A Christian Counselor

Trials versus Triumph.

First, I had the title as "Trials and Tribulations"... No, that didn't seem right and the Lord impressed on me to change it to its present title. It made me see that we can turn our trials into positive experiences if we direct our faith and expectation on the Lord, Our God and Father.
According to the Oxford Advanced Dictionary some of the meanings for trials are "Irritations"; "Process of testing the ability, quality, performance etc", while Triumph stands for being victorious.

Perhaps you feel that life's trials have taken their toll. You are swimming against the current and you are about beaten down. Just wait... have another look...could you divert those trials into triumph? Turn the page of your life and read what the scriptures have to say.

Psalm 34:19...Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Psalm 91:7... A Thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.

Psalm 91:15...He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.

A few years ago I was struck so hard�that humanly speaking I was at the point of hitting rock bottom, pulling my hair out, climbing the walls. I was so devastated I couldn't even think of a scripture, while I was always right on His Word and knew in Whom I believed.
The only thing I could do was groan and tremble, lifting up my hands towards heaven. This was one of the deepest spots I have ever experienced as a Christian; at Maximum Tolerance Level.
And you know what... that was exactly where God, my Father did meet me... right there. Where the air became so compressed, where the rain changed to steam, where tears evaporated, where day turned black as tar He came down and touched me.
That was when He rescued me and carried me in His bosom.
Then I wrote down that which welled up from the depth of my soul:

For the Lord is my helper and my staff,
He is a relief in a time of stress;
He is like water in a time of drought;
He is a light in a night of darkness;
He is my joy in times of sorrow;
He is my fulfillment, when there is emptiness;
He is my strength in weakness;
He is my all, when I am nothing.

Have a good look at Daniel 3, the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego.
They went through the worst trial anybody could go through; the fiery furnace.
After heating up the furnace 7 times, the three were even bound before thrown into the fire. NO CHANCE AT ALL... ZERO survival possibility... SURRENDERED UNTO DEATH... LOSING ALL... really?

We know the end of the story and what a "faith" lifter this has been over the ages, and still is. After the Lord rescued them they were honored and promoted by the same king who had ordered for them to be burned.
You may always have seen this as a nice story, but do you realize that this has really happened? Can you imagine yourself in their place? How would you have reacted to the questions of the king?

"Well, King... I'm just going down on my knees once for ya... but then I have to ask the Lord's forgiveness".
To me you may say: "You are not telling me that the Lord wants me to burn in that furnace, do you? I will never survive that blazing heat, that is just impossible. I think the Lord will understand my motives! Besides... I am just human, you know..."

OOPS... you've missed it. I mean, you just missed an opportunity to allow the Lord to do the "Impossible" in your life. Take your trials as a "Challenge" rather than a hindrance.
From time to time, He allows each one of us to go through trials which seem to go far above our understanding and our capability to bring about change. Sometimes God brings His children into impossible situations to show us who He is and that He is able to change things. This is not a nice experience to go through, because we don't know the end result. He provides for us the challenge to completely give ourselves over to Him, no matter the outcome.

The Lord wants to hear from us the same as what the 3 Hebrew men said to Nebuchadnezzar when he was about to throw them into the fiery furnace.
Daniel 3:18... But if NOT, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Let us learn from past stories what God is like and how we can trust Him in any situation. I don't know God's plans for your life, but one thing I do know, that God is faithful and true. I am suggesting that you take whatever comes your way with a thankful heart and with adoration toward your Savior and Lord.

Psalm 94:19... In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul. verse 22...But the Lord has been my defense, and my God the rock of my refuge.

Psalm 107: 2...Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.

When you go through one of these trials and you claim the scriptures and stand on this : Hebrews 11:1... "FAITH is being SURE of what we hoped for and CERTAIN of what we do NOT see", The Lord always will be so nearly tangible beside you, that you rather feel regenerated than drained.
He is so faithful... just awesome.

Psalm 33:7...You are my hiding place: You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.

Daniel had been serving the Lord for a long time, praying three times per day. Then the "law" demanded no prayers for a certain length of time. Well, Daniel thought, I'm praying anyway, for the Lord will keep me. With windows open and a loud voice Daniel continued to pray three times per day. Perhaps, he may have thought, nobody can touch me as long as I do God's will. Right? WRONG!
They dragged him to the lions' den, by all means. Now Lord, that cannot be true, You wouldn't allow anything like this?" WOULD YOU, LORD ?

We all know the story. Daniel ended up in the lions' den. What a mistake! God was failing! OH? Did He really?
NO, God was not failing and neither was Daniel. He was sustained by his faith in the Lord. Without faith God cannot work. Faith is the evidence of things NOT seen. The Lord rescued him. Daniel did have a definite purpose in that lions' den. In the deepest point of his life the Lord met Daniel. HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE LIONS' DEN YET ?

