Life has a way of making us feel inadequate, full of despair and hopelessness. Although we have longer times of rest and peace, the realities of brokenness are ever before our faces. From broken families, abusive spouses, wives killing husbands to parents raping and molesting their children. The young people are plunging into hopelessness due to political injustices that have made their livelihood difficult to other things that we go through, much as we are children of God. So what should a believer anchor themselves on? Given our standing with the Saviour, what do we need to know about life’s tribulations, challenges, and pains in order to face them in faith?
Scripture says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18. “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” 2 Corinthians 4:17.
Our Trials are just for the Present Time
Everything we are going through in life as believers is only happening now. We get sick and go through many things in life. But sickness and disease can go away in a week or two or through medication. So it is for the present time- now. We may lack resources, but God provides us with opportunities here and there that make our pain bearable. We may have other forms of conflicting circumstances that are not necessarily beyond change at the moment. Our trials are but for the present time, and we need to walk in the knowledge of the God who knows tomorrow (Psalm 139:16b).
Our hope is in the assurance that though things may be stormy now, tomorrow does not have to be the same. So we can pray to him in times of present anxiety and depression, that we get to know peace and rejoice because God is at hand (Philippians 4:4-7). If we lack today, we can ask him for daily bread, and he can provide (Matthew 6:11). You see, trials being but for the present does not mean that things will be that way all the time. While we are here on earth, we have the opportunity to know better days if God wills. Ours is to put our trust in him for he is in control (Philippians 4:5).
Our Trials are Light
Secondly, we are reminded that they are light- meaning they are not as heavy as they seem compared to the blessings we will receive from Christ for enduring (1 Peter 1:3-6, Romans 8:17-18) and secondly compared to what Christ suffered on the cross for our sake. C.T Studd said, “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” Some trials indeed cause us much discomfort and pain (John 16:33, 2 Timothy 3:12); they may even threaten our lives, but before the eyes of God – and consequently before ours- they are light (2 Corinthians 4:17). In Christ Jesus, we can handle it now, and should they get fatal (Acts 7:54-60, Revelation 12:11), they still are preparing an eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Our Trials are Momentary
Finally, we are reminded that trials are not eternal but temporary- only for a moment. Think about growing up in an abusive home. It is draining in many ways and hindering mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. In the heat of the situation, it seems that we will never be able to get out of it until we are one day. Yet even that is a brief reprieve because of the lingering memories. The same is true with all other trials.
The good news is that there is hope when, in these trials, God is with us (Matthew 28:18-20). He makes them, even the memories, shortlived by providing us with a way out of earthly troubles- eternity with him (Rev. 21:1-4) where none of these things exists! So our hope is not that trying times will not pursue and catch up with us (John 16:33b). No. Our hope is that, no matter how tempest and tough, every trial we go through has its end in this life. We live not for momentary pleasure but eternal bliss (Colossians 3:2, Romans 12:2).
Don’t Give Up
Whatever your plate of trial, if you have Christ in your heart, be encouraged that it is only for the present, light and momentary therefore do not give up. God has a better place for you and me. Amen.