Tackling Life's Trials

"I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me." Psalm 16:8 NLT

One took advantage of the situation; the other stepped up to the plate.

Watching a few middle schoolers traipse down the hall on crutches or with a limb in a cast isn't unusual. In addition to the injuries, there are usually health related issues as well. Students missing class for injuries or health concerns is normal; how they deal with it varies.

One particular year, two stood out. One had a broken limb; the other a health related issue that kept him home for weeks. Normally when a student has a broken limb, another student comes alongside them and carries their books. Not for this particular student. He didn't even ask. He wrote the best he could with the hand he didn't normally write with. Nothing was late or missing. The other student took advantage of his situation. Their responses are typical.

The psalmist confessed he would never be shaken regardless of what came his way. There was no need. The Lord was with him. The promise he held onto applies to every believer. When trials come-no matter the intensity, time, or shape-being shaken is unnecessary. But how I respond reveals much about my faith.

If I go about my business in the presence of trials as if it's just another ordinary period in my life-as the student with the broken limb did-my faith will change. My spiritual walk with the Lord will mature, my faith will develop, and my dependence on God rather than self will receive a lift. Trials will turn me more toward God rather than others or myself. I'll remember I can't handle life on my own. I need more than friends, family, and acquaintances; I need God.

The only other choice is to do what the other student did: milk the system. We can get mad at God for allowing these circumstances into our life and refuse to spend time with Him in prayer or any other way. We can depend too much on others at the expense of God and perhaps end up in co-dependent relationships. Or we can do nothing and have our own pity party.

Trials test our faith and form our integrity. How are you tackling the trials that come your way?

Prayer: Father, we thank You that Your strength is enough to enable us to conquer any trial.

Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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