Somedays I write posts for you … and somedays (or at least today) there are amazing guest posters who give me a hand!
This guest post is actually a “post swap.” I’ve also written a little something for Anna’s blog on when God doesn’t answer prayers. You should definitely check it (and Anna’s blog) out!
Trusting God Through Trials
When I was eleven, my grandmother was told that her cancer had returned. And this time, it had spread. While we didn’t live near each other, we often exchanged letters and phone calls. I admired her and looked up to her, and I looked forward to every time she would visit.
She spent days and weeks in the hospital, undergoing different treatments of chemotherapy, draining fluids, and various medications.
But it wasn’t enough.
It was almost a year of battling and courageously fighting against the cancer.
And we were praying. Our family, our relatives, our friends. Our church family and our neighbors.
But one cold October morning, we received the news that she had gone to be with Jesus.
Why? we asked. She was so young! Is our yiayia, our grandmother, really gone?
It was a very painful experience, but we kept praying and praying. God, give us peace. Give us strength for the wake. Be with us through the funeral. Lord, thank you that it’s all over.
And guess what? In difficult times like these, God often won’t change our circumstances. But He will help us through them.
It often requires our most desperate times to reveal God’s greatest beauty.
That’s why it’s important to cling to Christ in the midst of them. God is molding and crafting our hearts behind the scenes into what He wants them to be.
When we look to God in the most difficult trials, He’s not going to fix everything. But when we dig ourselves out of the hole of self-pity we’ve fallen into and center our gaze on the only One with all-power and sovereignty, then we’ll find true peace.
“I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done,” Elizabeth Elliot once wrote.
When God gives us hardship, the purpose is always more than to just inflict us with pain.
How often do we learn to trust in the midst of cheerful blue skies, perfect health, and days free of anxiety, fear, and depression?
Prayer is one of the most profound ways to say, “Here, God, I’m trusting you with everything. Take my life and do what you want with it. Thy will be done.”
But often, my prayers are far from that. My pride frequently blinds me to what God’s infinitely bigger, better, and far more superior plan is. I don’t want to admit that I need a Savior.
“ ‘In the same way, I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,’ says the Lord,” Isaiah 66:9 says.
God has a purpose in every pain.
When we pray and cling to God in the midst of every trial, we’re choosing to accept His will and trust Him when we don’t know what’s going to happen. We need to choose to trust the only One with the ability to move mountains.
Maybe your mountain is your chronic illness, your sick family member, your singleness, your anxiety or depression, or your loneliness.
And it’s hard to trust. It’s hard to surrender all of our pain and brokenness and messiness to Christ’s perfect love. But I’ve discovered three prayers to bring us peace in the midst of trials.
1. Thy will be done
It is painful to trust God with His will. It requires dying to self and taking the step of obedience we often don’t want to take. Selfishness cannot mix with faith.
But when we accept God’s will for our lives, we are filled with an often strange sense of peace. “I don’t know where you’re leading me, Father,” we’re saying, “but I trust you with everything.”
2. Give me strength
We are a weak and broken people. And it’s only when we admit our littleness and God’s bigness where we’ll find true and lasting joy.
Ask God for strength and He will give it to you. Your circumstances may not change, but your heart will.
3. Teach me to walk by faith and not by sight
I’m a planner. I like to know what’s coming next. And when my life takes plot twists that I’m not expecting, it’s often hard for me to keep on trusting.
But it is by faith that God will move our mountains.
God didn’t change my Yiayia’s circumstances. But He did change our hearts. He gave us a supernatural sense of peace. And He gave us Himself.
So if you’re stuck in an overwhelming mountain of hardship, pain, and suffering, remember to trust. Remember that God will make everything beautiful in its time. And most of all, remember that He has a plan in every pain.
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Isn’t Anna awesome? This post is so beautiful – and spot on! When I read it for the first time, I was just like, “What? This post gets to go on Reveries? *jaw drops*”
Remember to check out the post I wrote for her blog, which is “When God Doesn’t Answer Prayers.” I hope you enjoy it and will give Anna a comment, a like, and a follow!
What do you think about trusting God? Did you enjoy this post? Did you hop over to Anna’s blog to check out mine? Would you like to do a blog swap some time? (It’d be fun! Really!) What would you do if 45 people signed up to beta-read for you in the first two days and you were like, “Help?”