“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33)*
I was telling someone at church this week that you are either in a trial, coming out of a trial, or heading into one. How many times have you heard that?! But unfortunately, it’s true. No one is exempt, believer or non-believer alike as we read of Christ’s warning in John 16:33.
Last week I got a whopper out of the blue! It took my breath away. But at least this time I had a chance to catch my breath in between trials. Thank God for periods of reprieve! (I know some of you out there haven’t had a breather in quite some time, but hang in there. Hold onto Jesus! He’s holding on to you too.)
We all know trials are supposed to teach us something. However, many times we’re just glad the hardship is over and move on.
We forget what we learned—assuming that we did.
Have you learned anything from your trials? It’s not automatic, you know.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Heb 12:11, emphasis added)**
Have you been trained by your hardships? What lessons have you learned? What truths about God or His ways seem more clear to you? And are you applying them?
With this new challenge of mine, I feel like I am freefalling again; feet planted in midair—totally helpless and desperate to regain control. I wrote a blog less than 2 years ago on that very topic. In that article, I posed this mind-blowing question:
Is it possible to be desperate without consuming fear?
That’s what the Lord was trying to teach me back then: that it is indeed possible—with Him.
In that blog, I used the example of skydivers who voluntarily step out of a plane 12,000+ feet above ground, and even pay to do it! They think it’s worth the thrill, even at great risk.
My God has “pushed” me out of the plane again. He has forced me to take a leap of faith. Will I panic and scream this time? Or rest in my Rescuer’s sovereignty and relax enough to enjoy the exhilarating experience?
That’s my choice. That’s your choice when you find yourself in those extreme “what am I supposed to do now?” moments.
So did I learn anything from my prior experience? Yes! Praise the Lord! Perfectly? NO!!! But…
- My times of panicking are less frequent; I’m not flailing as much.
- I am enjoying the freefall more.
- I am more excited to see what God’s going to do this time!
- I am invigorated and energized just thinking about how I can give my Savior glory in this crazy situation!
- My desperation has been replaced more often with a deep sense of confidence that my faithful God will catch me!
Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. (Ps 36:5)**
*New Living Translation(NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
**THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.