Don’t Waste Your Trials

Truths that can change your life.

Eventually, it comes to everyone. You can’t really plan for it, because it sneaks up in the middle of the night, or raids your happiest moments in life, or destroys the ending to the perfect story.

If you’re human, you will have some sort of trial come your way. It’s a guarantee. You may lose your job, have a spouse walk away from you, or contract a life threatening disease. The smaller trials like an relenting boss, a rebellious child, an accident, or a financial loss that are no less trying.

The formula that most people use for the unsuspecting trial is simply to buckle in and hope they don’t fall out. When mine came, it surprised me. I had no idea. I thought that I was having trouble again with my stomach, until I saw the blood. This trial was no 8-second ride. It happened and it lasted months, and years. It was bladder cancer.

Because of the type I was diagnosed with, the uncertainty of it. I couldn’t just hold on until it was over that didn’t make have to fight, and fight for my life.

If all we hope for is to gain mere survival- to endure to the end-we will have wasted the trial, we will have missed out on God’s blessing.

We’re really not supposed to wait for the wild ride to end. We are meant to embrace our trial and actually benefit from it.

The trial I endured was extremely difficult. But at no time did I think it was punishment. I thought I was just really unlucky.

You will waste your trial if you believe it is punishment

Trying to test Jesus, some men brought Jesus a crippled boy. “Whose sin was it that caused this? His parents or his? Jesus said neither, but he is like to this so God can be glorified.”

We all know about this verse, yet when we are afflicted; we still ask “What did I do to bring this on?

Some are four pack a day smokers and lung removal should be no surprise. Or the man who gets behind the wheel drunk isn’t surprised to wake up on a thin mattress in a concrete cell.

But for many of us, it seems that life just grabs us, like a sudden wave on the beach pulling blankets and sunglasses and cell phones out with the tide.

It’s not a punishment, but a blessing if your faith becomes real, if you love becomes purposeful, if your life finds traction.

Romans 5:3 says “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.”

Trials can awaken the senses and spark the cold heart.

We gain none of those benefits if we are sullen and withdrawn. We miss out on character and hope and love if we’re out to blame someone, something. There is nothing more earth-shattering than a shout for joy in the midst of calamity.

You will waste your trial if you seek comfort from your odds rather than from God.

Some count their chariots and some count their horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. -Psalm 20:7-

The world gets comfort from their odds. But not us in the middle of a cancer fight.

Cancer survival rates are amazing today. But if you put your hope in the 7 in ten chance of survival, you’ll miss out on what the real mission to your heart. There are other odds- and we are always betting on doctors, or spouses changing their minds, or kids coming back home.

Here some new odds. You have a 100 percent chances of suffering in your life. But rest-assured, that you also have 100 percent odds the receiving Christ’s comfort, meeting you in your deepest distress, and restoring your simple joy.

You will waste your trial if you spend too much time analyzing the situation.

It’s not wrong to research career opportunities if you are unemployed. It not wrong to read about a disease. It’s not wrong to read about the way your walk-away spouse, to visit people and get their opinions. But it is wrong to spend too much time in head acknowledge, and not enough time in heart despair.

Your trial is meant to awaken you to the reality of God. This is your chance finally to clear your head and figure out Jesus and get to know Him fully.

You will waste your trial if you endure it alone.

We are mortified that others will discover our scars, our open wounds. We usually hide and try to make a go of it alone. Your need gives others an opportunity to respond. How many times have you heard about someone who has been sick, or who lost a love one, or who has a relationship on the rocks, and it’s been weeks or months since it’s happened. You feel crushed. You could have helped.

In your trial, you will need your brother or sisters to walk with you, to live our their faith beside you, to love you. And one day, you can do the same for them.

You will waste your trial if you fail to use it as a pointer to God’s truth.

They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues (church) and prisons, and you be brought before kings and governors for my name sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness to truth. -Luke 21:12-13-

So is it with cancer or job loss or emotional loss. There is a golden opportunity to show there are things more important than life on this earth. Don’t let them slip by.

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