Burdens As Blessings
Have you ever stopped to actually count all of your blessings? I donâ€™t think it would be possible to ever number them all â€“ good health, a great family, a safe home, plenty of food, etc. What about trials? What about devastating events in our lives? Would we number them along with our other â€śgoodâ€ť blessings from the Lord? Burdens as blessings? I have learned that in our darkest moments in the midst of trials, Godâ€™s hand of blessing is more apparent than ever.
Trials Show us our Complete Need of God
If you have ever been in the midst of a trial, you know that deep sadness accompanies trials. When all control of the situation is lost, you may feel the urge to give up hope. There may be nothing in your own strength that you can do to change your situation. When we come to the end of ourselves, we realize that we are in complete and total need of an Almighty God. Apart from God, we are nothing. I am reminded of Philippians 4:13 which says, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.â€ť Christ is my strength, and He can be yours! When all of your physical, mental, or emotional strength is gone, Christ is still there! He is still strong and has never left your side. He longs for you to come to Him and to recognize your need of Him. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says,
â€śBut He said to me, â€śMy grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christâ€™s power may rest on me.â€ť
Trials Cause us to Focus on His Face
It is undeniable that we live in very busy times. Our frantic lifestyles and numbered obligations can cause us to lose focus of the things that are really important in our lives. Our time alone with God can be choked out with other obligations or tasks such as laundry, homework, work deadlines, and even our family. During times of trial, I have found that God brings me to Him and helps me to focus completely on His face. It bothers me to think that instead of focusing on God, I tend to chase the â€śAmerican Dream.â€ť I want to always keep Him and His work my number one priority, rather than chasing after other things with no eternal value. Matthew 6:19-20 tells us,
â€śDo not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.â€ť
Trials Bring us to Our Knees in Prayer
I donâ€™t know why, but during times of trials, I have a really hard time praying. I continue to keep a clenched-fist, white-knuckled dead-grip on my problems and refuse to hand them over to the Lord. WHY? God wants us to come to Him with whatever is bothering us. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28
â€śCome to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.â€ť
God cares about you! He cares about me! He knows the burdens we face, and He longs to give us comfort and reassurance that He is still in control. Even if we are in so much pain that we just cannot form the words to pray, the Bible tells us in Romans 8:26, â€śâ€¦the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we donâ€™t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.â€ť Come to Him and give Him your cares and anxiety! 1 Peter 5:7 says,
â€śGive all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.â€ť
Trials Develop Trust in Him
God is faithful. I am so thankful that no matter what trials I have been through, God has always been there. God promises many times in His Word that he will NEVER leave us, and He will NEVER forsake us (Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6, Psalm 9:10, 1 Chronicles 28:20). In times of trials, claim those promises! He spoke those words for you!
Trials do not seem like a blessing as we are walking through them. However, when we look back at them, months or even years from now, we will see Godâ€™s hand through all that happened in our lives. He never left our side, and He never looked away, unaware of the burdens we faced. In Romans 8:28, God promises us that â€śall things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.â€ť We can claim that promise in Him! I encourage you to meditate on the words of James 1 as we praise Him and give thanks for all things that come into our lives, even persecution.
â€śMy brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work,
that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God,
who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.â€ť
~ James 1:2-5