Today’s post is by BASIC’s newest staff member Selina Oquendo! She is a recent Psychology graduate from SUNY Oswego and a Rockland County native. She felt the Lord leading her into full time ministry and has recently moved to Lima to work at the BASIC headquarters! Today she shares some good insight about walking through trials well.
Trials are a part of everyday life. As a young adult, we face lots of them. Issues with school, personal life, family and even our future at times. With so much coming our way, sometimes we don’t want to deal with trial and we just want to get on to the season of blessing. We want the good seasons and we want them now!! However, why does the Lord say to count it all joy when facing various trials and why does He say there’s an everlasting glory coming out of the things we face? (James 1:4; 2 Cor. 4:17). Is it possible, that trial can bring good? I want to share with you three things that you need to embrace trial, realize God’s ways are different than our ways and learn that trial is always purposeful.
It’s so hard to embrace trials when they feel like setbacks to the good seasons we want. We view trials like big dark mountains blocking us from the green grass on the other side. We just want to skip trial and get to the bigger and better things. We can be so driven by constant progression and movement forward, that we view trials like “setbacks” and forget they are “setups” for true growth, maturity and spiritual success to take place! We can forget that trials provide us with unique lessons that no other season can give us. We want the good seasons but fail to realize the tough seasons are our GOOD seasons. We need to embrace them because of what they produce. Don’t believe me? Look what James says:
James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”.
This is what trial produces in us that blessing, overflow and prosperity can’t give us. Friends, these aren’t times to squirm out of or rush past, but are the very seasons we need to make us substantial and well seasoned Christians. Do not be so consumed with the next step that you miss what God is wanting you to learn and see in the now. However, I know that in our minds we don’t really always associate trial with good, which brings me to my next point.
- God’s ways are higher than ours
I know for many the belief is that “what feels good is good for you and what doesn’t feel good is bad for you”. However, I learned very quickly that what I think is good for me and what God thinks is good for me are two different realities. It’s good to get in the habit of not treating God’s kingdom like anything you’ve ever encountered before because everyday is a new mind shift.
Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. This past summer I went through the toughest trial of my life. I cried out to God everyday and begged him to heal my heart. I was reading a book one night and these words jumped off the page at me, “You need to continue going through this trial because you’re not strong enough yet for what’s to come”. It’s mind boggling how He was using my pain for something greater.
We can even see this in the life of Jesus; He needed to go to the cross, but that was hard for Peter to wrap his mind around. He tells Jesus no, let that be far from you. But Jesus replies to Peter, “Satan get behind me! You’re a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely the concerns of men”. God has different concerns in mind for us. Concerns for our strength, endurance, sanctification and, above all, His purpose. These things are all intentional and useful and can’t happen if we only experience what appears to be “good”.
- Everything you go through is PURPOSEFUL and intentional
God was telling me that what I was going through would be needed for the season to come. He even told me that the rejection and painful things I went through in the past would be used to bring me to Him. That blew my mind that God would use something so hurtful and painful to bring me to Him and equip me for ministry. But how could this be foreign to us? Didn’t God do the same thing with Joseph? He was sold into slavery by his family, thrown into jail, falsely accused, was in a foreign land and isolated for years. However, what was his response when he saw his family years later?
Genesis 45:6 “Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 7 God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God”. What appeared by human sight to be something done by man, was something so deeply orchestrated by God for a deeper purpose. To Joseph, he was going through the biggest trial of his life, but to God, He was orchestrating the biggest blessing Egypt, Joseph and his family would ever see. Not everything is what it appears to be and this teaches me to forsake what I think about trial. I’ll leave you with this last scripture:
John 13:7 “Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” We may not understand our trial in the moment but as time passes, we will be able to utter the words of Paul in Romans, “All things work for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28