My soul, wait you only upon God; for my expectation is from
him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense;
I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the
rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. (Psalm 62:5-7)
How much do we truly trust the Lord? We often pay lip-service, saying that we trust in Him completely, but when we hit a hard stretch, does our trust waver? Do we falter when we hit the trials of life? Because it has truly been said, there are three kinds of Christians: those who are in the midst of a trial, those who have just come through a trial, and those who are about to go through a trial. And most of us find it's pretty easy to confidently state our faith and trust in God when we have smooth sailing, but we tend to lose our confidence when we hit rough waters.
And yet, we need those rough periods, we need those troubles and trials to strengthen our faith. Faith that has never been tested is not very strong, and it's easily lost. But as God brings us through each trial, our faith grows. We see that He has brought us through thus and such, and we learn by experience that we can trust Him to bring us safely through the next one. Like any physical muscle, our spiritual muscles require exercise and training to grow.
Always remember that our trials are specifically allowed by our loving Heavenly Father to accomplish His specific purpose. He is not punishing us; Jesus took our punishment on the cross. No, God allows us to go through trials to refine us, to burn away the dross and make us pure and holy. He allows these things that we may become more and more like Jesus. We may not see this while we are in the midst of our difficulty, but that needs to be our attitude at all times. We have to understand that He knows exactly how hot the fire needs to be, and how long it needs to burn, to bring about the desired result. And in His loving-kindness, He will never allow the fire to consume us; He only allows our suffering for as long as it takes to get the job done.
But now thus says the LORD that created you, O Jacob, and he that formed you, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Isaiah 43:1-3)
We all love those “mountain-top” experiences, when we feel such a close fellowship with the Lord; we raise our hands in worship of Him and praise Him with grateful hearts for all He has done for us. But our faith is demonstrated most when we can still raise our hands in worship and praise Him for the trials and tribulations He allows to come into our lives. Praise Him for the trials, and count it a joy, knowing that He is at work, and for His promise that it will all work out for our good and His glory! When we do that, we learn that His grace is indeed sufficient for all our needs!
And we know that all things work together for good to them that
God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.