One of the reasons I love hymns is because they are used as prayers, they serve as encouragers for our faith, and they remind us of deep scriptural truths. While doing my devotion I stumbled on a hymn that though I knew not the tune, the words greatly encouraged me, it goes thus:
‘’He leadeth me , O blessed thought!
O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
By waters still or troubled sea, still tis his hand that leadeth me”
The words that struck me most from this hymn was the fact that it said that by waters still or troubled sea still it’s His hand the leads us. ‘WHAT? Troubled sea ke? Can it be that God allows me go through hard times and trials? God is love, he will never allow us go through hard times.’
My brothers and sisters if you think like this I want to suggest that you rethink things through.
Reading the scriptures, we see that the Godly and righteous often face challenges, and these challenges caused even some to question the righteousness of God; Why do the wicked prosper and seem to have rest while the righteous are tempted and tried on every side (psalm 73:1-16) (Jeremiah12:1). The question is- what role do trials and pain play in my life? What do I gain?
Trials come in different ways; small trials, big trials, emotional pain from a break up, disappointment from friends and family, Persecution, Temptation, etc. Why am I tested?
1. IT PURIFIES US
We are shown from scriptures that we are being purified and tried as gold in the furnace.
For he knows the way that I take, when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold” – Job23:10
The apostle Peter also said “So that the tested GENUINESS of your faith- more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ” – 1 Peter1:7.
J.I Parker rightly said that God doesn’t need to prove to himself that our faith is genuine for he knows those that are his, but this is to prove to us and show us how far we have come in our walk with him and to cause growth in spiritual maturity.
2. IT TEACHES US FAITH AND BRINGS US MORE FERVENTLY TO OUR KNEES
I read a quote from a book called “Imitations Of Christ’’ by Thomas Kempis. He said, “When a man is not troubled it is not hard for him to be fervent and devout.’’ Oh how true this is. When things are going too well, we are happy and pleased. It is easy to pray and thank God. Sometimes or more often than not, we begin to relax unconsciously in our spiritual pursuits, but it’s a well-known saying that a man’s true character is known in the face of adversity. A very popular missionary Elisabeth Elliot was on a mission trip with her husband to preach the gospel to a remote people who had never even heard about Christ. These people connived and killed her husband. Oh the grief she felt, the anger, the pain. But God spoke to her to stay with these same people that killed her husband and to still preach to them, and to forgive them. What a hard thing to do. I don’t know what I would have done if I were in her shoes. But she obeyed, and in it she learnt forgiveness, perseverance and love and she still found love again and remarried. God turned what was meant for evil for her good, her faith came out as gold.
Trials, temptations and pain drive us to our knees. I’ve discovered that it is in my trials and pain that I sought God ever more fervently and learnt very valuable lessons. I was humbled at my inability. God used my trials to show me things about myself both good and bad. Trials make you sink your roots deeper into the promises of God. It shapes and builds up our trust in God and patience.
3. IT IS PREPARING US
Trials, pain, temptations are the realities of life. In fact, even unbelievers go through these things and often talk of how they learnt so and so lesson. People use their trial stories as motivational speeches of how those were the periods they grew as individuals and were able to rise to the top. How much more we believers who are being prepared for something even greater, HEAVEN!! Trials prove to us that truly, this earth is not our home. We begin to realise even more that we are pilgrims in this world and our reward is not here and it causes us not to place so much trust and security in the fleeting things of this world. I read a very moving statement someone wrote on their blog for the answer to some tough question. He said “those who live for this life will reap their rewards in this life. Those who live for eternity will reap their rewards in eternity’’. All things work together for our good children of God, Satan’s attempts to destroy us and cause our faith to shake will be turned around for the praise and glory of his name. Even when we make mistakes God can still turn it around for our good.
Yes I know that after reading and I too after writing this and we face a trial or temptation we may still worry and be anxious as it is our human nature to do so, but let us like the psalmist say;
“Why are you cast down O my soul and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God’’ [Psalm 42:11]
Written by; Adaeze Ilo
Adaeze Ilo is a Christian saved by grace and striving daily to be a better one. She is just starting to explore her writing gifts and is always looking for ways to add value to her world.