I Samuel 16:18 NKJV
2 Samuel 5:4-5 NKJV
Romans 8:28 ESV
James 1:12-16 NKJV
I John 1:5 NKJV
In times past, when I’ve gone through a trial it was also a time of testing. God does not allow anything to come His children without giving us something in return. According to scripture and what I’ve experienced, when we go through a trial, it means God uses the trial to prepare us for something bigger or for a new phase in our life.
I believe the length of time for a trial means something significant. Take King David for example. While we do not know how old David was when he escaped from King Saul’s palace, we do have a few clues in scripture.
In I Samuel 16:18, we read, “Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.” some scholars believe that means David might have been around 20 years old because he was old enough to be considered a warrior (https://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/52930/how-long-was-david-on-the-run-from-saul).
Then in 2 Samuel 5:4-5 we learn, “David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah.”
A rough estimate tells us that David was on the run from Saul for years, possibly even ten years.
I have noticed when the trial lasts a long time (say over a year) preparatory work for a great task is occurring. That was the case with David who reigned as King for 40 years. While David was on the run from King Saul, God was preparing him!
Even today, in some cases that can mean God is moving us into a new phase. We know from Romans 8:28, “that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
For the children of God, NOTHING is without purpose. That’s quite a statement! I know the Apostle Paul who wrote it to the church in Rome had lived it first hand. He suffered greatly, even wrote about his thorn in the flesh that plagued him. While we do not know what that was exactly, we know he wrote about a loss of eyesight. Some speculate that could have been his thorn in the flesh.
I believe that when we lose something, God replaces it with something else. My theory is actually based on Newton’s 3rd Law of Physics, “for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.”
As a funny sidebar, I raised my kids on that law of physics. I told them over and over again, if you hit your brother, he will hit you back with opposite and equal force. Or, if you shove your brother, he will shove you back with opposite and equal force.
Okay, back to Newton’s 3rd Law of Physics…I’ve noticed that a loss of physical sight is replaced by greater spiritual sight.
A loss of physical power is replaced by greater spiritual power.
I know it’s just a theory, but if I’m right, that would mean when we are tested and go through a trial we come out on the other end with greater spiritual strength and insight. At least in my life, after a trial is over and the testing is done, I experience greater strength and insight than I had before.
Remember…ALL things work together for good.
So, how does the trial come about?
According to James 1:13-16, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved children.”
We learned from James 1:12 that those who endure temptation receive the crown of life. In James 13-16, James explains that the evil that caused us to be tempted does NOT come from God. God cannot give us what He does not possess.
We know from I John 1:5, “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”
There is no evil in God. So, any evil temptation cannot come from God. That brings us back to Romans 8:28. All things (even evil) work together for good to those who are called according to God’s purposes. God takes the bad and turns it into our good.
James warns us not to be deceived. We are not to believe that God brought the evil. We can believe (because scripture tells us) that God will turn it into good for our sake.
That’s how much God loves us!
No matter what it takes, God will turn the bad into good for us.
So the next time a trial comes to us, we need to remember God did not bring the bad. He is just actively working to make good out of it!
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Give it to God
Whatever trial you face today, turn to God so you can see how God is turning the bad to good on your behalf. Thank God for His goodness!
In God, Deborah