*TRIAL AND TEST*
If you have faced trials and test of life, reading this is very important,Because if one thing is certain, it’s that tests and trials and problems do come upon us. They vary in origin, type, intensity and length, but come they will.
When we read in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that “no temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man,” we can easily list the most common ones. There are health problems, the death of a loved one, financial stress, job troubles, loneliness, mistreatment, troubled relationships, dangerous circumstances, etc. Even blessings, when misused, have turned into trials for some.
And when we see unusual trials, none are so rare that others have not faced them as well.
No matter how big or small the hardship, how long it lasts, how temporary or permanent the consequences, we have to cope. Sometimes we cope well, and other times we don’t. You may recall examples of both in your own past.
But we don’t have to cope alone!
Peter says we should be humbly “casting all your care upon Him [God], for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). He knows and understands our needs because “we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Therefore we can “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (verse 16).
What are the needs that we should pray to God about? It’s easy to focus only on what seems obvious—I lost my job, so, God, please help me find work. I’m sick, so, God, please heal me. I’m lonely, so, God, please bring someone into my life.
We may always go to God, but we may not always ask for all the things we really need.
There is nothing wrong with asking for a specific answer to a specific problem, but is that the only thing we need in order to cope with the trial? Are there other things to ask God for as well, and maybe to ask for first?
Let’s consider seven needs—keys to surviving life’s trials—to cast upon God in our prayers.
First of all, we humans are heavily influenced by emotions, and in times of stress our emotions often fluctuate. We cannot afford to allow an unsettled emotional state to dictate our level of confidence in God. That means we need to
1. PRAY FOR FAITH
Four times Matthew records Jesus using the
phrase, “O you of little faith.” Each situation differed, but in each one He identified an enemy of faith—worry, fear, doubt and human reasoning. When life goes well, those are nonissues. But in times of trial, those enemies tend to raise their ugly heads!
When the future is uncertain, when life is challenging, it’s not always easy to confidently repeat Paul’s words, “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).
That’s the time to pray, “Father, please strengthen my faith. Help me to remember this.”
“We know that all things work together for good” is a statement of faith, of confidence in what you will see in the future. Faith doesn’t tell us in advance how, or when, or what we will go through, or why it will work that way. Faith just says “we know.”
Do we? When God gives us faith, we do!
It’s called walking by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Sight only tells us one thing—when we see God has intervened. Faith tells us He will. We only see the past and present, and even then our perspective is often not very clear. But spiritually, God helps us see what lies ahead.
However, accepting that requires belief—faith—in Him, His Word, His way.
Why is faith important to God? Because He’s our Father. He’s in control. He wants His children to believe and trust Him.
If we have faith that God has the answers and will answer, we must also be willing to wait for Him. That means we need to …
2. PRAY FOR PATIENCE
A scripture telling us to patiently wait for Christ’s return also holds a lesson for patiently waiting for Him to answer our prayers.
In James 5:7-8 we read, “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”