As Christians and people living in a broken world...we have all had them, we have all faced them. Our response to them can be imperative to the building of our character.
I at times have certainly felt those trials glaring at me. Sometimes trials look like people. Other times, they take shape of lying depression or a difference of opinion. I have often believed these trials were waiting to knock me off the ladder. Sometimes, for doing or saying what I thought was ethical, right or Christlike. This very ladder, is the same ladder I've worked hard climbing before my walk with Christ and the same ladder I’ve managed to cling to even when rungs needed mending in my walk with Christ. Although I’ve managed a sometimes wobbly footing, I’ve still found myself feeling guilty for hurting and angry for being tested. How can you work so hard, love so graciously... Only to face a trial? After stumbling across this verse, I developed a better grasp on the true reality.
“Blessed are when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great.” (Matt. 5:11-12)
Exulting in our tribulations does not mean denying the pain. It does not mean we fall from our beliefs and achievements. I found some refuge in this verse and that naturally spurred this concept: There is nothing wrong with feeling sorrow or pain or grief in the midst of a difficult trial. We shouldn’t deny these feelings in an attempt to look more spiritual. We should embrace them with perseverance and trust in what's transforming as a result. Life sometimes just hurts. Boy, don’t we know that to be all too true today?! Sometimes, we get knocked down a step on the ladder. However, we serve a God that doesn't let us ever fall off! We may find ourselves a painful step lower, but know we should be sustained by hope in the promises of God. We know that He is sovereign over ALL things and that He cares for us deeply through such trials. Trials are not to harm us. Rather, God uses them to shape us. He uses them to strengthen our hope of heaven and to create a stronger, more loving earthly body.
Trials are a part of the “all things” that He works together for good to those who love God... ALL things. Even trials. As strange as it may seem, we can exult in them.