HOW TO FIND VICTORY THROUGH LIFE'S TRIALS
(By: Norm Rasmussen)
Trials are inevitable in this life, especially for the born again child of God. We commonly hear that there are two things we can be certain of in this life: Death and taxes. That is not a complete statement. Someone left out trials. Trials visit us all. Little trials bringing minor irritation to major trials bringing life-long pain for some; we aren't going to go through life without experiencing them.
However, God wants to teach us how to be victorious in our trials, so it doesn't shipwreck our faith. Many of the trials we each face need to be considered 'spiritual terrorist attacks to try to somehow shipwreck our faith in God.' Thus we need to learn all we can in how to remain victorious in our trials, so our confidence in God and His Word is not shaken, and we don't become overtly discouraged.
The most important thing God wants to teach us, the most important thing we can learn to do QUICKLY when a trial comes our way, is go to God in prayer and ask Him this question:
'What am I to learn from - through this trial?'
Keep asking and keep trusting until you get your answer.
Trials rarely are sent directly from God. Most trials originate from demonic powers, demonic assignments upon our life (spiritual terrorist attacks). When God directly sends a trial our way, it is always because of His love for us. When Satan sends a trial our way, it is always because of his hate for us. If you have a true, sincere heart for the Lord Jesus Christ, you above all people are hated by demonic powers above all others. Never forget that.
Let's also make one other thing perfectly clear. God is 100% sovereign over what demonic powers are allowed to do in our lives. He always has been. He always will be. Every trial demonic powers launch against a child of God first must pass through the screening of our heavenly Father. We see this fact clearly - long before Jesus Christ defeated Satan at the cross - in the Old Testament Book of Job.
Now here is the important point to grasp from this fact. Just because Satan is allowed by God to launch a painful attack upon us does not mean that God delights in it happening. On the contrary -- many things God permits, but He doesn't take personal delight in the pain it causes those who are suffering.
Case in point. In every war, innocent children are painfully affected one way or the other, as are older men and women, not to mention those of ages in between. God doesn't take delight in these innocent people suffering. He hurts right along with those who are hurting. Yet he permits war because in permitting Satan and his demonic hordes to have their way on this planet, war is just one of many expressions of evil that God must contend with yet for a season. Permitting evil to flourish doesn't mean God delights in its flourishing, anymore than God delighted that Jesus Christ had to suffer on the cross for our sins, nor all His demonic suffering that took place from day one of His ministry.
God will deal with evil as His plan unfolds to deal with it and destroy it, in accordance with His written Word. God has a plan alright to destroy evil on this planet, it just is going to get executed on God's timetable, not ours.
To drive the point home about what God permits the devil to do: If Satan's attacks against us somehow secretly please our heavenly Father, then why is God going to one day in the future seal Satan's doom in the eternal lake of fire? Why doesn't God just keep Satan and his demon hordes around through all eternity to be with us in heaven to continually attack us, try us, inflicting pain upon us? Saying it a little differently, if demonic attacks against God's people are so beneficial, why has God promised in His Word that heaven will be a place of eternal joy and peace, free from all evil?
No, demonic attacks against God's children does not give God secret pleasure. A part of Him hurts every bit as much as we hurt when trials come our way. It probably hurts Him more than we hurt, if the truth be known.
Yet here is what God wants born again believers to see and be at peace with. Every trial that we go through in this life, God promises that He is going to use those trials to ultimately work for our eternal good! Because most trials against Christian believers come from Satan, God still promises us from His Word that He will use those trials, painful and unfair as they may be, to work for our eternal good! Precious one, this is a win-win situation!
Here is our absolute assurance that God is using our trials to one day become our blessing:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
While we do not look at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NKJV)
I hope you can grasp this awesome promise God has assured us of in the above scripture. Our trials in this life ' in light of eternity, is but for a moment, and are working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory! Beyond our salvation, this is perhaps one of the greatest demonstrations of God's miraculous power we could fathom. God will use our pain and misery and turn it into an eternal blessing for us! Can you shout 'Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus!'
