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, Nor shall the flame scorch you. (Isaiah 43:2)
The Lord God is speaking to His people through Isaiah, the prophet. Note, He says ‘when’ these things happen and not ‘if’ these things happen. Trials cannot be avoided no matter how special or favoured you believe you are. There is a certainty that these times will come and He will not pluck us out of them. We will have the pass THROUGH and walk THROUGH these adversities of life. Since this is the case, it would be in our best interest to see these trials through God’s eyes. The Scriptures tell us in Isaiah 55:9,
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
So, what is God’s mindset regarding trials? If we understand the character of God, then we will also understand that He wants the best for us. Many times He assures us that His thoughts towards us are not to harm us but to prosper us (Jer. 29:11). If He is allowing us to go through these trials even though He has the power to either prevent them from happening or delivering us out of them, there must be a higher goal He has for us than simply our comfort. The greatest prosperity that any of us could attain is the image of Jesus Christ.
If you have been a Christian long enough, you would have already discovered that God is full of paradoxes. The paradox here is that to be truly blessed you must go through suffering. In fact, we are told to rejoice when trials come upon us and not to be surprised when they do (1 Pet. 4:12). This is therefore part and parcel of every Christian’s walk. The journey we must all be ready to go on if we want to ultimately come into the fullness of all that Father God has prepared for us.
But rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (1 Pet. 4:13)
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (Jas. 1:2-4)
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Rom. 5:3-4)
An understanding of the purpose of our tribulations should help us to have a better perspective on them. Of course, we are not speaking here about those tribulations that you bring on yourself because of bad decisions. Although, even in those God can work things together for your good.
The encouraging truth is that the trials won’t last forever. An even more encouraging truth is that God has promised in Isaiah 43:2 that: 1) He will be with you in the midst; 2) You will not be overwhelmed; 3) You shall not be consumed; 4) He will protect you from harm. He is faithful who has promised.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever. (Ps. 23:4-6)
We will always triumph over our trials and come out victorious if we hold on to the promises of God and change our perspective on the purpose of trials in our life.
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. (2 Cor. 2:14)
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 15:57)