Stay prepared for trials. Again.

  • From the tone of her “Mom...” (and almost from the phone’s ring itself), I know what has happened: her car broke down. Again.
  • To pick her up, I have to drive past some severe tornado damage. Again. It’s hard the first time. But it stays equally hard the second, third, fourth times. This time.
  • Kathy calls for advice. Her friend’s grandchild, due in a few weeks, had no heartbeat yesterday. Today she’ll be born without life. What should she do? Death has struck. Again.

Trials.
I get tired of them. Over and over. 
Is this the good life?

Yet...
...the car was only overheated, not mangled in a wreck.
...the downed electrical lines were covered with dozens of electrical workers along with multiple volunteers cleaning up debris.
...baby Anna is leaving behind devastated family and friends but she is safe, face to face with Jesus.

A_Place_for_Weakness_by_Michael_S_HortonSanctification keeps pace with decay, says Michael Horton in A Place for Weakness. But I’ll up him one higher: sanctification stays a step ahead.

I’m glad.
Otherwise, who could bear the weight?

The Lord prepares and equips us to deal with what’s next.

God knows what he’s doing.

But don’t wait until the trial is here to come to that conclusion. Learn his promises ahead of time. Build your faith in the easier times. As Horton says,

...learning theology is very difficult to do in the trial itself. It is not a good time for being taught. The wounds are too open to the elements. This doesn’t mean it cannot be done, but it is more difficult, at least for many.

So in my mini-trials of today, I knew I could cry out to God and he would hear. I knew that the “Fresh Strawberries” sign on my way home was a sweet gift from God to stop and taste how good he is. I knew that these trials, too, shall pass.

Stay prepared for trials. They will come. Again and again. But the promises will keep coming true too. Again and again and again.

That makes for a very good life.

* * *

We’re discussing Chapter 1, “When Tragedy Strikes”, at Elizabeth’s today, if you’d like to join us.

What strengthens your hope in times of trials?

9 comments:

Love Bears All Things said...

I enjoyed this post very much..
Mama Bear

Barbara H. said...

"Otherwise, who could bear the weight?" Indeed. Knowing He has some sanctifying purpose makes it bearable.

Anna said...

"Sanctification stays a step ahead". Excellent post and wise advice to build our faith in advance of the trials.
(So glad to see you here and that you and your family are safe. :) So is my family, by God's grace).

Brian Miller said...

great wisdom here...and yeah dont wait until they are upon you to get ready for them...we will have trials but...they dont have to beat us...

Joybird said...

But the promises will keep coming true too. Again and again and again.

I find these words so encouraging tonight.

Christina said...

Such an encouraging post. It's so true that we can't take in teaching when we're in the midst of it, we have to be prepared before a tragedy by immersing ourselves in the word. I really appreciated this post, thank you.

tinuviel said...

This title and author are new to me, but you have piqued my interest.

God's promises, remembering past rescues and provisions in Scripture and my own life, and intentionally practicing praise and gratitude help me most.

Thanks for the meaty post!

Rachel said...

This was really encouraging, I had a awful day yesterday and my husband reminded me that we will always have trials but that when we abide in Christ that he takes care of it for us. Glad you saw God in the little reminders of His goodness, may you have a blessed day and week.

When I wrote crushed but not destroyed I had that song in my head "I'm trading my sorrows, I'm trading my pain I'm laying it down for the joy of the Lord."

emily wierenga said...

how do you always know what i need to hear? learn the promises before the trial... i'm going to focus on that, this week. thank you lisa. xo

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