We have incredible comfort knowing that our suffering as Christian believers is not in vain at all, in light of eternity! Yet God still wants us to be in tune with His Spirit when a trial comes our way. He still wants us to inquire of Him as to what we are to learn from the trial while we're going through it. Nine times out of ten He will reveal to us that the trial is not only coming from Satan, and NOT God, but how to be wiser from then on to spot a similar demonic attack in the future and stop Satan dead in his tracks before the attack can gain momentum.
Our human nature wants no conflict, no pain, no suffering. (It's not all that stupid, is it?!). However, that desire will not be granted until we get to heaven, or until Christ returns to earth to eradicate evil. Until then, we are in a spiritual battle that is only going to steadily intensify. As each day passes, Satan knows his time is running out. Satan knows that once Jesus Christ returns to earth in all His power and majesty for the whole world to marvel at, his defeat will come. Thus as God allows, Satan is going to make an all-out effort to take to hell as many as he can while he's able to do so.
Satan's sole motivation to take as many to hell as he can is to simply express his jealousy and hatred that he will never be able to live in blessing with God for the rest of eternity like you and I will, if we don't walk away from God but continue to persevere in Christ. If Satan can't have God's blessing, Satan and his demonic hordes doesn't want anyone else receiving it either. Hatred for God and jealously of what born again believers will be given through eternity fuels his passion to take to hell as many as he can take there to suffer for eternity with him. Seeing other people suffer gives him the greatest satisfaction he is capable of experiencing. Even that will be taken away from him once final judgment has been pronounced upon him, but until that time comes, he's going to do everything he can to try to keep as many people from getting into heaven that he can.
Even if he can't manage to get you angry with God so you will stop serving the Lord, he wants you to be the most miserable person on this planet. Sending trials your way is his means of inflicting pain upon you. Setting you up to walk into his terrorist ambushes is his jealously being expressed. God wants to teach you how to be wiser and wiser to discern these 'terrorist ambushes,' so you will not fall victim to them like you have in the past.
When a trial comes your way, ask God what you are to learn from this trial. In so doing, it will make you a more fully trained and equipped soldier of Jesus Christ to help snatch other souls out of Satan's grip. In so doing, it will make you more a victor than a victim.
God tells us plainly that we must be constantly on our toes to spot terrorist attacks about to be sprung on us:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (1 Peter 5:7-8)
God also wants us to not be surprised nor shaken when terrorist attacks from Satan come our way:
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:12-13)
The 'sufferings of Christ' in the above scripture speaks of demonic attacks against Jesus Christ. If Jesus was not exempted from demonic attacks during His ministry, neither should we somehow assume that we will be exempted from demonic attacks.
Yet here is the crucial point to understand in all this. Jesus Christ knew fully where his suffering was coming from; it was coming from Satan. Our heavenly Father wants us to know every bit as much as Jesus knew where our sufferings are coming from. Why? Because Satan's strategy is to deceive us into getting upset and mad at God for allowing the trial to happen in the first place, rather than get upset at Satan for being the source of our trial. Ephesians 6:12 makes this fact perfectly clear. Yes - as God uses people to help expand His Kingdom in the lives of other people ... Satan also uses people to help do his bidding. However, the source of all evil originates first from the spirit world.
Satan is the most ruthless terrorist known to all creation. Never underestimate his ability to launch such subtle ambushes against you that you grow demoralized in serving in the Army of our Lord Jesus Christ. Don't become Satan's victim ' become his living nightmare! The more he attacks you, let your anger not be at God, but channel your anger into becoming more determined and more diligent than ever before to take as many souls to heaven with you that you can!
If you have not taken the opportunity to read the following writings on the subject of trials and testings, I would highly encourage you to do so:
Here is a link to several excellent writings on the topic of suffering as a Christian: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/TestimonyCategories/CanYouReallyBeTrustedGod.htm