Trials, obstacles, problems, dilemmas, maladies, challenges – these are just some of the unpleasant words to describe the different situations in life that may send us off from our comfort zone. Whether we face relationship, financial, and health problems, there’s no doubt that we can easily be discouraged.
When the storms of life hit us, how do we stay positive? How can we survive the different problems that may challenge our faith? More importantly, where can we obtain the strength to stay on course in our Christian walk?
Thankfully, the Bible is full of passages that help us overcome trials in our life. God knows that it is through much tribulation that we enter His kingdom. Thus, He gave us what we need in times of distress.
In this blog, let me share with you the 10 biblical keys to staying positive in the midst of trials. Learn how you can emerge as a victorious Christian as you conquer the different problems in life.
Key no. 1: Accept that trials are a part of life
Sometimes, one of the most astonishing attitudes of Christian is being surprised when they experience troubles in life. They see problems as a strange thing. While it is true that life is unpredictable, we need to understand that problems are a normal part of life.
The Apostle Peter tells us:
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (I Peter 4:12).
Peter was very much aware that problems will come to your way, whether you are ready for it or not.
We need to be realistic. No one is exempted to life’s challenges and trials. Even Jesus Christ, Himself, suffered to the extent of experiencing the most gruesome death the human mind could ever comprehend. Christ said:
“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20).
The sooner we accept that trials are a normal part of life, then we can prepare for the worst thing to happen in our lives.
Key no. 2: Realize that all things work together for good
We need to remember that no matter what happens in our lives, we can have the confidence that God is in COMPLETE control. He is always in charge.
Romans 8:28 tells us:
“And we know that ALL things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Notice, we can hold on to this verse as long as we LOVE GOD. We are part of God’s plan of salvation, and we can have the assurance that God will work all things out. Though we might not understand exactly why we are suffering right now, we can always be happy with the thought that everything will eventually fall into its proper place. We can come to the point when everything will make sense, be it during this lifetime or in the life to come.
Key no. 3: We can handle any trial that comes our way
Do you know that God will not give a trial that we cannot bear? We read:
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, WHO WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO BE TEMPTED BEYOND WHAT YOU ARE ABLE, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (I Corinthians 10:13).
Did you grasp the full meaning of this verse? God is telling us that He will only give us a trial that we can handle!
Therefore, if you feel like your burden is too heavy, that is how much God believes in you. Be thankful because God is showing you that you are strong enough to handle such a problem. You can have the confidence that God “will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Now, if you give up too soon, how can you witness God’s miraculous power of making a way of escape? How can you see how God will solve your problem? How can you witness the way God will fight your battles for you? Therefore, be steadfast, patient, and courageous. Why? Because God will make way.
Key no. 4: Count it all joy
The typical human response to trials is depression, anxiety, panic, frustration, remorse, and bitterness. However, that is not how God wants us to handle problems in life. We need to have a mindset that runs contrary to our human nature.
Instead of dreading the trials that come our way, we need to count it all joy! Sounds, counterproductive? But it is really what we must do every time we face trials. We read:
“My brethren, COUNT IT ALL JOY when you fall into various trials” (James 1:2).
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but REJOICE to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (I Peter 4:12-13).
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. REJOICE AND BE EXCEEDINGLY GLAD, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).
Notice, that we are not just to be joyful, but be EXCEEDINGLY glad – to be filled with an indescribable feeling of joy, blessedness, and happiness. This is how we can stay positive even we are in our darkest hour.
Key no. 5: Look for the lessons from your trials
One of the reasons why God allow us to suffer is to teach us valuable lessons in life. Every time we face problems, instead of asking, “Why me God?” we rather ask, “What’s the lessons we must learn from this trial?” Having a simple shift of focus gives us a powerful reason to stay positive in life. When we have this kind of thinking, all of a sudden, we can now see the meaning of our suffering. We don’t suffer for nothing. We suffer because there’s a purpose.
We have read in the previous point that we must be joyful in the midst of trials, but why? James tells us:
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2-3).
We can see here that our faith stays weak if it won’t pass through trials. This is supported by the Apostle Peter when he wrote:
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:6-7).
Part of our Christian calling is the testing of our faith. If your faith is not being challenged by problems, then you can be certain that there’s something wrong with how you live as a Christian.
Therefore, to stay positive in the midst of trials, we need to look for the lessons in our lives. Maybe, God is teaching you something through your problems. Perhaps, you have been tolerating a sin in your life and God is telling you to change. Whatever your trial is, you can be sure that there is a lesson that you can learn from it.
