Raising kids. Keeping House. Choosing joy, every day.

Trials Come In Many Flavors – Pt. 2.

My last post was about a variety of trials and how we deal with them. here

From your feedback and email we all seem to agree that trials caused by the neglect or mistreatment of others, or health problems  seem to cause us the most unrest and fear.  I see it that way, too.

But, take heart!  Trials cannot ruin you. 

The decisions of others cannot harm you . Oh, they may hurt, but they are not in control of the outcome of your life. Remember? It’s not them, it’s HIM!

A husband who is unsensitive or divorces you cannot destroy you. Being held back or overlooked for a job promotion or fired, cannot destroy you. An “enemy” aka mother in law or family member who is out to destroy you cannot do it.

You can only be ruined by your own responses. From inside.(that heart thing again. :))

God is always there, and He is all hope. The gospel is our hope. The gospel changes us and restores us from the wreckage of sin and despair and remakes us into the image of Jesus Christ.

You are destroyed when you leave this all loving Savior out of your heart and mind during your problems.

They can make life hard, but they can’t destroy you.

If we choose self promotion, self reliance,  bitterness, anger, retaliation, worry, depression… that is what destroys us. It will destroy your peace, your life and your relationships.

We are destroyed by the sin in our own hearts.

God is always there. He’ll never leave or forsake you. When you are worried, unstable, overcomed by grief , remember that God’s grace will keep you from daily spiritual defeat.

That is why Paul, in chains and imprisioned, could write :

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and  the God of peace will be with you.

Life can be hard, no doubt about it. But we are called to die to self and live to Christ.

We can respond to trial several ways.

  • We can fight or flight.(take control, manipulate  vs. conflict avoidance and not dealing)
  • We can explode or emote (angry outbursts vs. self pity.)
  • Or we can submit to the hand of God and see him in it.

**(note: when I say submit, it  does not mean to take physicial abuse or just stand by and be abused!  Just makin’ sure you know that I am not talking about that. That would  be “flight” or not dealing with a problem. Take all measures to protect yourself from physical abuse, including using the protection of the law. )

God is in control. God is always working things out for our good . Our job is to respond to His plan in a godly manner.  Respond with hope in his promises. Our spiritual health depends on it, and we are teaching our children and others by our responses.

It is here that our theology is being exposed. (read that post here) Our actions show what we really believe. We are either trusting Christ or handling  life ourself.

One trust, rests, waits, submits and has a peaceful heart.

The other fights, defends, reacts, controls and is full of  turmoil and  chaos in their souls.

“He who cannot calmly leave his affairs in God’s hand, but will carry his own burden, is very likely to be tempted to use wrong means to help himself.” – Spurgeon

Some questions to ask yourself today:

Is God in control today?

Does He know about this trial?

Am I problem centered today, or God centered in my thinking?

“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee.” – Ps. 55:22


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