One thing that is made clear in the Bible is that each of us will go through trials and tribulations. While we know that God is our healer, our comforter, our strong tower, our defender, our redeemer, and our friend, we will still go through periods of suffering and in some instances, long periods of suffering. Most church pastors have no problem preaching about all the healing God can give us and all the peace we can find in Him, but they rarely speak to the hardest part of trials we face which is trying to endure our trial. Often times when we are going through a trial, it seems like we are on an island with no one around to help us…not even God. Everyone at church talks about God’s delivering power and yet we do not feel like God is delivering us. We desperately want out of our situation but it only seems to get worse. In some situations, time ticks on and we find our trial simply hasn’t gone away even after many years. Or the healing of a loved one does not occur and they pass away. It is during this time we feel let down, abandoned, and hopeless. Even hearing verses about victory, healing, and deliverance can make you sick to your stomach because you want to scream “where was my healing!?”, “where was my deliverance!?”. And yet, the closest believers you count on simply say to keep pressing on. No one offers assistance on how to endure your trial. No one seems to speak to you candidly about what it takes to make it through your trial even if it takes years and years.
I believe if church leaders spent more time on teaching believers on how to endure trials, they would equip people to push through & keep the faith during the toughest of times. I have personally gone through such trials and doubt and despair and will certainly go through more in my lifetime. Each one is as humbling as the one before it and my anger, hurt, and disgust still abounds in each one. But my endurance gets longer in each one as well. In fact, the Bible tells us to “rejoice in our sufferings” because “suffering produces endurance”. That seems like such a strange thing to say right? How can we rejoice when we do not see the healing we are praying for or the deliverance we desperately want? It is hard but with time & practice, you will find yourself improving day by day. Below are 5 steps to enduring your trial. I am not saying it will be easy and I am not saying implementing these five steps will make your trial feel good. But it will give you strength to endure and it will train you to have endurance in those very tough times.
Pray – but be real with God
I cannot tell you how many times I have prayed with an attempt to sound spiritual. When I was growing up, I always heard my grandparents pray and when they did, their prayers sounded so eloquent and almost poetic. Occasionally they quoted a Bible verse or they used words found in the King James version of the Bible such as “thou”, “ye”, and “thy”. None of their prayers sounded like words I would actually say to a friend. Don’t get me wrong, when we talk to our elders and certainly to God, there needs to be a deference there, but I also think is important to be real with God. God sees what is in your heart. He knows what you really want to say. So not saying it is just praying words that don’t mean anything. The Bible is clear that we should not pray like the heathen do which involves using vain repetitions and saying things just so others can hear. Instead, think of your prayer with God as though you are standing right before Him. And in fact, you are! He is right there! Tell Him the situation you are going through is hard. Tell Him you are scared. Tell Him you desperately want things to change. But also pray that He gives you strength while it is going on. Pray that He comforts you. Pray that He teaches you how to endure. Pray for patience during this time. Pray that He shows you how to rejoice in your trial. And certainly, pray for victory.