Key no. 6: Establish a healthy relationship with God
Trials should draw us closer to God. When we walk in the valley of the shadow of death, “[We] will fear no evil.” Why? Because God is with us (Psalms 23:4). When we draw close to God, we draw closer to the Source of all comforts.
In Psalms 34:18-19, we read:
“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
Instead of running away from God when we have a problem, we need to run toward Him. While we may think that other things may bring comfort in our lives such as drugs, alcohol, and other worldly vices, they will just ultimately lead to destruction and not life.
When we are weary from life’s trials, Jesus commanded us:
“COME TO ME, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
When you are close to God, no problem is too great for you to handle because you are not alone. You are in God’s loving hands.
Key no. 7: Focus on God’s coming Kingdom
This world is ruled by Satan (II Corinthians 4:4). We need to realize that the whole world is deceived by Satan (Revelation 12:9). Thus, we must not be surprised why this world is full of suffering, death, and evil.
When we suffer, we can confidently say, “This too shall pass.” We know there will come a time that God will directly intervene in the affairs of men. God will send His Son for the second time here on earth, not as a helpless baby, but a conquering King who will establish God’s kingdom.
Though we may suffer a lot of things here on earth, these sufferings pale in comparison when we consider the prosperous, harmonious, and peaceful world we are to experience when God’s kingdom is here.
As a matter of fact, the incredible joy of being in God’s kingdom is beyond human comprehension. We read in I Corinthians 2:9:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
If we focus our minds on God’s kingdom and all the wonderful things it will bring in our lives, we must not get discouraged. No matter what life throws at us, we can be confident that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
Key no. 8: Seek godly counsel
Problems are there for us to solve. However, it does not mean that we must solve it by ourselves. When trials arise, it is helpful to seek godly counsel from the servants of God like our pastors, ministers, and elders. We can also ask for help from our family and friends who can also offer godly advice.
We read in Proverbs 11:14:
“Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
It won’t hurt to ask for advice from others. Seek as much information and counsel as possible. From there, you can have an idea what to do with our problem or trial. In most cases, your friends or pastor personally know you. Thus, they can provide the right advice unique to your situation.
Key no. 9: Study the Bible
The Bible is full of practical wisdom to help you overcome your problems in life. The Bible is the ultimate authority and source of wisdom. Thus, if there’s one place you want to find the answers to your problem, then it must be the Bible.
We read in II Timothy 3:16-17:
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Furthermore, aside from practical advice, the Bible is full of comforting words and passages. Here are some of the bible verses you should read during troubles and suffering.
Key no. 10: Pray to God
Prayer is powerful. It is the highest privilege given to mortal men to talk to the Supreme Ruler of the vast universe. With prayer, we don’t need to set an appointment. All we need is to speak our hearts to God, and we know that He hears us.
In times of troubles, we need to talk to God and seek comfort from Him. By praying to God, we can establish a stronger relationship with him. God is more than willing to help us with our problems. He is always there to take care of us. No matter how big our problems may be, we can always be happy to know that God is greater than our problems. Nothing is too hard for God as long as we follow His will in our lives.
We read in I John 5:14:
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
Thus, as we pray, we can “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrew 4:16).
These are the 10 Biblical keys to staying positive whenever we face hardships in life. While it is true that staying positive can be very challenging especially when things start to fall apart around us, you just remember these 10 keys, and I’m sure that you can have a better chance of overcoming problems in life.
Most importantly, bear in mind that you can’t solve your problems on your own or stay positive by doing your own thing. You need to remember that it is God who will guide and help you. He is the one who goes before you.
So be at peace. Be positive. God will be with you. “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:7).
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Just as Moses and the Israelites found themselves caught between “the devil and the deep Red Sea,” so are we sometimes overwhelmed by life’s problems. The Red Sea Rules reveals that even in the midst of seemingly impossible situations God promises to make a way for us. His loving guidance will protect us through danger, illness, marital strife, financial problems, or whatever challenges Satan places in our path.
Using the Israelites’ story in Exodus 14 as an example, Robert Morgan offers ten sound strategies for moving from fear to faith. Life is hard, especially for Christians. It is certain that we will face difficulties, and that God will allow them, as He allowed the Israelites to become trapped between Pharaoh’s rushing armies and the uncrossable Red Sea. But just as certain is the fact that the same God who led us in will lead us out. As The Red Sea Rules makes comfortingly clear, He is in control. (Grab your copy here.)