Spiritual Warfare & Trials
In Eternity we’ll go on to rule and reign with Christ, And they will reign forever and ever. Rev. 22:5 (NLT). We prepare for this future by learning in this present life to rule ourselves and overcome trials, which is why God doesn’t solve all our problems. Instead He develops in us an “overcomes” mentality. Think of your trial as a kind of spiritual assessment of battle readiness.
The history and development of David to rule and reign Israel (Old Testament King David) started as a shepherd boy watching over and protecting sheep. His trial or battle assessment came when he had to defend the sheep against a bear and a lion which although were challenging at the time were in reality just developing in him the courage and the wherewithal to go up against the giant Goliath. Every trial is battle preparation that teaches you to fight! All of Israel’s well equipped and well trained warriors couldn’t compare with the God trained shepherd boy David who went up against the giant not with weapons only but in the Name of the Lord!
But David persisted. "I have been taking care of my father's sheep and goats," he said. "When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I'll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!" … David replied to the Philistine, "You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven's Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord's battle, and he will give you to us!" As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. Reaching into his shepherd's bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword. Then David ran over and pulled Goliath's sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head. 1 Samuel 17:34-37, 45-51 (NLT)
Through your trials God is training you the important principles of battle. The Lord is showing you degree by degree how to win! He is showing you His mercy to rescue you. He is building in you courage to go against opposition with greater degrees of challenge. He is also showing you that every trial is temporary and has an end, and for the courageous believer a victorious end. However there is a necessity to pass each test. You might remember the movie “Groundhogs Day” where Bill Murray had to relive the same day over and over until he got it right. Trials are your Groundhogs Day. If you don’t learn the lessons God will rescue you for sure, but when you have recovered from that trial you will have to face it again until you get it right! So be courageous and trust God the first time, conquer and overcome trial in the Name of Jesus!
Purified as Gold
Let me give you a new perspective; every trial is a lesson to be learned, not something to be avoided. The fire of trials is where we are changed for the better and most of the time the only place where real change can occur. You are being purified as gold; something good and eternal happens when all that heat is applied.
1 Peter 1:6-7 (NLT) … wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
God sets the Limits
Make no mistake, God is carefully watching over you in this process, perhaps no more intently than when you are tested. In each challenge God makes sure it isn’t beyond your ability to handle. He allows just enough to build up your spiritual character, and is uniquely designed to strengthen a particular weakness in you.
No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (Msg)
Learn the Lesson
Trials are a kind of spiritual-military-training that teaches us how to legitimately fight back against the oppressors and conqueror our weaknesses. So instead of belly-aching “get me out of this,” try to learn the specific lesson and become stronger in spirit. Once you have learned it the trial is over and it won’t have to be repeated. The heat of trials are the purifying force that unveil hidden imperfections; they give you great clarity; like melted gold all the junk surfaces and is drawn off. How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Psalms 19:12 (NLT). A powerful prayer.
STORY: I remember telling a friend once that I had a bad decade. This is not normal. I was a slow learner and God was dedicated to teaching me certain lessons. Therefore as much as I wanted to avoid dealing with some things, God allowed me to take the test again and again until I was able to pass. I hope your trials will not last so long and they certainly don’t have to. Remember your strength is not in self pity, worry, or fear, but “In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” You are a conqueror!
A GREAT MISTAKE is made when we set our mind to survive circumstances. We are not survivors we are conquerors. In all these things we are more than conquerors. Romans 8:37. If you have mistakenly slid into survival mode, stop, pray, and face the heat of a trial head on! I believe at the end of every trial is a good reward and for certain a new found strength.
For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. 1 John 5:4-5 (NLT) & Revelation 21:7 (NLT)