It seems at times that our lives are never-ending battle grounds where we fight one trial after another. Sometimes we sit back and wonder just what is going on! As Christians, shouldn’t our lives just flow with ease and prosperity as some preachers proclaim it should? Are we missing something in our Christian walk or are we just fooling ourselves?
The truth is that we will have trials and tribulations in this world, and Jesus makes this clear in John 16:33 when He says, “In the world ye shall have tribulation”. The Lord does not delight in this; He doesn’t get a thrill because we are having problems, but He often allows these things to come at us so we can learn and grow through them. It’s when we face these challenges that we realize how weak we are on our own merits, and how much we need to pour our confidence and trust into God to deliver us through them.
Sometimes things come at us and we want to be responsible, and we actually think that we can handle them on our own. We feel that it’s not something we need to bring to a Holy God and so we struggle through them alone. For example, maybe we’re are on a strict budget and struggling with finances and then we get a flat tire. There is no money to repair or replace this tire and we need the car for work, but we don’t want to ask God for help because it seems like a rather unusual prayer to ask God for a tire. In other words, our pride gets in the way—(Proverbs 16:18).
God tells us to ask Him for anything and He will help us with it. We need to take this problem to God because there is no problem too great or too small, too profound or too trivial for God when it comes to His children. He tells us to come to Him with these issues.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” … John 14:13-14
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” … 1 Peter 5:7
Our walk with God matures when we realize that our life is not our own. When we have needs or when problems come at us, we need to give them to God right away and wait on Him for the answer. When we do, God is able to work on our behalf and the answer will come. But more than getting the answer to our problem is the fact that through each tribulation our faith in God grows, and our dependency on Him becomes greater. In other words, we begin to realize our own weaknesses in this world as we allow His strength in us to grow.
Apostle Paul teaches us that it’s Christ in us who gives us our strength. We can’t learn it or develop it on our own; it’s not about theology. It’s our faith and trust in God [who lives in us] that makes us strong. When we came to the cross, we accepted the salvation of Jesus because we acknowledged that we could not save ourselves—that He was our Redeemer—and we realize that as we grow He is our strength.
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” … 2 Corinthians 12:10
We need to realize that it is Christ in us who is our strength, and that He will get us through the trials so that we can give all the glory to God because of them.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. ” … Philippians 4:13
As we study the Bible and learn about God, problems will come at us, and they are often the means that God uses to teach us lessons and to draw us closer to Him. And often He allows them for our own benefit so that we can show ourselves where our trust and confidence lies—in Him or in ourselves. If we can actually give the problems to God when they come and thank Him and trust Him for His direction, we mature as our confidence in God grows a little bit more with each trial.
When we try to tackle the situations on our own accord, we actually raise ourselves up and deny God’s strength in us and that stunts our growth. When we became Christians, that old man in us died and our lives were given to the Lord. It’s no longer our life to live how we want; we have given our lives to serve Him and He lives in us, so we need to let Him live in us.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” … Galatians 2:20
We are no match on our own human level for the powers of darkness. We need God in us to get us through each and every trial in life. And when we do, we grow. Our faith in Christ in us gets stronger and we become mature Christians who know that we can trust God for every aspect of our lives.
As we get older, this world gets more corrupt and it pushes closer toward judgment. We need the strength and power within us to come from Christ alone. God needs us to be mature Christians who know that it is Him in us who gives us the strength, the wisdom and the ability to overcome trials. People need to see Christ in us if we are going to lead them into salvation. All glory must be to God and not to our own abilities because it’s not of own strength that we do anything we do.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” … Proverbs 3:5-6
The trials we face in life are stepping-stones we need to overcome so that God can use us and allow us to be a blessing to others. But we’ll only get through these trials and win over them when we learn to surrender them to the Lord and let Him bring us through them. As our faith in Him grows, we are more able to trust Him to get us through the next trial—and it may be bigger, but our faith be stronger.
When we try to get through the trials on our own merits, we won’t develop our faith in Christ because we will not have put our faith to work—(James 2:20), and we won’t know that we can trust Him. We may think that we are maturing as Christians because we think we believe, but the truth is that if we don’t depend on Christ to get us through our trials, then it’s still us in control….and without faith in Christ we will only fool ourselves.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” … John 16:33