Trials & Tribulations
Have you ever wondered why God, our Heavenly Father, allows His children to go through trials and tribulations; trials and tribulations, that at times, are very tough to go through such as a believer battling with cancer or the loss of a dearly beloved one?
I personally have not experienced the former but have experienced the latter when both my mother and father passed away just a few years ago.
I use those two examples because they are probably the toughest events to have to go through in life. In that extreme, I use them to point out that God’s peace and love in our lives, even in those times, provides for us a great hope beyond anything we may be experiencing.
The Lord, creator of the universe, is powerful, and He will help us to overcome anything that comes our way, if we let Him, and in turn He will use that trial or tribulation for His glory.
We read through the New Testament scriptures of the many trials and tribulations that Paul went through. Paul had been in a shipwreck; he nearly drowned in the ocean; he was beaten almost to the point of death; he endured a lifetime burden of what he called a “thorn in his flesh”; he was bitten by a snake and much, much more.
This man of God was the epitome of trials and tribulations; yet, he humbly expressed to his brethren at Philippi that the things which happened to him had actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel. By the way, Paul is speaking to us as well.
Concerning the thorn in his flesh, Paul cried out to God to please remove it, but the Lord said no because He wanted Paul to experience His mighty grace.
As we read about Paul’s life, we can clearly see that these trials and tribulations indeed happened to him for the furtherance of the gospel.
How did his trials and tribulations further the Gospel, one might ask?
The trials and tribulations caused Paul to become stronger and stronger in Christ as he called on God more and more. The outcome: he spread the gospel of Jesus all over the area allotted to him by God and he even ended up being one of many authors to be featured in the Bible.
As a matter of fact, God used the trials and tribulations in Paul’s life so effectively that Paul is still spreading the Gospel today as we read about him in the Bible.
Of course, Paul’s story is clear because hindsight and his completed story brings forth clarity and understanding to the reader. We can see the entire picture of what he went through and the outcome from above, so to speak.
When we are going through trials and tribulations we are not able to see things as clear, at that moment. On the contrary, when we’re in that fog of complete despair, we may even begin to question the Lord.
Thankfully we have the Good news of Jesus which provides hope for us, and as Christians our lives are a poem being composed by none other than our Lord God Almighty to bless others and to build us up. After or during the trial we can share with others how the Lord got us through or is getting us through it. This type of sharing with others furthers His Good news.
In conclusion, hold on to God’s promises when in a trial or tribulation, for He is faithful and just to provide for you all that you need during that time. And, what you are going through will, at the end, result in the furtherance of the Gospel, His Good news; At the end or during, His name will be glorified through what you’ve experienced then you can say “that the things which happened to [you] have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.”
“But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel” Philippians 1:12
“rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer” Romans 12:12
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” Ephesians 2:8-10