I heard an interesting thought on the radio yesterday, and it set me to thinking. The author stated that we all experience trials, even Christians. What would the Christian life be worth if it meant no trials, heartache, or defeats? Wouldn’t it be a life that everyone would want? Wouldn’t that cheapen conversion because release from trials would be the appealing factor, not salvation in Christ? It has been my experience that my life was relatively rosy until I gave my life to Christ, and that’s when the trials really began.
I have wondered about that, and here’s my take: before we know Christ, we are oblivious to the wiles of Satan, and he can lead us where he wills, most often quite painlessly. He doesn’t really have to hurt us, because we are his anyway. After Christ enters our lives, the Battle for All Time begins. We are no longer his, so he must throw everything he has in his arsenal to try to get us to curse God and abandon faith in Him.
If you’ve read the book of Job, you know that Satan must ask permission from God to throw us into a tailspin (see Job 1). God sets parameters for Satan. He is not allowed to take his life. You think, now isn’t that wonderful? Then you read on and realize that if all those things happened to you, you would have wished he’d let Satan take your life. Such sorrow, such great loss. Even Job’s friends blamed him, and his wife told him to curse God and die (Nice. She must have been the original Contentious Woman). The difficulty is in understanding that everything happened with God’s permission.
Wow. That’s heavy. How could God sit back and watch such cruelty?
In my own life, I am not the person I was before Christ, before trials. I’ve had many, and with each one, I’ve questioned less, depended on Him more, and received a stronger faith in the bargain. How is this possible, when trials can be so devastating?
The answer comes in Luke 22: 31,32. Jesus is speaking with His disciples at the Last Supper. He tells them that,”Satan has asked to sift you all as wheat, but I am praying that when you turn back, you will strengthen your brothers.”
There are two things you can take away from this. First, God did not spare his own Son, so that we might be saved. Two, in times of trial, we should remember that God is always with us, always on our side, and in fact, Jesus is always praying for us. Hebrews 7:25 says, “Therefore, He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.” That’s an awesome thought.
So when those trials come, and they will, remember that though the cost is great, God saw this coming. He is on your side. He will get you through.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”