Reaction to Trials Ps. 18:6 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
When you go through trouble, your reaction to trials should follow a Biblical pattern. Otherwise, it is way too easy to get in the flesh and really mess up. So, pattern your reaction to trials after the following:
Cry out to God – Ps 18:6 – before going to anyone else, take your concern to the Lord. It is so common for people to run to other people on a social network or to complain to others in church or to cry on the shoulder of a family member or a friend. While you will certainly find help from consolation and good counsel in the time of a trial, seeking compassion and counsel should never be your first reaction. Cry out to the Lord and stay before him in prayer until you see his perspective on the trial and until he provides his help. Many times you will find that he alone can handle the problem and that it is completely unnecessary to involve anyone else.
Claim the promises in the Bible – 2 Pet 1:2-4 – the Lord has given us exceeding great and precious promises in the Bible. We need to know them and rely upon them. In a trial it is so helpful to claim Heb 13:5, Rom 8:17-18, Rom 8:28, Rom 8:38-39, Ps 18:2, 1 Pet 1:6-9, etc.
Be thankful – 1 Thes 5:18; Eph 5:20 – this is the attitude of gratitude. You say, “I can’t find anything for which to thank God in this trial.” Then just start thanking him for everything you have that’s not related to this trial. You will find, as you count your blessings and name them one by one, that you have so much for which to be thankful. And the thanksgiving in your heart will overwhelm the angst in your heart due to the trial. Thank God that he counted you worthy to suffer for his name [as in Acts 5:41].
Rejoice – 1 Thes 5:16 – we are to rejoice always and in a trial that can be hard to do. However, you need to remember that most trials accomplish one of two things for us and for the Lord. They are either for chastening, in which case we should repent. Or they are for perfecting, in which case we should rejoice [1 Pet 5:10]. Even in chastening we should rejoice because chastening is a demonstration of the Lord’s love for us.
Don’t get bitter – Heb 12:15; Eph 4:31 – in the midst of a trial it is easy to get mad at God. If that happens to you, get it out of your system and get over it quickly. You do not want to stay mad at God or at any of his people. You will become bitter and that bitterness will ruin you. Not only will bitterness trouble you but it will defile those who are around you. There are some people who are so bitter, they are actually content in their bitterness and they will never get over it. Everyone around them is affected by it and they don’t care. You don’t want to be like that.
Don’t retaliate – Rom 12:19-21 – if your trial is at the hand of an “enemy,” don’t be overcome of evil. Just let God handle it. He may decide to do something about it or he may decide to let it go. Either way, you are not to even consider vengeance. People who demand vengeance from God, against someone that has caused them to go through a trial, usually end their lives as miserable wrecks. They try to force God’s hand against their “enemy” and when God doesn’t do what they demand they become extremely hostile. In sports, the penalty for retaliation is always worse than the penalty for the initial infraction. The same is true in life. Instead of retaliating, overcome evil with good!
Conclusion: trials are not fun, but they are so beneficial in the end. If you will follow these simple steps in your reaction to trials, you will reap the greatest benefit from your trials. And you will find your trials much easier to endure.