What God Teaches Us through Trials
By: Dennis Babish|Published: April 11, 2011 5:32 PM
If you know anything about Roman and Greek mythology, you know that their gods viewed humans as playthings. They would do bad things to humans simply for their entertainment and enjoyment.
Our God made us in His image, and takes no joy in our trials. Instead, as James 1:2-4 tells us, trials test our faith and form us into who God wants each of us to become.
In November 2009, when Judy was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, the biggest trial of our lives began. We didn’t get angry with God and shake our fists at Him, nor did we feel sorry for ourselves and ask “why us?” Instead, our faith increased and we focused on what God wanted us to learn from this trial.
Looking back, I can see several things that God used to teach us and help us become what He wants from us.
God loves us and shows us His love even in our trials
Judy videotaped a powerful testimony talking about how God healed her wounded heart. You can see it here.
She had struggled all of her life with whether God loved her. Her life was filled with abuse, a son lost to SIDS, a failed marriage. This had resulted in her believing that God didn’t love her. But God never gave up on her and continued to shower her with His love.
After she was diagnosed with cancer, God poured out His love on Judy in so many ways that she felt it and came to the conclusion that yes, God did love her and she was His daughter. She died knowing not only that she loved God, but that He loved Her.
A real trial tests the reality of our faith
It is easy for each of us to say, “Here is how I will react if my spouse or I am diagnosed with lung cancer.” But until that trial actually happens, it is only theoretical or a classroom exercise.
Is our faith on solid ground or is it on shifting sand? Our trials give us an opportunity to be drawn closer to God or to fall away from Him. If we choose to draw closer to Him, He will see us through our trials and we will become more of who He wants us to be.
Judy and I chose to draw closer and become more dependent on God and not rely on our own understanding. It did build steadfastness in both of us and enabled us to be His witness to others. I know today that nothing can separate me from His love.
We really are a Christian family
When we refer to other Christians as our “family,” or our “brothers and sisters,” those aren’t just words. They have real meaning behind them. We Christians truly are a family. If you are a Christian, then you are my brother or sister.
We may not always agree with each other or what we are doing, but just as with our earthly families, we care about each other. The blessings that were poured out for us by our church community, Christian friends, and even Christian strangers were so filled with caring, love, and warmth that it overwhelmed Judy and me at times. Judy said once that it's hard to be depressed when you are receiving so many blessings.
God created this family to not only worship together and enjoy good times with each other, but also be with each other in times of need. This family demonstrated God’s love for us in so many ways, through phone calls, cards, e-mails, visits, prayers, sending angels to be put up on Judy’s Wall of Angels, and more.
Without this family and our strong faith in God, I don’t know how we would have been able to endure it. I feel sorry for those that deny God; they must feel so hopeless. God’s light shone brightly through these acts of love, and did not go unnoticed by others. Our sons were amazed, and even the hospice nurses and assistants were impacted. They remarked that we had one heck of a support system. We sure did.
Judy’s trial is over. She is now cured of cancer and is in Heaven. She has come face to face with Jesus and dines with Him now. She has no more pain, and no more tears, and is reunited with her son who died from SIDS.
My trial continues, and while I miss her tremendously, I am comforted by God, family, and my Christian family. I am filled with hope and know that I will come through this with a stronger faith and will view future trials as opportunities to learn and grow in my faith, no matter how painful. What about you?
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