Some trials are more daunting than others. A few friends come to mind. They have been in and out of hospitals. As much as we would all love to wish those troubles away, they are a part of life, and Christians certainly aren’t exempt. As a matter of fact, Peter tells us not to be surprised by them.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12 ESV
The good news is, the Lord is our deliverer!
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:19 ESV
Seven Ways to Respond to Trials:
1. Lay your frustrations at God’s feet. Your circumstances are not hidden from God. He sees. He hears. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. Psalm 37:5 ESV
2. Keep a steady diet of God’s promises. We become faint when waiting to eat past the point of hunger. After a healthy meal we are energized. In the same way, when we “eat” of the Word, we become stronger. “Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” Jeremiah 15:16a NKJV
3. Pray. Prayer helps us stay connected with God. Remember he’s not forsaken you, although it may seem like it. Keep coming to Him in prayer, crying for help just like Psalm 34 verse 17 (ESV) says: When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
4. Spend time in worship. God’s presence is life-giving. It’s the best de-stressor I know. He wants to pour out His strength to us, give us wisdom and strategies, and fill us with His love. It doesn’t matter what you are dealing with, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
5. Reach out. If your body gets a cut, other parts of the body will work harder to help clean and heal the wound. We are part of the Body of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 12:27). When we are dealing with a trial that overwhelms us, our brothers and sisters in Christ are our support system. Let them help when needed, encourage, and pray for you.
6. Avoid negativity. It’s easy to focus on the problem at hand, which will be a continual input of negativity. Instead, guard what you listen to, read, and watch. For example, if you are having symptoms, but the doctor’s office is closed, be careful going to Dr. Google to try to figure out what’s happening. Instead, try laughter! A merry heart does good, like medicine…Proverbs 17:22 (NKJV) tells us. Watching a Christian comedian would be a pleasant prescription.
7. Rest to recharge. There is a reason Psalm 30:5 (NKJV) says, “…joy comes in the morning.” Our bodies naturally feel down when we are tired. Trials can leave us physically and emotionally drained. Unplug from social media, if necessary. Get some sleep, or at the very least do something relaxing.
The promises in the Word are for you, and they never fail. Thank God for His faithfulness! He is always with you during trials.
How do you respond to trials?