I don’t know about you but it seems like the past several months have just been extremely trying for several people I know. I’ve seen my share of health issues and job concerns. I’ve listened to concerns about finances and relationships. All I could do in each situation is remind my friends of the goodness of God’s love and grace and encourage them to keep going on.
I suppose I have a unique perspective because I’ve certainly had my share of difficulties at various times in my life. God taught me so much through my various trials and its those hard learned lessons that I can now share with my friends and loved ones and, perhaps, give them some hope during their trials. It also helps to keep me grounded and reminds me that, as Christians, none of us are immune from trials. It’s not a matter of if, but when.
When I am at the end of my rope and don’t know what else to do, it helps to remember these things:
- Recognize Gods refinement in our lives: Just like refining gold or silver, God continually molds and develops us into his image. Sometimes the refining is painful and hurtful, but it always ends in a beautiful, shiny creation. We have to trust the Lord during the refining process.
- Look for righteousness more than solutions: I am preaching to the choir with this point. I know that I always tend to search constantly for a solution and worry myself beyond measure. Sometimes, I just need to stop. I need to take a breather from searching “how” and realize that God already has the solution. It’s just that HIS timing isn’t always in sync with my timing.
- Remember it is not permanent: While trials are inevitable, they’re only temporary. It may seem like your trial is lasting forever and that you can’t take any more, but it will end.
- Recommit to full surrender: Sometimes, what we are experiencing is a conflict between what God is directing us to do and what we stubbornly refuse to do. It often helps to surrender our full life and will to God and allow him to fully direct our paths, not fight HIM the entire way.
As difficult as it is, always remember that you are one of God’s Jewels and that God’s refining produces gems with immeasurable beauty.
For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. Psalms 66: 10 (NIV)