Have you ever heard the saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade?” Or how about, “I’m not a victim but a victor?”
There is validity in these statements, but more importantly, there is a heavenly aspect.
Defined, a trial is a process of testing or an investigation to prove innocence or guilt in a court of law. Most can safely say that when trials come, we are either going in, going through, or coming out of one. No matter what trial we may face, we can experience victory through faith in Jesus Christ.
Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.~James 1:2-4 NASB
A spiritual trial tests our faith and builds our inner person. James wants us to look at trials as occurrences that help us grow closer to the character of Jesus Christ. Christ helps us to accept the challenges and hurdles with confidence, and He walks with us in our trials. We may not control the situation, but we can fix our perspective on what we see as a problem. We may find ourselves thinking we are being punished, but this is not true.
Our outlook determines the outcome, and our attitude determines the action. We must become more dependent upon the Lord, allowing Him to craft us into a beautiful masterpiece as we work through each trial. He teaches humility, compassion, self-control, peace, and faith as we walk through them. The more we surrender our mindset to Him, the more we can rest assured that a mighty work is happening in our lives, despite what we see on the surface. The hard truth is, we cannot expect everything to be problem-free. Jesus tells us in the gospel of John that trials are inevitable.
In the world you shall have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.~John 16:33 NASB
Most trials come because we live in a fallen world. Sickness, accidents, disappointments, and tragedies fall into this category. Other trials come to build our faith and help us change. Jesus becomes our source of trust as we navigate through the difficulty.
James tells us to receive trials with joy. Trials are an inevitable part of life. The word “consider” is defined as thinking carefully or evaluating correctly. We should assess our trial in light of what we value. If I love comfort more than character or material things more than spiritual needs, I cannot consider it all joy. Faith eyes believe without seeing.
So that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold, which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.~1 Peter 1:17 NASB
Spiritual endurance cannot be attained by reading a book, listening to a sermon, or praying about trials. These are excellent ways to strengthen us as we go through our trials, but we learn best by passing the test experientially. As we boldly pursue His solutions, He works within us godly character.
James tells us to let endurance have its perfect work. The word “let” means to surrender our will. God cannot build our character without our cooperation. The Lord wants our hearts to break for Him. It is only then that we will allow the trial to get us to a place where we surrender our will to His.
As we work through trials, let us model trust in God for our spouses and children. They are watching, and we will help them to be victors too.
Is there a trial you are facing that seems overwhelming? How can you align your perspective with God’s?
Lord God, thank You for loving me enough to allow trials to mature me. Please help me see Your purposes while facing a trial. Forgive me for complaining. Help me see the fulfillment of your plan, the building of my character, and the surrendering of my will to Your will.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2021:Victory in the Trial: Charles E. Maldon, Jr.: All Rights Reserved