“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do for it is written be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16
What to do? What to do? That is the question. You have a problem, not just a problem with the length of your hair, but a real problem – something that is a “trial”. You want God to tell you what to do, but you don’t seem to receive an answer to prayer or you can’t even pray or you never even thought to pray. Your mind is stuck; you are in a rut.
Many of us remain in the rut because we don’t know how to move on. The problem becomes bigger than it is because we are dwelling on it. We are discussing it with our loved ones and close friends. We are sharing it with our co-workers and our acquaintances. We create a swirling dervish of judgments, advice and opinions from many people. Suddenly, the problem has tripled in size and we are deeper in the pit then we started.
We do need to remember that many times we create problems by our “unholy living”. So before stepping out to tackle a trial, we need to make sure that we are not creating it and recreating it by our unholy behavior. If that is what is causing the problem, stop it. We need to discipline ourselves to refuse to live unholy lives. If we can’t stop the unholy living then it has become a trial.
We also need to make sure that the problem is actually ours to deal with. Many times a problem is someone else’s issue and not one we should be tackling. We need to remember to seek God’s guidance to make sure that the “problem” is something we should take action on or something we need to step back from. Remember if it is someone else’s problem, be a good friend by listening if called upon to do so, but don’t let them pull you into the pit with them. Then we are of no use at all but rather a hindrance to their journey.
A trial is defined as being subjected to suffering or encountering a grievous experience. It is also defined as a distressed or painful state. Trials tend to take place over time.
The Great Book tells us that we all will “suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even through refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1Peter 1:6-7. So trials are necessary in order to deepen our faith and prepare us for eternal living.
If we are experiencing trials, GOOD! It means we are being refined by God.
The first step in facing any trial is to seek out Jesus for comfort, wisdom, strength, perseverance and hope. Sit with Him and talk and listen.
The second step in facing any trial is to seek out Jesus day by day. If the day seems too long, seek Jesus hour by hour. If an hour is too much to handle, seek Him moment by moment. Keep your eyes on Christ.
The third step in facing any trial is to seek out Jesus when we can’t. When we have done all we can, prayed until we are without prayers, persevered until we can’t persevere anymore, hoped until it seems there is no hope, then let Jesus just hold us . . . for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Matthew 11:30
Trials are not solvable by us – they are processes to journey through not by ourselves but with Christ’s wisdom, strength, and comfort. My prayer for us this week is that we allow Jesus to walk with us in our trials and that in those journeys, our faith is proved genuine!