The ECS staff gathers every morning for a staff-led devotional and prayer. The following was shared by 2nd grade teacher Carole Bell this week. We hope it is an encouragement for you!
Most of us have heard the saying: “You are either in a trial, coming out of a trial, or soon to enter one.”
Yes, life is full of trials or tests. These trials or tests come in various forms: loss of a love one or loss of a job, health concerns, relationship struggles in marriage, singleness, parenting, friendships, or partnerships, frustrations or disappointments at work, school, home or out in the community and the list could go on and on. Truly, I think all of us would attest to the fact that trials are just part of life. There is no way to avoid them. Yet, if we are honest, we all try. So the question arises….How can we successfully deal with them?
James 1:2-4 is a key scripture I find myself going back to over and over again for comfort and instruction as I seek to answer this question. These verses read:
“Consider it all joy my brethren, 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.”
From these verses, I’d like to share with you a simple acrostic that has helped me as I have worked and continue to work through various trials in my life.
T- Think forward.
Don’t get stuck in the moment but think beyond…Remember Romans 8:28. God has a purpose and He is going to use this difficulty or disappointment for my good and His glory.
R- Realize God has a plan and Rest in it.
God is with me always, and He will never give me more than I can handle. This trial or situation did not take Him by surprise. This is part of His plan for my life. God is with me to walk through this trial or in some cases to carry me through it (Footprint Poem). Proverbs 3:5,6
I- In faith, go to God in prayer asking primarily for wisdom and endurance.
Wisdom wants what God wants. Aligning my desires with His desires is so important to experiencing true joy in the trial. You see, if I truly desire comfort, safety, and ease over the pain that is necessary for my growth and maturity, then I will view my trials with contempt, anger, and betrayal. I am to learn to value what God Says is important which is my spiritual maturity and a godly testimony. James 1:5.
A- Acknowledge who God is and how much He loves us.
He is in control of all situations that come our way. Nothing happens to you or I that has not already passed through God’s loving hands. (Picture a baby nestled in the palms of God’s hands). God is all powerful and nothing is too difficult for Him. He delights in doing the impossible. 😊 God is always good. Psalm 23 tells us “Surely goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our life and we will dwell in the House of the Lord forever”. Acknowledging God’s attributes makes all the difference in our attitudes and actions.
L-Let God be God.
Don’t try to control the circumstance or seek to make God act in our timing, but let God accomplish whatever He wants…His will, His way, His timing …not ours! Isaiah 55:8
S- Say thanks in all situations and circumstances knowing God desires for us to “Rejoice always and again I say rejoice” . I Thess. 5 says “In everything, give thanks, for this is God’s will for you.”
So as we look at trials from God’s perspective, we see that they are necessary, from God, and only for a season to grow us, mature us, and to bring glory to God’s name. George Whitefield said,
“All trials for two ends, that we may be better acquainted with the Lord Jesus and better acquainted with our own hearts.”
Yes, we all are enrolled in the “School of Life”; and Yes, we’d all like more recesses. 😊 But, let’s not forget, Jesus is our Master Teacher and He knows what is best. Our greatest desire and fulfillment is to become more like Him!