Before we address how to triumph through trials, let’s answer the question, “What is a ‘trial’ anyway?” Is a flat tire considered a trial by Biblical standards? Is it a trial when you lose your job due to absenteeism? Is it a trial when you have to obey a lawful order by a government official, even though you disagree? When mom says, “no more cookies,” does that constitute a trial for a four-year-old?
1 Peter 5 declares that believers will indeed suffer all kinds of trials. I think Luke 22 can help us understand the two different ways that the term ‘trial’ is used in the New Testament. In verse 28, Jesus appreciates those who have stood by Him during His trials. Here, that term clearly means adversities or afflictions. Throughout His life, there were tests of His character and many trials imposed on His life. They were there to keep Him from accomplishing God’s will (to no avail).
But in verses 40 and 46, the definition of ‘trial’ swings to another perspective. There, Jesus is definitely speaking of temptations to do wrong. God does not ever tempt us to do wrong (James 1:13), but clearly our own willful nature responds to the enticement of Satan, and we endure trials incited by our flesh.
With those two nuances in mind, let’s think about how we might respond and be triumphant in various trials. If you study the seven principles outlined by Chet this past Sunday, it won’t take you long to see that God’s Word is the basis of our triumph in ALL situations.
We can’t grasp the greatness of God if we are unfamiliar with the stories of Scripture. Over and over again in our Bible, His powerful nature is on display, and it teaches us something. As He led the children of Israel through the Red Sea with dry feet, we begin to see how to use our own trials as a means to glorify Him and rejoice in His goodness.
As the three Hebrew children took their place in the fiery furnace, they had a front row seat to an amazing teachable moment. These men had to learn to trust their faith, not their feelings. As we consider their story, we are encouraged to trust Him during the “hot spots” of our own lives.
Daniel purposed to be holy and continue his habit of daily prayer, regardless of the anticipated disfavor with the king. That night he spent snuggled up with the lions in a dark and lonely den is so instructive. It speaks volumes to our own moments of discouragement and defeat.
Being “people of the Book” positions us to place our faith and trust squarely in God. We endure things. We struggle through things. We suffer physically and emotionally with things. But all the while, as we cling to the promise of the Book, we learn how to respond.
Triumph through trial comes as we are obedient to His Word. You want to “win” over your trials? Keep His Word as a lamp to your feet and a light for your path.
Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.