By Jenn Weiser
God knows all the past, present and future trials, and tests of our faith. Do you remember the story of Joseph and his brothers selling him into slavery because of his gift of interpreting dreams? Joseph’s love and steadfastness for the Lord helped him endure the trials. (Did you catch that? Trials plural.) “But the Lord was with Joseph..” Genesis 39:2, 21, 23
However, Joseph’s trials came with a true blessing. Joseph tells his brothers, “And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing or harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God.” Genesis 45:5-8
Trials are a part of life. Trials test our faith. God tests our faith. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:2-3
Often it doesn’t feel like a joyous occasion when our faith is on trial. So, why should we be happy about it? It simply says because it produces steadfastness. Steadfastness is being committed and standing firm in something. Faith is certainly something to stand firm in. “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised those who love Him.” James 1:12 For your standing firm in your faith, through whatever life puts you through, you will be rewarded.
Standing firm in your faith produces hope. Hope is the trust that we put in God to heal our hearts. Hope is the desire to want to live by God’s word that we may be able to endure the obstacles that come in and out of our lives. We have been given instructions on how to do that. “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we may have hope.” Romans 15:4
Although, it is easier said than done, right? How can we choose to be happy and joyous, be filled with faith and hope, when all we feel is anger, sorrow, or maybe we just don’t even know how to feel at all? The bible tells us that it is all right to feel these feelings. “Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds and be silent. Selah.” Psalm 4:4
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunities to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27 It is acceptable to be angry, just don’t be sinful in your anger.
“..my eye grows dim through sorrow. Every day I call upon you, O Lord; I spread out my hands to you.” Psalm 88:9 Give these hurts to God. He already sees your heart and what’s in it. Whatever you tell Him will not be a surprise to Him but it will be a relief to you. “Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:26-28
Even when we don’t know how to express ourselves to God, the faith and hope we have in the Spirit will cry out for us. Having the Spirit living in us helps us in our most desperate times to be able to cope with our deepest emotions. God will answer the request of the Spirit because the Spirit prays in accord with God’s will. How awesome is that?
“I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon the rock, making my steps secure.” Psalm 40:1-2