First Triumph Then Trial
As Christians, we have spiritual eyes to see the things around us that others cannot. We were made to be aware and more sensitive to life. When you have a wonderful moment with the Lord, often there are tests and trials that follow.
Receiving the gift of my therapy being paid for was amazing! Michael and I literally cried for about an hour afterwards. We rejoiced and praised the Lord for His provisions.
My brain injured body doesn’t handle too much excitement. I was so excited on the Thursday and Friday. Come Saturday, I was completely exhausted. I woke up grumpy, and decided to go back to bed after breakfast. I took two naps that day. Eventually, I could feel myself come around.
Then Michael woke up irritable on Sunday. At first, we didn’t know why. We couldn’t explain it. We took a nap that afternoon as well. When we woke, Michael prayed about it. Then the LORD reminded him. We had a great moment on Thursday. Now came the testing and trial.
I had been praying and asking the Lord how to help Michael out of his funk. Once we both sought the Lord and did what He instructed us to do, the day completely turned around again.
We were given an incredible gift. But our moods were not showing the gratitude anymore until we realized what was going on.
It can be frustrating at times when we want to revel in the amazing gifts or moments we’ve been given. Why does the testing and trials have to come and what are we supposed to do about it?
Jesus faced the exact same things we do. Most times when He had an amazing ministry moment, afterwards He would go off in the quiet and pray. For example:
Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist– wilderness fasting and praying for 40 days (Matthew 3:13-4:11)
Feeding of the 5,000 – secluded and prayed. (Matthew 14:23-24)
Healing various diseases and casting out of demons – went to a deserted place (Luke 4:31-42)
“But the news about Him spread even more, and large crowds would come together to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. Yet He often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.” Luke 5:15-16
Other times He would retreat with his close disciples to a house for the night or to another region. They would have time walking together or sitting on a boat.
We all need to be on our guard at all times, in good seasons and in hard ones. Testing and trials aren’t necessarily a bad thing. This is what keeps our dependency and focus on the Lord rather than boasting in ourselves. It reminds us that the power and work within and around us are from our Creator not the creation. It keeps us humble, grateful, and mindful of our humanity.
When we got through the testing, we were able to have better clarity for our next steps. We were able to get back to giving God the glory, getting His direction, and humbly walking into last week with gratitude and praise.
Learning from these moments can also prepare us for when the heavy trials come. Jesus told Peter, James, and John to stay awake with Him and pray while He prayed at the Mount of Olives before His betrayal. He urgently asked them for this three times. Yet, every time they fell asleep again.
“’Simon, are you sleeping”’ [Jesus] asked Peter. “Couldn’t you stay awake one hour? Stay awake and pray so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 10:37-38)
Jesus, knowing the trial that lay ahead of Him, stayed awake all night and desperately prayed to the Father. He was hurting knowing the pain and anguish that awaited Him. Yet, He found His strength, courage, and answer by seeking the Father in such a dreadful time.
His example showed Peter that we need to seek the Lord and prepare for hard trials lest we fall into temptation. It is so easy to be caught off-guard and distracted. Before we know it, we’re ill-prepared for what lies ahead.
This isn’t to say we can’t enjoy God’s favour and blessings upon us. Rejoice! Be grateful. Live in His praise and greatness. Just don’t turn your eyes to the thing He’s given. Keep them on the Giver. So that when the testing and trials come, you will not fall into the temptation, but continue to grow and praise.