Don’t Waste Your Trial: 6 Truths That Can Change Your Life

{By David Rupert}  

 

Eventually, they come to everyone. You can’t really plan for them, because they sneak up in the middle of the night, or they raid your happiest moments in life, or destroy the ending to the perfect story.

 

The formula that most people use for trials is simply to buckle in and hope they don’t fall out. When mine came, it surprised me. I had no idea. I thought about just gritting my teeth and enduring. But what if the trial isn’t an 8-second bull ride? What if it lasts months? Years? A lifetime?

 

Suddenly, just holding on until it’s over doesn’t make sense.  But if all we want is mere survival – to endure to the end – we will have wasted the trial, we will have missed out on God’s blessing.

  

If you’re human, you will have some sort of trial come your way. It’s a guarantee. You may lose a job, have a spouse walk away from you, or contract a life-threatening disease. There are smaller trials – like an relenting boss, a rebellious child, or a financial loss – that are no less trying.

 

We’re really not supposed to buckle in and wait for the wild ride to end. We are meant to embrace our trial and actually benefit from it.

 

Right now, I’m walking with a cane awaiting a hip transplant. So I’m reflecting on this moment and here are a few things I’m considering.

 

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You will waste your trial if you believe it is punishment.

 

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’

 

‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’” John 9:1-5 NIV

 

 We all know this verse, yet when we are afflicted; we still ask “What did I do to bring this on?”

 

Some are four-pack-a day smokers and the lung removal is no surprise. Or the man who gets behind the wheel three kites to the wind shouldn’t be surprised to wake up on a thin mattress in a concrete cell.

 

But for many of us, it seems that “life” just seems to grab us, like a sudden wave on the beach pulling blankets and sunglasses and cell phones out with the tide.

 

It’s not a punishment, but a blessing if your faith becomes real, if you love becomes purposeful, if your life finds traction. 

 

 

 You waste your trial if you fail to rejoice

 

“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame.” Romans 5:3-5 NIV 

 

Trials can awaken the senses and spark the cold heart.

 

We gain none of those benefits if we are sullen or withdrawn. We miss out on character and hope and love if we’re out to blame someone, something. There is nothing more earth-shattering than a shout of joy in the midst of calamity.

 

 

You will waste your trial if you seek comfort from your odds rather than from God. (Hat tip John Piper for this as he was battling cancer)

 

Some count their chariots and some count their horses , but we trust in the name of the Lord our God (Psalm 20:7).

 

“The world gets comfort from their odds. Not us,” writes John Piper.

 

Cancer survival rates are amazing today. But if you put your hope in the 7 in 10 ten chance of survival, you’ll miss out on what the real mission to your heart. There are other odds – and we are always betting on doctors, or spouses changing their minds, or kids coming back home.

 

Here some new odds. You will a 100 percent chance of suffering at some point in your life. But rest-assured, that you also can have 100 percent odds of receiving Christ’s comfort, meeting you in your deepest distress, and restoring your simple joy.

 

 

You will waste your trial is you spend too much time analyzing the situation

 

It’s not wrong to research career opportunities if you are unemployed. It’s not wrong to read about that blood disease. It’s not wrong to read about the walk-away spouse, to visit with people and get their opinions. But it is wrong to spend too much time in head knowledge, and not enough time in heart repair.

 

Your trial is meant to awaken you to the reality of God.  This is your chance — finally — to clear your head and figure out Jesus and get to know him fully

 

 

You will waste your trial if you endure it alone.

 

We are mortified that others will discover our scars, our open wounds. We usually hide them — and try to make a go of it alone. Your need gives others an opportunity to respond. How many times have you heard about someone who has been sick, or who lost a loved one, or who has a relationship on the rocks, and it’s been weeks or months since it’s happened. You feel crushed. You could have helped.

 

In your trial, you will need your brothers and sisters to walk with you, to live out their faith beside you, to love you. And one day, you can do same to them.

 

 

 You will waste your trial if you fail to use it as a pointer to God’s truth.

 

“They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. .” Luke 21:12 -13 ESV.

 

So it is with cancer or job loss or emotional loss. There is a golden opportunity to show there are things more important than life on this earth. Don’t let them slip by.

 

 

I owe much to the original thoughts of John Piper and Marvin Olasky about this subject.

 

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David2David Rupert on any given weekend can be found wandering the Rockies, fly-rod in hand, and trying to figure it out. He may be a communications professional and writer for a government organization by day, but by night, he’s taking seriously the call to encourage the Body. Spurring another to share their gifts, is a passion of his. He especially points to Christ’s words on his blog called Red Letter Believers and continues to reach others through his many publications in magazine articles. While he has his hands full, he is also the community editor at The High Calling, and adding to the list, his new book set to release in June 2014 is called  Disconnected: How to Turn Around Every Broken Relationship.  While yet another book, Make a Difference: Growth in Leadership, and many more writings by him can be found here as he continues to seek out more ways to encourage others.

 

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3 Comments on “Don’t Waste Your Trial: 6 Truths That Can Change Your Life

  1. David, this is so good and spot on. I am working on my first blog post in a couple of weeks and am writing about fear. Contrary to what came in my email box today from another writer, we can’t outrun fear. We face it with the power of Jesus. He is our conqueror over death and fear.

    I love your message here.

    Yes, trials come and simply gritting our teeth and baring it doesn’t produce fruit from the experience. I’ve been through a fair amount of trials and have found them to produce beautiful fruit when I am desperate for God, even though the pain often feels unbearable.

    It makes me think of the words from a hymn, “Just a closer walk with thee”. Every trial has it’s opportunity to bring us closer to our Maker. “Through this world of toils and snares,” it’s God who shares it with us and is always there. Gosh, that sounds easy, but it’s not.

    It is, however, so, so amazing to experience. Bless you.

  2. Oh my goodness David this is such a good post. I am going to print it off and give to the ladies in my bible study a copy to hand on their wall, or at least those great points.

    You will waste your trial if you believe it is punishment.
    You waste your trial if you fail to rejoice
    You will waste your trial if you seek comfort from your odds rather than from God.You will waste you waste your trial is you spend too much time analyzing the situation
    You will waste your trial if you endure it alone.
    You will waste your trial if you fail to use it as a pointer to God’s truth.

    I have adopted a new theme, “make it count” and this goes along with it.
    Praying for you.

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