by Michael Hume
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All trials are uncomfortable and unpleasant, but in the end they work to your advantage. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8.28
God has many purposes when putting a person through trials. I always feel the least God owes me here on earth is an insight so that I don't feel I have gone through some bad experience for nothing.
God builds your character during trials. You become more Godly, more humble and earn more rewards from God. God may also give hope, vision or promises as you endure trials. He certainly has with me. And then those hopes, promises, and visions occur. Another side effect is that you sympathise more with others who also go through trials whether their trials are similar or not.
Spiritual oppression, persecution, unjust pressure, hassle, intimidation, suggestions, bullying, character assassinations, frequent ridicule, hostility, psychological pressure of one sort or another are some experiences I've had since 1987. They are my real trials. Sometimes it is hard to be happy when you are being battered day in day out with little support. God uses Satan to make me more Godly, wiser than Satan and the worldly. Sometimes he allows trials to prod me in another direction. To move jobs for instance.
So why does God allow them? Jesus himself had trials and it forced him to rely on God the Father. It also was part of God's plan for him. The crucifixion seemed so unjust and caused pain, ridicule and death. But from God's view it already has brought salvation and peace to millions of people.
So my trials also force me more towards God and the Bible. What if you are experiencing trials and there is no end in sight? God will not allow you to go beyond a point. He sets boundaries beyond which Satan can't go in your life both in intensity and time. In due course God provides the escape route from the trial. Satan is only a tool in God's hands. He is not someone to be afraid of and don't be afraid of those who harm you because they will have to give an account of themselves to God.
I believe God rewards you for the trial experience both for duration and intensity. And perhaps over and above your due since God is just and generous. How do you conduct yourself during the trial? In my case I stumble and stagger and eventually gain composure as I settle into what God is saying to me. Only sometimes do I stumble briefly. Other times with God's help I stay sure-footed because of his word reminding me how to act and see things.
If you experience real injustice then expect God to briing good out of it for you. If he owes you promises then expect him to keep them. God will never go against his word. I have promised or said things to children which are as good as promises and when I broke them I felt awful. I was unable to arrive in time once to pick up my nephew from nursery. All his teachers were surrounding him when I arrived about 20 minutes late. I then vowed to myself that I would never be late for him again. God of course is not prone to human error and getting trains late as I was. God would feel bad if he let me down but he doesn't. You know it is a matter of honour to keep your own word to children. Similarly God thinks the same way toward us.
The more I'm persecuted, the more I read the Bible and the more God speaks to me. I am forced to face God and Bible verses come to mind a lot more than when not in a trial. There is much knowledge of good and evil in the Bible so you understand the nature of the enemy. You should become wiser than your enemies. If you know your enemy and his tactics you should be able to win battles against him. You should also be a lot stronger since God is with you and he is stronger than everyone and everythinng. There are of course breaks from near relentless trials.
God always gives opportunities to make you happy as your disciplines of faith kick in, and your prayers for peace are answered to an extent for now. I often find Satan monotonous, predictable, and can't think intelligently compared with God. God by contrast is interesting, can't be fathomed out and is extremely thoughtful.
Ultimately God is the victor and therefore in every trial I will be too since God will turn every single one to good for me. Your persecutors may seem to be winning for a while but that is what they want you to think. Instead of believing God, look at what God is saying about your situation. He has it under control. He is going to give you the victory. His word will come true, not your opposition's. You will be sustained. Your reputation is going to come forth like gold, and they will be seen for what they truly are and their deeds exposed.
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Beautiful. Very touching.