Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Growth through Trials

I have to tell you…“Don’t Be Afraid in the Dark” (chapter 6) is my favorite chapter in Rachel Olsen’s book, It’s No Secret. Each time I read it I think about the trials in my life that have brought me closer to God. Through each trial, the pain and struggle could have turned me away from God. Instead I clung to Him—for dear life. And each time He has brought me through with a stronger faith in Him.

Unfortunately, that is not true for everyone. Perhaps you know of someone who has been hardened by life. Someone who is sure their pain is worse than anyone else’s and that God can no longer help them.

I’ve seen a person that broken. I’ve heard the words, “Jesus can’t help me now.” It was heartbreaking. I wish I’d known what to say, but I was inexperienced in sharing the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ. I did my best, and prayed that God would plant and water the seed of faith in his heart. To this day, I don’t know if he turned back to Jesus, but I keep praying.

Trials can harden us. Maybe we blame God. Maybe we don’t see Him taking away the pain. Maybe we think He’s punishing us. And we turn away from God, plunging ourselves deeper into the darkness.

There have been times in my life when I felt so deep in the darkness I couldn’t see or hear God. I couldn’t feel Him, yet I knew He was there. And I knew He would let me see Him and lift me up when He was ready.

What I’ve discovered is through each trial my faith grows. My confidence that I will see the hand of God in my life is strengthened. I know now to wait and look for God’s whisper that comforts me and says, “I’m here.” Maybe it’s His peace that allows me to rest when I’ve been too upset to sleep. Maybe it’s a gentle feeling inside when I read a Scripture verse. Maybe it’s the call from a friend at the exact moment God knew I needed it the most.

He’s there with us through our trials when the pain seems more than we can bear. Will He take away the pain? I don’t know. I think sometimes He knows I need time to be sad, and He allows that. But I do know He promises He will never leave us. (Deuteronomy 31:8) He walks through the trials with us—step by step—if we let Him.

I pray you let Jesus walk with you through your trials. Let Him comfort you. See how He whispers to you. And let Him draw you closer to Him.

In Christ,

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