with each other from one day to the next; tossing our cold state back and forth like a ball. Teasing us with spring, only to rush winter back in with the wind.
Last week, I walked into my living room at sunrise and saw the most beautiful sight. I captured it with my phone, but it will never do it justice like seeing it in person.
Our property is surrounded by towering trees and our home faces northeast. So, we rarely get to see a true sunrise. However, as I walked into my living room my breath caught as I saw the most beautiful sky aglow with pinks, oranges and purples through the barren tree tops.
I stepped into the room further and peeked around the corner to see an even more vibrant sky highlighting my garden area to the east. It felt like a gift straight from the Lord. A promise that spring was on the horizon after a very long winter.
But, as I sat starring at God’s beautiful creation, He gave me an even greater gift. A word of encouragement that there is purpose in the barrenness of winter. Purpose in my trials.
He compared trials to a season of winter. Winter can feel bleak, empty, dull, lonely, never ending, barren, cold and lifeless. It can leave us feeling desperate for spring. Longing for the next vibrant thing to come replace its melancholy.
But as I sat there studying His sunrise that day, He made me notice the trees. Look at the trees. See how they have no life? No leaves, no color, no birds or flowers. And now look. See how the only way you could see this incredible sunrise is because the trees are barren?
If these trees had leaves, the sunrise would be hidden. If they had early spring blooms, the colors of the sunrise may dull in comparison. But only through the barrenness of these trees could I see God’s glory rising behind them. It was so vibrant it was as if the trees were on fire with His power and strength.
Sometimes in life our seasons of spring and summer, growth and prosperity, can cause us to lose sight of the Lord. Of course this is not always the case as the Lord brings blessing as a gift. However, when life is going well we can overlook God’s hand in it. Our pride can cause us, whether intentional or not, to forget Who brings the blessing.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
Lamentations 3:21-27 ESV
But in the winter and fall, in seasons of uncertain change or seasons of barrenness, our desperation often forces us to look for the Lord. Where is He in this trial? What’s His purpose in this struggle? Why am I going through this? How long will it last?
In those difficult situations we can see His glory and goodness shining through so brightly because there is nothing to hinder our focus. There is nothing to block our view when we are stripped of colorful trees and beautiful flowers.
It’s just Him, shining brightly on the horizon, promising us that there is a tomorrow full of color and life when we trust and wait on the Lord.
I would encourage you to read Isaiah 35. The book of Isaiah is full of warning and hope. Chapter 35 is an incredible picture of barren land being transformed by the Lord with “water that will burst forth in the wilderness” for His people. Dive into this passage and study the context surrounding it for the full picture.
It’s an amazing passage of how God can turn something desperate into something good. “Happiness and joy will overwhelm them; grief and suffering will disappear.” Isaiah 35:10
Trusting in God’s Timing
God’s timing is so wonderful and so frustrating at the same time. If I had walked into my living room 5 minutes earlier the sun would have barely been up. If I had walked in 5 minutes later, the colors would have dulled into a simple sunrise.
But He gave me the gift of a sunrise at its best, at the peak of its glory, so I could hold His promise in my heart. And maybe, so I could share it with you.
His timing knows what we need, when we need it. We simply need to remember that sometimes we can only see the barren tree. God can see what’s behind it, waiting on the other side for us.
They say March comes in like a Lion and goes out like the Lamb. It’s ironic, really.
Two animals that God is described as in the Bible. A roaring Lion fighting for us and winning our continued battles. A sacrificed Lamb, meek and humble, who has already won the battle of eternity for us.
Both incredible pictures of a God who fights for us in our struggles and in our darkest moments. And a God who loves us so much that He gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we could hold His promises and victories as our own.
A Shift in Perspective on Trusting God Through Trials
The day after God gave me that sunrise I woke up to several inches of snow on the ground. But it wasn’t unwelcome.
It was soft, comforting, bright, delicate. The snow fell so gently in puffy flakes that I felt like I was in a snow globe.
It was a perspective shift. That sometimes, our seasons of struggle are preparing us for new life. They are bolstering us in the Lord for the next thing He has for us. The trial itself is building in us the things we need to learn to be ready for our spring.
And that is why trusting God through trials is so important. Because only then can we access all that He has for us. Only then can we renew our strength in Him, rely on His Spirit, and grow closer in the one relationship that will never fail us.
What Scripture Says About Trusting God Through Difficult Times
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
More Biblical Encouragement
I hope that can be a small encouragement to you today as you consider the importance of trusting God through trials.
I’m excited to welcome my husband to the blog in the future as a guest writer on Biblical topics. His first article will be some more practical application of this very topic: Seeking confirmation in the Lord during trials and deciphering His purpose through times of struggle.
I am looking forward to bringing that to you soon.
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May you be blessed this week my friends.
Always remembering His promises,