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 we can rest in, regarding the trials of life.
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 be facing on the outside, through faith in Jesus Christ, we can experience victory in our inner man.
Consider it all joy, my brothers when you encounter various trials, knowing that 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 1:2-3 NASB
A spiritual trial tests our faith, and is purposed to build our inner man, not destroy us. In the above verse, we see that the apostle 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 the case.
We must become more dependent upon the Lord, allowing Him to craft us into a beautiful masterpiece as we work through each trial.~Charles E. Maldon, Jr., author of In the Beginning: Godliness through Marriage
Do we consider the joyful attitude we must muster, as a key to enduring a trial, as James mentions? 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 all the time. 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. Why are trials are necessary? Our faith grows in the process of working through them, and this works to anchor our faith until it is is durable, unshakable, and true.
James tells us to receive trials with joy. He says, “Consider it all joy…” (James 1:2). The word “consider” is defined as to think carefully, or to evaluate correctly. In other words, we are to assess our trial in the midst of what we value. Our values determine our evaluation. If I love comfort over character, or material over spiritual needs, I cannot consider it all joy because what I value is based on what I see right now. Faith eyes believe without seeing. James also says, “when you encounter”, meaning we will definitively encounter trials. In some biblical translations, this passage reads, “it is inevitable that trials are a part of life.”
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
The reality is spiritual endurance cannot be attained by reading a book, listening to a sermon, or even by praying about trials. These are excellent ways to strengthen us as we go through our trials and keep us in tune with the Holy Spirit, however, we learn best by passing the test experientially, trusting God and obeying Him through it all. As we boldly pursue His solutions, He works within us godly character. This is a step-by-step process, and there is no easy way to trust Him, except by accepting His guidance, and working through the trials He permits.
James mentions, “let endurance have its perfect work.” The word “let” means a surrendered will; or the posture of relinquishing control. God desires to build our inner man before He calls us to serve. 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. He allows the hardships to make us mature and complete. Trials are opportunities for us to stretch our faith, and if we are willing to allow Him to work in us, we gain the victory.
The Lord’s love for us is so vast. Thus, the trials we face, we will face with Him by our side. He remakes us into His image through trials. As we work through trials, let us model trust in God to our wives and children. They are watching, and we will be helping them to be victors too, as they watch us work through trials, patiently, joyfully, and most of all–with faith in Almighty God.
Is there a trial you are facing that seems overwhelming? How can you align your perspective to God’s?
Lord God, thank You for loving me enough to allow trials to mature me. Please help me to see Your purposes while facing a trial. Forgive me for complaining while I’m in a trial. Help me see the fulfillment of your plan, the building of my character, and the surrendering of my will to Your will, regardless of the trial I am going through, for I know You are with me, helping me through.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Copyright 2021:Victory in the Trial: Charles E. Maldon, Jr.: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
CHARLES E. MALDON, JR.
Charles E. Maldon Jr., is an ordained reverend, speaker, writer and mentor. However, the title he is most proud of is a servant of Christ.
Charles is a devotion/article writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, specializing in the area of marriage, with the goal of helping men improve their marriages.
Charles’s mission in life is to encourage others to know their true value by developing an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. As the Lord continues to mold him, Charles uses his colorful life experiences, both “good and bad”, as real-life ministry tools. He believes there are treasures to be found in every trial—perspective is everything.
The crux of his writing is to bring others to freedom through authentic transparency. In addition to his writing, Charles is the founder/administrator of Break-Thru Ministries, a men’s ministry which focuses on helping the family, especially men, to become all that Christ created them to be. He enjoys helping men to fulfill their calling in life, relationships, and manhood.
He is currently in the process of revising his book, In the Beginning: Godliness through Marriage. He is a member of the Maryland Writer’s Association and Word Weavers. He also blogs on his ministry page, Break-Thru Ministries, where his hope is to touch someone with the love of Jesus.
Charles is the proud father of two boys and resides in North Carolina with his lovely wife Lekeisha. In his spare time, he enjoys working out, traveling and spending time with his family.
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