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Triumph from Trials

After posting a tweet which stated: "God is good, all of the time", I received a message. And I haven't stopped thinking about it.

"If God is so good, why does he allow all of the bad things happening right now without stopping them?"

Valid question, sir. And one I often find myself asking, in my own life.

God, if your hand is upon my life, why aren't you fixing this situation? Why am I still battling this?

When is my answer going to come?

Let's face it. It's easy to be faithful and pray for a period of time. Eventually, when we don't get answers right away, or don't get the answer we had hoped for, it's easy to place the blame on God.

I won't lie to you guys, I've been pretty inconsistent lately. Some days I wake up and I am totally gung-ho, Jesus has my story written, I do NOT need to worry, woo hoo!

Yet, some days I wake up and cannot seem to find the energy or strength to believe those thoughts. I may say them, but there is certainly no faith behind them.

If God really had my back, wouldn't He want to deliver me from my hurt? From my anger? From this stagnant point of my life?

And then, while typing my response to my Twitter inquiry, it dawned on me.

God allows bad seasons to endure in order to strengthen you.

If people immediately got what they wanted when they prayed, they wouldn't have to muster up any sort of credible faith. Instead, they'd shrug everything off, and lightly say that God's got it. Or, they may turn the credit to the human race. It is only when God comes through in that eleventh hour, in our deepest distress, in our darkest moments, that we realize- this could only be God. Nothing else.

God wants you to strengthen your faith. When I look back, the situations that have shaped me to be a stronger person are the ones that gave me the most grief. If God hadn't allowed me to stay in some pretty sticky and emotional situations, I most definitely would not have the (work in progress!) confidence I have today. Or the faith I have. Or the testimony I share.

I wouldn't be able to help others. I wouldn't be able to relate to others. I wouldn't have the strength I have today.

Now, I'm not saying that I've gone through the wringer or anything- and I know that some people have. But maybe, just maybe, God is shaping you to help someone else. Maybe through your heartbreak, He is trying to reveal your self-worth. Maybe through your loss He is preparing you to cope with disappointment. Maybe this hard time is increasing your intake of His word. Maybe He is preparing your faith to be bigger than you could ever imagine.

If it were easy, it wouldn't be worth it.

"If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all." Isaiah 7:9

Perhaps God is testing you, seeing how much faith you actually have in Him and His abilities. There is a reason for every season. When you start to believe that, you can keep standing on His word and your answers will come.

You will begin to see that only His divine timing will be best for you.

We don't understand why things happen. We don't understand why we hurt. Why we experience certain loss. Why some people get to live and others don't.

But we need to understand that God is in charge, and He has purpose behind it all.

Whether it is to strengthen us, inspire others, or a completely alternative reason, there is purpose behind it.

When we are able to accept this, we can begin to pray with purpose. Our attitude can shift, and we can say: "God, I don't know why I'm here, but I trust it's part of your plan. I trust that you are creating something beautiful from this. I trust that you are in control, and that something fruitful will come out of this."

"Jesus replied, 'You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.'" John 13:7

Do you think Jesus wanted to endure the beating He did? I'm sure not, but look what came of it. Grace. Unimaginable grace for all.

Daniel was rescued from the lions' den untouched because of his faith in prayer while he waited.

When Ruth's husband died, she did not give up. She stayed with her mother-in-law and eventually found Boaz. Had she not gone through that trial, their paths may have never crossed.

Had David not withstood trials, we wouldn't have had the book of Psalms that daily comforts my anxieties and worries.

Each story is meaningful. Each detail is important.

We don't know why, but we do know how we can respond.

We can give thanks, and believe that God can bring triumph from the trials.


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