Treat Your Trials Right; an Overview

By Matt Kellso

I was recently directed to an article written by John Piper about dealing with cancer.  It was helpful and is great, so I decided to completely plagiarize it, but call it my own.  He was very specific to an immediate issue of cancer, but I’ve personally struggled with keeping this perspective in many trials in my life.  If I’d had what I’m about to write here when I was dealing with the trials of losing my unborn kids, I would’ve handled it a lot better.  If we keep this perspective in all good and bad things that hit our path, we will be much more enriched by the path that God is walking us through and therefore He will be more glorified.  So fasten your seat belts and prepare to be convicted.  I pray the Holy Spirit drives us all to a better love for and trust in Him through the words on this page.

Let’s start with a little perspective reset.  We need to realize that there is an impulse in all areas of life to have a consistent focus on the temporal instead of the eternal.  Half the battle with this impulse is recognizing when we’re too temporally focused.  Let’s try to think eternally and use this post to exhort us in that direction.

It is easy to see our trials in life as problems that need to be solved, but that is not how God looks at them.  God’s hand is cleanly on all aspects of life, therefore there are no problems, only opportunities to magnify Him.  I know that saying that sounds heartless and unaffected.  We should be affected by what happens around us and by what those circumstances mean to our everyday lives, but we should be more affected by a new way to magnify the Creator with our lives.  John’s first two words of advice to cancer victims are:

1.     Believe it is designed for you by God

2.     Believe it is a gift and not a curse

These two points need to be our foundation for trials.  God will never be surprised by badnews.  He cannot be caught off guard.  He does not see bad situations and use them for the best.  He is the Author of sickness (Job 2:10).  He sends “evil” to us and we can be comforted in that fact (Job 42:11).  Knowing this truth and contrasting that with His character, we can rest assured that He will be glorified for it.  What could be better?!?!?!  That means that we do not suffer trials and try to get through them.  We treat them as gifts from God that we need to be excited about.  What an amazing perspective change!  How can we possibly pull this off?  How can we possibly view the crap of life as blessings that God allows us to walk in (Eph 2:10)?

We have have have to remember why we’re here and what this (life on earth) is all about.

  • It is not about us praising or worshipping God.
  • It is not about us becoming more sanctified.
  • It is not about us supporting each other through trials.
  • It is not about us enjoying anything here on Earth.

All believers will worship, be perfected, have perfect community and enjoy the best of His creations in death.

The only thing that we can do here on earth that we cannot do in heaven, is tell non-believers about the Gospel and the impending eternal suffering from God’s wrath directed at them for denying the truths of the Gospel (Philippians 1:15-30).

Think about it.  Paul told the church at Philippi that it is better for Him to be here (not with Christ in heaven), because he could help them bring the Gospel to those around them.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to walk through about 8 different ways for us to keep an eternal perspective in trials.  I hope they are as useful to you as they have been to me.

For more from Matt click here.

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  1. January 4th, 2010

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