Psalm 86:11-13 Teach me your way, O Lord,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your steadfast love toward me;
you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
I will glorify your name forever.
My women’s Bible Study is currently studying John (yes still). The study is amazing and takes a nice walk through John, looking at each verse. It’s taking a while to get through it, but every Tuesday I’m awed by how each lesson builds on the last. One of the things that stood out to me this week was actually what was taught the week before (perhaps I’m a slow learner). The woman leading this video series (Karen Lippert) said that there were only two reasons someone goes through a trial. Can you guess what they are?
To strengthen our faith
The first reason she gave for us going through trials is that when we get to the other side, our faith can be strengthened. How often has it happened that the worst time in our lives actually lead to some of the best times. Even if we can’t point to a good time that resulted, we can see how that time in pain and struggle helped shape us into who we are and that we grew from that experience. I think this is the answer most Christians would probably point to if they were trying to encourage fellow believers going through a trial. My friend in Bible study likes to say, “Got to go through the trial to see the triumph” (probably not an exact quote – but you get the gist).
To Bring Glory to God
The other reason Karen gave was that those trials would in some way bring glory to God. And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. Luke 18:43 Throughout the Bible you’ll find a lot of examples of how this works. The Lord does something and the people glorify Him. The things the Lord does are always intended to draw someone closer to Him. Sometimes it’s the people He healed, but sometimes it was someone in the crowd. The way we react to hardships, to disease, to frustration, these are the biggest opportunities for us to glorify God.
You’ve seen it happen. Almost all of us have been amazed by someone’s great attitude during a fight with cancer, the death of a loved one or the pain of divorce. Every struggle and pain we endure is an opportunity to bring Glory to God. I don’t know about you, but this wasn’t something that really registered to me as a reason I might be put through a trial. I think I knew I might have the opportunity to witness through a trial, but I don’t think I thought about it being the cause of the trial. I think that helps me to look at each trial as an opportunity rather than a burden. A chance to show in a clear way where I’m putting my faith. Let’s see if I can actually do it the next time something hard comes along. But with friends and Bible Study Buddies, I know that they will help me to hold myself accountable and take each opportunity to praise and glorify God.
Why do you think we go through trials?