It’s true that life is full of trials, but it’s also true that we often fail to recognize the benefits they provide for us. You’re probably saying, “You’ve got to be kidding!” No, I’m not kidding! Let’s examine just a few hidden benefits they provide for us. To discover these hidden treasures in trials, we must look deeper than just on the surface.
When you’re traveling in unknown territories you need a map and a compass. Trials can provide a compass, letting us know if we are on or off course in our journey with God. For example, Jonah was running away from God’s will. He lost his bearings, as many of us do at times. Like Jonah, we don’t do what we should, and we wander in the wrong direction. God sent a storm to Jonah and a whale to swallow him. Now, you may wonder Where’s the benefit in this trial?
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)”
Jonah’s trial was not sent to kill him. God’s grace in action through this trial 1). helped him fulfill God’s purpose for his life; 2). saved him from throwing away his God-given destiny; 3). and put him in the right direction. Jonah got back on course and God used him to save a nation from destruction. Could the trial you face today have the same purpose? Are you running from God, knowing His call but wanting to do something else? Is God trying to get your attention to turn you back to His purposes for your life?
In the Gospel of Mark chapters 4 & 5, Jesus and his disciples were going by boat to the Gadarenes (which means the prize is at the end). A severe storm threatened their of chances reaching their destination and even endangered their lives. This trial revealed two important things. When Jesus leads you, the devil will challenge you and do everything he can to change your direction.
Trials can be the enemy’s stumbling blocks to influence you to change your direction. Check it out by asking, “Is Jesus in my boat, or am I going it alone?” If Jesus is in your boat, the devil is confirming you’re on track through the trial you’re facing. Be assured, you’re close to fulfilling God’s plan for you in this season and that this trial will not last very long.
Jesus and His disciples made it to their destination and a demonized man, as well as a whole region, was freed from Satan’s control. Their trial couldn’t compare to the great victories accomplished by staying on their God-given course. A setback doesn’t mean you should step back! If you endure the trial Satan sent your way, you’ll see the fruit of your efforts. Don’t give in or give up.
We don’t want to be like so many people who go through trials and get nothing from them except frustration, discouragement, even anger at God.
Remember Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”