Are trials caused by our sin? How can I get through my trial? Is God with me?
How we see our trials is important to our attitude going through a trial. Here is a question that is often asked when talking about a tragedy or trial that someone is going through.
Are trials caused by our sin?
There are actually two possible answers to this question.
The first is yes it can. When we sin there are consequences. Many times this is physical but sometimes the consequences are spiritual. Look at Hebrews 12 for more on this.
Along that line, according to James 1:2-4, God sometimes uses trials to make us a more complete person in Christ. God works it for good in our lives that we would be better for it.Trials make us who we are. Click To Tweet Trials mold, refine and reveal our character. Click To Tweet
Secondly No. God often uses trials and tragedies to bring glory to God.
Throughout the Old Testament and the time of Jesus, people generally thought that if you were handicapped then either you or your parents had sinned. Two of the miracles recorded in the book of John tell of the purpose of the trial or tragedies that they were going through.
The first was a man who was born blind. Most likely he was an adult.
9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him”
Jesus went on to heal this man from his blindness. And many lives were changed as a result of seeing Christ heal this man.
The second story is found in John 11. This story takes place in the town of Bethany at the home of Lazarus. Lazarus had fallen sick and Jesus was out of town. By the time Jesus had made it back into town Lazarus had died.
When Jesus first found out that Lazarus was sick he responded by saying, verser 4 “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Jesus came to the tomb 4 days after Lazarus had been buried. He then called “Lazarus, Come Out.” And Lazarus was raised from the dead to the Glory of God.
So many times when we go through various trials we do not know what the purpose of it is. But we do know that often God uses our circumstances to bring Him glory.
I remember when I was in high school I did not have many friends. We went on a student retreat and I was supposed to go sit at a table and some of my “Friends” were to go with me. Once I reached the table I looked back and they were gone. Bascially I had no one as a friend. As I ate with the others at the table I hit it off with the guy right across from me. He happened to play cello and that influence me to play. I ended up entering college as a string major. God used that to call me into the ministry.
God used one of the most down times in my life to call me to minister to others.
Sometimes we never know what the end goal is and we lay claim t the truth that God is working all things out for good and for His Glory.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
God will work things out for good. We might not see that good ourselves, but God will bring it about for good.
I love what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:12.
English Standard Version
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
The NLT breaks this passage down even more.
New Living Translation
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Basically, we might not know why we are going through this tragedy, trial or death of someone close to us. But when we get to heaven we will see and understand just why God allowed these things to happen.
This gives us comfort and allows us to keep our focus on Christ when our world is collapsing around us.
But how can we get through our trials or tragedy?
This is a hard question that is not easily answered. Each person and need are entirely different. But there are a few verse and truths we can look to that can get us through.
First is Christ’s Victory over death. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 lays out the proof of Christ’s death and resurrection. In that he shares the power behind what Christ did.
53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?” 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Death has been Defeated!
Sin Has Lost!
Satan has Lost!
Christ has wond the Victory!
We have victory in Christ!
Christ has suffered beyond what we are going through. He conquered death so that we might be resurrected with Him.
Last week I was going through Isaiah 7:14 with my students and talking to them about what it means that God is “With Us.” We looked at Joshua 1:9 where God promises to never leave us nor forsake us.God promises to never leave us nor forsake us. Click To Tweet
We looked at Matthew 28:20 where Jesus promises that he will be with us till the end of time. Our savior is with us every step of the way, helping us and strengthening us for our journey.
We must look to Christ for the power and strength to get through our trials. God gave us the Holy Spirit to help and enable us to go through our trials. He is there not just cheering us on but carrying us through each and every step that we must take.
Some verses that I encourage me.
“but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Many times it is a waiting game. But when we wait on the Lord, He gives us so much strength to get through the trials. Whether you are facing a death in the family, cancer, surgery, divorce, or other hard trial of life.
God will get you through.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I can’t help but think of the poem written by Mary Stephenson- Footprints in the Sand.
One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
– by Mary Stevenson
God will hold you up. He will strengthen you. He promises that to us. Now this does not mean that going through trials are easy, it is not, trust me! But He does make the journey easier and helps us along the way.
Previous to my brother passing away my wife and I had a trial of our own. It was only through our faith and God and support from those around us that got us through that time.
- God uses trials for our good and for His glory.
- Sometimes we do not know the good that happened until we are in heaven.
- God will never leave you or forsake you!
- God will strengthen you in your journey just ask!
I pray that these truths will strengthen you in the days to come.
What are some of your favorite Bible verses that you cling to when going through a trial?
How has God brought you through a trial? I would love to hear your story!