Last Thursday, I entered a new phase of a struggle. I wasn’t prepared for the long lasting aspect of it. It is easier to see the struggle in front of me and wish it away, than for me to take the time, pray, and realize that God may want to use the struggle to build up something within me through His Holy Spirit.
In Scripture, we are reminded that we need to be ‘pruned’. From my understanding – in gardening, you prune the bad stuff away – so that the good stuff can grow. It would be my assumption that “the pruning effect” is what allows us to grow more freely and faster. It not only produces what we can call “fruit” (the good stuff), but allows the fruit to have the room to increase in abundance and speed. When we have a trial in our lives, we often don’t think of these things. I know that, my focus hasn’t been on the outcome of such a struggle. My focus has been on the struggle, itself. Maybe, you find yourself there with me today.
Through this struggle, I have been learning how much I need to trust my Savior Jesus. It is easy to say one thing, but trials are the evaluation of such words. Do we mean it when we say, “Lord, you are all I need” or “Lord, I trust and hold onto you as my source of strength”?
Though our struggles differ from each other, this truth remains: “God is loyal forever and ever. He made the earth, and it still stands (Psalm 119:90).” While we continue to work out our salvation and learn to trust in Jesus as our Savior and Lord over every aspect of our lives, we need to realize God is loyal and does hold us by the hand. Our perspective of trials can go two ways: (A) we drag our feet and complain along the way (B) humbly receive every profitable thing we can glean from our time of trial.
While trials are the last thing any one of us desire to be present in our lives, we need to choose how we respond. We need to choose to respond, by using it as an opportunity to saturate our lives with Jesus Christ.
As I shared this past week I have endured a struggle, it has been a time where I am limited in what I can physically do. One aspect of my life that instantly clicked was running to God. In some way, I have been seeking His face through my days. We need to become a people who intensely pursue the Living God, who first pursued us, despite the circumstances of our lives.
‘Though thus deeply afflicted, though without comfort or peace, yet I do, I will, maintain allegiance to thee and thy law. The doctrine is that distress, poverty, sorrow, penury, and rags – the most abject circumstances of life – will not turn away a true child of God from obeying and serving him. True religion will abide all these tests.’ – Albert Barnes