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Trials versus Triumph.
First, I had the title as "Trials and Tribulations"......No, that didn't seem right and the Lord made me change it to its present title. It made me see that we can turn our trials into positive experiences if we direct our faith and expectation on to the Lord, Our God and Father.
According to the Oxford Advanced Dictionary some of the meanings for trials are "Irritations"; "Process of testing the ability, quality, performance etc".
Triumph stands for being victorious.
Perhaps you feel that life's trials have taken its toll. You are swimming against the current and you are about beaten down. Just wait....have another look....could you divert those trials into triumph? Turn the page of your life and read what the scriptures have to say.
Psalm 34:19...Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 91:7... A Thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.
Psalm 91:15...He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.
A few years ago I was struck so hard that humanly speaking I was at the point of hitting rock bottom, pulling my hair out, climbing the walls. I was so desperate I couldn't even think of a scripture, while I always was right on His Word and knew in Whom I believed.
The only thing I could do was groan and tremble, lifting up my hands towards heaven. This was one of the deepest spots I have ever experienced as a Christian, at Maximum Tolerance Level.
And you know what.....that was exactly where God, my Father did meet me.....right there..... Where the air became so compressed, where the rain changed to steam, where tears evaporated, where day turned black as tar He came down and touched me.
That was when He rescued me and carried me at His bossom.
Then I wrote down that which welled up from the depth of my soul:
For the Lord is my helper and my staf,
He is a relief in a time of stress;
He is like water in a time of draught;
He is a light in a night of darkness;
He is my joy in times of sorrow;
He is my fulfillment, when there is emptiness;
He is my strength in weakness;
He is my all, when I am nothing.
Now, have a good look at Daniel 3, the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego.
They went through the worst trial anybody could go through; the fiery furnace.
At the end, they were honored and promoted by the same king who had ordered for them to be burned.
You may always have seen this as a nice story, but do you realize that this really has happened? Can you imagine yourself in their place? How would you have reacted to the questions of the king?
"Well, King....I'm just going down on my knees once for ya....but then I have to ask the Lord's forgiveness". To me you may say: "You are not telling me that the Lord wants me to burn in that furnace, do you? I will never survive that blazing heat, that is just impossible. I think the Lord will understand my motives! Besides...I am just human, you know..."
O, oh...you've missed it. I mean, you just missed an opportunity to allow the Lord to do the "Impossible" in your life.
Take your trials as a "Challenge" rather than a hindrance.
Psalm 94:19... In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul. verse 22...But the Lord has been my defense, and my God the rock of my refuge.
Psalm 107: 2...Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.
When you go through one of these trials and you claim the scriptures and stand on
Hebrews 11:1... "FAITH is being SURE of what we hoped for and CERTAIN of what we do NOT see", The Lord always will be so nearly tangible beside you, that you rather feel regenerated than drained.
He is so faithful...just awesome.
Psalm 33:7...You are my hiding place: You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 40:1,2... I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of the horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and establish my steps.
Psalm 31:7b,8...For You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities, and have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a wide place.
Psalm 71:3...Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my forstress.
This was a different kind of Victory, because Stephen suffered for Christ's sake and died as a martyr.
Psalm 55:22...Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
Many others, including myself, have experienced this wonderful walk of faith in times of MAXIMUM TOLERANCE LEVEL and felt the touch of the Master's Hand while it vibrated through their innermost being.
In moments like these God's Word becomes a Source of Strength, a Resting Place, a Refuge, a Shelter. Through faith connection is made with God, the Father, while the Holy Spirit reveales the Truth through His Word.
The road toward God is narrow, steep and lonely, but the reward is so unspeakable glorious, that you want to suffer ANYTHING to gain it.
Mustering up the kind of faith needed to be victorious in times of MAXIMUM TOLERANCE LEVEL, takes homework. We have to be willing to follow Christ ALL the way; allowing Him to have control in our lives; being obedient to the scriptures; crusifying the flesh; keeping our will surrendered. As with everything else, there are certain Policies and Procedures we have to go by in order to be successful, even with the development of faith.
Be open to the Holy Spirit; throw yourself in His lifeline; let go; run the race; swim with the current; put your ALL in it; don't despair, you have nothing to lose only to gain.
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written by Trudy Veerman S.S.W., C.P.C., Webmaster of "A Christian Counselor"