Trials of Various Kinds
Someone once said that life is a classroom, that life teaches you the greatest lessons. I will never forget when my family had to face one of life’s toughest exams. It was Christmas Eve 1988 and there was a phone call. My mother went into our study to take the call. When she emerged she looked like she was about to crumble before our eyes. My dad took her into their bedroom to talk. It turns out that my Aunty, my Mother’s sister, had been driving home from a Christmas Eve party and had fallen asleep at the wheel, ran off the road, slammed into a tree, and had died instantly. Christmas and our family would never quite be the same again. Now we all go through trials, we all go through tests, and we all have to deal with tragedy. It does not matter if you are the richest person in the world, or the poorest. Life tests us. Life tries us. So how do you walk faithfully through trials?
Beginning the Walk of Faith
Well, what we learn from the life of Abram is that to walk faithfully through trials, we must not respond to them by trying to handle the situation ourselves, but we must learn to trust in God’s promises. Abram, as he walked by faith in Genesis 12, encountered a severe famine. Up to this point in his life everything had been going great. God had said go, and Abram had went. God had told him that he was going to give to his offspring the land of Canaan, and Abram had built an altar and worshiped. But now all of a sudden – without warning he had encountered adversity. He encountered a severe famine.
However, instead of trusting in God to look after him, Abram tried to handle the situation himself. He went down to Egypt to find rest there. He did not consult God, nor trust that God would provide, he just made his own plan.
There’s a Better Way
Isn’t this what we often do? When everything is going great for us we are building altars and worshipping, but as soon as we encounter difficulties we run to Egypt. We try to handle the situation in our own strength and according to our own wisdom.
Well, the lesson in this for us is that even though it is counter intuitive, the only way to walk faithfully through trials is to respond not by trying to handle the situation ourselves, but by trusting in God’s promises. You see as difficult as it was for my family to deal with the tragic death of our aunty at a young age, we had to live by faith in God’s promises. We needed to remember that because of the resurrection of Jesus, death does not have the final word and that we would see her again one day. And even though we did grieve like anyone would in such a situation, we did not grieve without hope – because of the promise of gospel we could stand firm.