Wednesday, May 18, 2016

How do We Overcome Trials?

How do we overcome trials? How do we get over disappointment? How do we move on when the road gets rough? How do we recover from the sting of the many doors constantly shutting on your faces? How do we walk courageously when we are paralyzed by fear? How do we live when we feel unloved?

I don’t know…

I don’t have a clue how to do anything apart from the Lord.

It sounds easy and simplistic…the single answer and solution to all of our problems rests on faith. Sure…

Perhaps you are tired of hearing that. Perhaps you are even a bit ashamed because you sense that this formulaic statement just doesn’t work for you. Your current situation, your current spiritual and emotional state are so overpowering and crushing that you barely have enough heart to breathe and survive. Therefore, the very thought of mustering strength to intensely focusing on an abstract concept that is so hard to grasp is just out of your realm of possibilities.

Well-intentioned comments from those around you encouraging you to “keep the faith” seem plainly meaningless or at best too trite to bring any comfort. How can keeping the faith help me in this present agony? The Bible stories appear too far away and detached … too unreal and irrelevant to actually matter or make a difference in my life today. The added guilt I experience because of the way I feel only makes things worse by increasing the weight of my already heavy burden that now truly becomes impossible to bear.

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”

The words come to my mind…where have I heard them before? Who said this? I can’t remember, but for sure it was someone who knows real pain.

“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

Who sweats blood? What kind of anguish makes someone’s pores bleed?

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me…”

Please, I can’t take it anymore! Take away this cup…this bitter, harmful, lethal cup away from me so I can live!

Yes…it was Him…it was Jesus who said all these. He experienced it too. Jesus was also there. He was on that place where all the weight of the world (literally in His case) falls on one’s shoulders, making your knees bend out of shear pressure and your face fall flat on the ground out of pure agony. He’s been thee too. He knows what it feels like.

“Yeah, but He was Jesus, you know? He is God. Of course He can handle it all?” You are tempted to say and do think in the depths of your mind, that what Jesus experienced in the Garden moments before He was taken to be tortured and kill doesn’t have any implications to your current condition.

Think about how He knew exactly what was going to happen to Him. Imagine the added stress and fear of knowing that His flesh is about to be ripped and torn, literally, and that nails will pierce Him as He slowly dies a most horrible death by slow asphyxiation. Don’t forget that even though He is fully God, He is also fully man. (For a few Bible verse evidence see Isaiah 9, John 1, Colossians 2) And as a man, He felt sorrowful and troubled. (Matthew 26)

Yes, He is God. And yet, He still had to go through it! Even though He is God He couldn’t escape the hour of anguish. Better yet, He chose it. Jesus agreed to it,

Who, being in very nature God,

did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself

by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross! (Philippians 2: 6-8)

He could have spared Himself the agony. But He was committed to the love He has for us:

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep… No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again…” (John 10: 14, 18)

He chose the pain as a sacrifice to redeem us because He knew that was the only way for us to be saved.

How do we ever expect to go through life without experiencing a measure of such pain when Our Own Creator, Savior and Sustainer chose the nails for Himself? Not even Jesus escaped the trials of this life. As a man He didn’t want to have to go through it. As a person He sought refuge in prayer. As a human He bent His Holy knees on this unholy ground and cried out to the Father for help, for strength and for resolve. Not even Jesus could face His hour of great sorrow, trouble and agony without seeking God’s face first.

How do we overcome trials? How do we get over disappointment? How do we move on when the road gets rough? How do we recover from the sting of the many doors constantly shutting on your faces? How do we walk courageously when we are paralyzed by fear? How do we live when we feel unloved?

I don’t know. I haven’t a clue how to do it without Christ. I don’t have what it takes. I’m not nearly strong enough. I’m too selfish. I seek comfort at all cost. All I know is that I’m glad I’m not in charge of perfectly arranging each and every tiny detail of my life in order for it to end in Paradise.

I read in my devotional today this prayer that I’d like to use to conclude our conversation today. I hope it brings you peace:

“One day I will have all the answers. But until then, I must trust that You have power and dominion over all things and that You know best. Help me to believe this even when I don’t feel it.”

Linking with: and

1 comment:

  1. One day we will have all of the answers! I liked how you ended this post, trusting in the power and dominion of God over all things! Visiting today from Whole Hearted Wednesday! God Bless!


It would be great to hear from you! Let me know what you think.