Trials Are the Norm, Easy Days the Exception
By: Anne Peterson
For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst. - Matthew 18:20
Sometimes I forget the truth. I think of the trials we are going through and feel the weight of them. It is overwhelming. God, we’ve been praying. We’ve asked you to help, and even though we know you are Jehovah Jireh, which means the Lord will provide, we still struggle for faith.
We’ve read about how God wants us to live an abundant life, but the life we live looks very different.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 tells us that it’s good when two are together. One can help the other. If one falls, the other can help them up. But then it mentions a cord of three strands. In a couple, who is the third strand? God, of course!
We were not in our marriages alone. God put us together, we were sure of that, and God is also a member of our marriage. And the times we have felt alone in it are the times we are believing lies, because God has said he would never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
Satan is the enemy of our souls. He loves destruction, division, discord. He will use anything he can to discourage us and he often uses our relationships. All it might take for him to get a foothold is for us to take our eyes off the Lord and to look around at others who seem to have it easier. Believe me, appearances are deceiving. We really don’t know what others are going through.
From the outside, my sister and her husband looked like they had it all. They were on their 3rd house, with three little boys. Next thing I knew, they were getting a divorce. We were shocked. But that’s because Peggy didn’t share how things really were. Not till it was too late. My sister was the victim of domestic violence. She never made it out. Believe me, you never really know what someone else is going through.
Jesus told us in John 16:33 that we would have tribulations, which are troubles. But in the last part of the verse, he tells us to be of good cheer, because he has overcome the world. God is bigger than our problems.
Pastor and teacher Charles Swindoll has talked about how we look at life a little backward. We look at our trials as the exception to the life we think we should have. But trials are something God has been up front with us about: they are a given. Trials are the norm, days of ease are the exception. In this world we will have trials, Jesus tells us. Those words are clear. But we can take hope in the fact we are not in this alone. Remembering that truth changes everything. Each time we pray, God is with us.
Psalm 84:11 tells us God is a sun and shield. He bestows favor and honor, but we need to hold onto the last part of the verse with both hands. God said he will not withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly. We need to trust he really is a Father who knows best.
Yes, in this world, we will have trials. But God is with us in those trials. And take heart, he has overcome the world.
Anne Peterson and her husband, Michael have been married for 43 years. Anne is a poet, speaker, published author of 15 books, including her latest book, Always There: Finding God's Comfort Through Loss. Anne has also written and published another memoir, Broken: A story of abuse, survival, and hope. Sign up for Anne’s newsletter at www.annepeterson.com and receive a free eBook by clicking the tab. Or connect with her on Facebook.
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