It is not a popular subject but it is oh so common. We live in a fallen world where bad things can happen to good people. While the limitations, indignities, and challenges of this flawed situation affect everyone, we can face each situation with faith and confidence. Psalm 91:5 promises the Godly person that the Lord will be with them in trouble, not necessarily keep them from trouble. There’s more: He will deliver and honour them.
That is the kind of outcome we all want.
Here are a few practical tips of coping with and overcoming trials and temptations.
- Grace Milepost: In the trial, God may give early on and periodically along the way ‘grace milepost,’ which are a reminder of God’s presence, mercy, and care for you. It is an immediate ray of hope in the midst of enveloping darkness. Like Rahab’s scarlet cord, this grace milepost will be your lifeline to which you hold onto until victory.
- Past Victories: It is always good to remember how God was faithful in the past. Since He never changes, God will be faithful today, tomorrow and forever. The same God who delivered you yesterday is there to deliver you again and again.
- Present Biblical promises: There are numerous Scriptural promises of answered prayer, deliverance, and victory. Identify these promises, write them down, confess and meditate on them. They deliver.
- Keep going: Don’t let the trial knock you off track. Keep doing what you are called to do. Nehemiah did. Galatians 6:9 says that at the right time you will reap, if you do not give up. The enemy would dearly like to stop you from exercising your call and give up; don’t let him succeed!
- Prayer unto peace: You should pray and it will deliver peace. So pray until you receive the peace; come boldly to the throne of grace (Philippians 4:6-7; John 14:27).
- Meditate on the Word: This is a powerful practice that guarantees success (Joshua 1; Psalm 1). While you’re doing that, confess the Word aloud, again and again. It is a real faith-builder and victory-snatcher.
- Faith instead of sight (2 Corinthians 5:7 – For we walk by faith, not by sight): Don’t be moved by what you see; respond to what you believe. What you see is temporal and what you don’t is eternal — 2 Corinthians 4:18
- Distress brings enlargement: Like labour pains before the birth and tribulation before a Millennium, trials are allowed by God to help the righteous grow. David knew all about it: Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer — Psalm 4:1; Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer — Psalm 18:18-19 (emphasis mine).
- Be strong: This is not just a good idea – it’s a divine command. Three times, God told Joshua to ‘be strong and of a good courage’ (Joshua 1:6,7,9). It’s not just a ‘good idea’ – it’s a ‘God-idea.’ The Lord will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:12-17: There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. If you’re trial is strong, it means you are also strong … strong enough to handle it by God’s grace.
- Face it now: John Loeffler says deal with the situation now or it gets harder. Sam Sorbo says the second crime scene is worse than the first. It is understandable to run and hide from the challenge, but often God wants us to face it with Him. Jehoshaphat was victim of an unprovoked attack by three nations, but God wanted him to go to the wilderness and personally witness His miraculous hand at work – 2 Chronicles 20:16-17: God will fight for you but he wants you to see the victory. Psalm 91:7-8: A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
- Power of faith: 2 Chronicles 20:20: The trial is the gymnasium of faith. Just like resisting heavy weights causes you to grow stronger, so does standing with God in faith makes you an overcome. When you believe in God and His prophetic word, you are established and prosper.
- Power of praise and worship: Continuous, not just seasonal, praise and worship in the Spirit reconfigures the heavenliness, which brings down blessing to the earth. In addition to honouring the Name of the Lord, it is a potent spiritual weapon – 2 Chronicles 20:21-22.
In the midst of the trial, when you continue to seek the Lord and stand strong, make no mistake about it: you are honouring Him more than in normal times. By His grace, you will pull through and end up on the mountain top.
The season of trial will pass … and better days lie ahead … but you will be a bigger, stronger, and more victorious person as a result.
Then go, help others in their affliction. You’ll have much to offer.