Par for the course… why? If we are trying to live by faith why do we have trials?
On this subject, I came across a video clip on the site of someone who followed my older blog. It was an interesting song. ‘Before the morning’ (I will link to the clip at the end.)
It begins with questions about why ‘you’ are suffering if there is a loving God Who cares. Questions like this are quite common.
Remember the old song “I never promised you a rose garden’? Well God does not promise us a life without pain and trials if we accept the sacrifice His Son made for us.
Trials never end – while we are alive.
As it was in the beginning of our faith…
- In Hold the Faith, book one of the Apostle John series, Benjamin faced a faith-testing trial. Ours trials are different to those of the fictional characters, but some of ours are ‘faith-testing’ too.
- In The Light of Truth, book three, I wrote about the trials of a background character who has moved to the foreground. Then someone who left in book two, Grow in Grace, made a re-entry in this third book.
Here things are moving toward another arrest of the Apostle John.
- In book four, Keep the Flame, one of my favorite characters dies.
- Book 5, Hell Shall Not Prevail, completes the series, and it was not the end of trials.
The books are fiction but the trials and challenges are similar to those we face.
So why am I talking about these books? Why mention the song? Because, although my book series is fiction, my primary resource book has been the Bible, and in writing this series I have learnt a great deal about why things happen.
Take for example Jesus’ words...
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Many people are told that because Jesus said “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’, that He has done it all for us. Not so.
Trials did not stop with Jesus’ resurrection
Look at the lives of those first disciples… only John survived into old age. The others, according to legend, were all martyred. Also, according to legend, John was put in boiling oil. That does not sound like ‘Jesus did it all’ to me.
And what about these scriptures...
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
These writers, who were Apostles, make it clear that we will have trials, and as we plod through them, our faith and trust in our Saviour grows.
Have you read this one?
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
James 1: 3, 4
The trust in His Father that Jesus had to exercise must have been enormous, and another scripture says that He learned obedience through the things He suffered. (Heb 5: 8)
Jesus was schemed against all throughout His ministry. He must have been one of the loneliest, most lied about, most misunderstood person who ever lived. Not to mention the most cruelly punished. He was scourged, mocked and crucified.
Although what Jesus and the early Christians went through makes what we go through seem ‘mild’ by comparison, our trials are horrendous to us.
Sometimes all we can do is ask God for help…
and try to recognise the help when it is given.