Psalm 40:1,2... I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of the horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and establish my steps.

Just imagine, you're going through life as Joseph. Just don't start kicking at the first physical abuse you receive from your brothers, because they are not done with you. After your brothers throw you in the pit, leave you there for a while to dry up a bit, sell you and make some dollars over your bare skin, it is far from over. All kinds of more abuse is awaiting you. You're caught in a nasty situation in the bedroom with Potiphar's honey. Now you really feel like screaming, don't you. Of course, all the evidence is in her favor, your coat is left on her bed. So, you end up in jail. But you didn't do anything wrong! Honest ! Screaming again and kicking harder. Now you are in state of depression, total black out.
Here in jail you meet the baker and the server. Their dreams may be interesting, but no way are you going to help them to get out. There doesn't seem to be anybody helping you either. Even the Lord apparently is not on your side. You don't hear anything from Him! See, you're losing it. You'll never come out of jail. You'll never make it to Pharaoh's palace. NEVER !

Don't rebel against the intentions of the Lord. Don't fight the trials, which life brings. Take them as a challenge, allow the Lord to mold you into His image. He wants you to come through victoriously. Many take trials as bothersome, but they miss an opportunity to see God at work in their lives. Others believe that impossibilities are limiting God, while they forget that the Lord may be preparing them for something very special.

Joseph kept these dreams of his youth in his heart. He knew they were of the Lord. Joseph stayed focussed on his God. No way did he kick, scream or get depressed. He was even a blessing in that jail. Joseph believed that the Lord was in control, even when the evidence seemed to be the opposite. He proved to possess faith by the manner in which he acted. We all know the purpose, because we have read the end of Joseph's story. Joseph said to his brethren, "You thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good."

But what if you don't know the end of YOUR story, are you willing to allow the Lord to create something lasting in you? Melting you to pure gold. Some of these experiences may be scary, that does not mean you have to fear. Learn to float in Jesus. He has a purpose for your life, but if you don't co-operate you'll never know what His real purpose was, because you would have missed it.

Be sure though, that you walk close to the Lord in obedience to His Word, as to recognize His moves and hear His voice.
Psalm 31:7b,8...For You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities, and have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a wide place.

Psalm 71:3...Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress.

This was a different kind of Victory, because Stephen suffered for Christ's sake and died as a martyr.

Psalm 55:22...Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

Many others, including myself, have experienced this wonderful walk of faith in times of MAXIMUM TOLERANCE LEVEL and felt the touch of the Master's Hand while it vibrated through their innermost being.

In moments like these God's Word becomes a Source of Strength, a Resting Place, a Refuge, a Shelter. Through faith connection is made with God, the Father, while the Holy Spirit reveals the Truth through His Word.

We need to sell out completely to the Lord.
The Lord has asked me several times during my walk with Him if I would give up my children, my house, my possessions, my husband ... at last my ALL. I have hesitated at times, and checked if God really meant what He did require from me. I may just have heard it wrong! I waited... I thought... I cried. I said Lord: "You don't mean that, do You?" The Lord responded: "Yes, my child, I mean it." He gave me the choice and it scared me to make the decision, thinking I would lose ALL at some time.
I took the risk, expecting to be left empty handed, and said: "Yes, Lord, here it is." This were very emotional and spiritual milestones in my life, and I learned through going into the deep waters of total immersion in Him, Who He really was and is.

Although the Lord required my ALL, He never took it, instead He added. Oh, how wonderful is My Lord and King.

1John 2:15... Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

The road toward God is narrow, steep and lonely, but the reward is so unspeakable glorious, that you want to suffer ANYTHING to gain HIM.

Mustering up the kind of faith, and to become victorious in times of MAXIMUM TOLERANCE LEVEL, takes homework. We have to be willing to follow Christ ALL the way; allowing Him to have control in our lives; being obedient to the scriptures; crucifying the flesh; and keeping our will surrendered. As with everything else, there are certain Policies and Procedures we have to go by in order to be successful, even with the development of faith.

Be open to the Holy Spirit; throw yourself in His lifeline; let go; run the race; swim with the current; put your ALL into it; don't despair, you have nothing to lose only to gain.

Copyright © Dr.Trudy Veerman, 1999, Webmaster.
All rights reserved

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Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, A Shelter in the time of storm.

The Lord is our rock, in Him we hide, Secure whatever ill betide,
A shelter in the time of storm

A shade by day, defense by night, No fears alarm, no fears af-fright,
A shelter in the time of storm.

The raging storms may 'round us beat, We'll never leave our safe retreat,
A shelter in the time of storm.

O Rock divine, O Refuge dear, Be Thou our helper ever near,
A shelter in the time of storm.

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