- Category: NO COMPROMISE CHRISTIAN
21 Keys to Overcoming Suffering, Trials, Tests, Adversity Biblically
Advice from God's Word for Christians going through: Trials & Tests
BY MARTHA MAC / SO4J.com / SO4J-TV
21 Keys to Overcoming Suffering, Trials, Tests, Adversity Biblically - Gives Advice from God's Word for Christians going through: Trials, Tests, Adversity. How Believers Can Overcome the Storms of Life through Christ.
QUICK LINK TO: 21 KEYS OF ADVICE ON HOW BELIEVER'S CAN OVERCOME
This is Part 2 in an SO4J-TV Bible Studies called - Storms of Life.
INTRO: This was written to help True Repentant Believers in Jesus Christ to Overcome the difficult Storms of Life Biblically. We pray these 21 Key Pieces of Advice, from God's Word, will help you to Cling to Jesus when going through the very Difficult Storms of Life— when things do not make sense (Prov 3:5-8). We hope this especially encourages Believers who are: Physically Ill, or who have some sort of Physical Limitations, or have had Various Set Backs in Life, as well as those who are going through the Firey Trials & Tests right now (1 Pet 1:7-9). You will be reminded Biblically of what God expects of us when we go thru the Storms of Life.AUDIOS
Now to answer a General Question: "Why Does God Allow Suffering?" Here is a summed up answer:
"All Humanity Suffers because we've Separated ourselves from the Lord because of our Sin."
Go Here for more Info on: Why Does God Allow Evil?
SO4J Scripture Spotlight on Suffering, Trials, & Trusting in Jesus—
- 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 “Lest I should be Exalted above Measure by the Abundance of the Revelations, a THORN in the FLESH was given to me, a MESSENGER of SATAN TO BUFFET ME, lest I be EXALTED ABOVE MEASURE. Concerning this thingI PLEADED WITH THE LORD THREE TIMES that it might DEPART FROM ME. And He said to me, "MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, for MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS." Therefore most gladly I will rather BOAST IN MY INFIRMITIES, That The POWER OF CHRIST may rest upon me. Therefore I take PLEASURE IN INFIRMITIES, in REPROACHES, IN NEEDS, IN PERSECUTIONS, IN DISTRESSES, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE.FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG.”
- Psalm 144:2 (ESV) "HE is my STEADFAST LOVE and my FORTRESS, my STRONGHOLD and my DELIVERER, my SHIELD and HE in whom I take REFUGE".
- Psalm 31:7 (ESV) ".. I TRUST in the LORD. I will REJOICE and be GLAD in your STEADFAST LOVE, because you have seen my AFFLICTION; you have known the DISTRESS of my SOUL.."
- Psalm 62:6 (NASB) "He ONLY is ROCK and my SALVATION, my STRONGHOLD; I shall NOT be SHAKEN."
- Psalm 27:13-14 (NASB) “I would have DESPAIRED unless I had believed that I would see the GOODNESS of the LORD In the land of the living. WAIT for the LORD; Be STRONG and let your HEART take COURAGE; Yes, WAIT for the LORD."
- 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 "The PAIN caused you to REPENT and CHANGE your ways. It was the kind of SORROW God wants His people to have...For the kind of SORROW God wants us to experience leads us away from SIN and RESULTS IN SALVATION. There’s no regret for that kind of SORROW. But WORLDLY SORROW, which LACKS REPENTANCE, results in SPIRITUAL DEATH."
- Proverbs 3:5-8 "TRUST in the LORD with ALL your Heart, and lean NOT on your OWN UNDERSTANDING; In ALL your Ways ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, and He shall DIRECT YOUR PATHS. Do NOT be Wise in your own Eyes; Fear the LORD and DEPART FROM EVIL. It will be HEALTH to your Flesh, and STRENGTH to your Bones."
- 1 Peter 1:6-9 (NASB) "In this you GREATLY REJOICE, even though now for a LITTLE WHILE, if necessary, you have been DISTRESSED by VARIOUS TRIALS, 7)so that the PROOF of your FAITH, being MORE PRECIOUS than GOLD which is PERISHABLE, even though TESTED by FIRE, may be found to result in PRAISE and GLORY and HONOR at the revelation of JESUS CHRIST 8)and though you have NOT SEEN HIM, you LOVE HIM, and though you do NOT SEE HIM now, but BELIEVE in HIM, you GREATLY REJOICE with JOY INEXPRESSIBLE and FULL of GLORY, 9)obtaining as the outcome of your FAITH the SALVATION of your SOULS."
- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NKJV) “Therefore we DO NOT LOSE HEART. Even though our OUTWARD MAN is PERISHING, yet the INWARD MAN is being RENEWED DAY by DAY. For our LIGHT AFFLICTION, which is but for a MOMENT, is working for us a FAR more EXCEEDING & ETERNAL WEIGHT of GLORY, while we do NOT LOOK at the things which are SEEN, but at the things which are NOT SEEN. For the things which are SEEN are TEMPORARY, but the things which are NOT SEEN are ETERNAL”
- Psalms 25:16-18 (NKJV) "Turn Yourself (LORD) to me, and have MERCY on me, For I am DESOLATE and AFFLICTED. The TROUBLES of my HEART have ENLARGED; Bring me out of my DISTRESSES! Look on my AFFLICTION & my PAIN, and FORGIVE all my SINS."
- Psalm 46:1 (NKJV) “GOD is our REFUGE and STRENGTH, a very present help in TROUBLE.”
- 1 Peter 5:7 (NASB) "CASTING ALL your ANXIETY on Him, because He CARES for you."
- Psalm 55:22 (NASB) "CAST YOUR BURDEN on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He will NEVER permit the RIGHTEOUS to be SHAKEN."
- Psalm 51:8-15 (NASB) "Make me to HEAR JOY and GLADNESS, Let the bones which You have broken REJOICE. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You. Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; Then MY TONGUE will JOYFULLY SING of YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. O Lord, OPEN MY LIPS, that MY MOUTH may DECLARE YOUR PRAISE.”
- Psalm 61:1-4 (NASB) “Hear my CRY, O God; GIVE HEED to my PRAYER. From the END of the EARTH I CALL to You when my HEART is FAINT; Lead me to the ROCK that is HIGHER than I. For You have been a REFUGE for me, a TOWER of STRENGTH against the ENEMY. Let me DWELL in Your TENT FOREVER; Let me take REFUGE in the SHELTER of Your WINGS.”
- Psalm 73:21-28 (NASB) "Thus my HEART was GRIEVED, and I was VEXED in my MIND. I was so FOOLISH and IGNORANT; I was like a BEAST before You. Nevertheless I am CONTINUALLY with You; You HOLD ME by my RIGHT hand. You will GUIDE ME with Your COUNSEL, and afterward RECEIVE me to GLORY. Whom have I in HEAVEN but YOU? And besides YOU, I desire NOTHING on EARTH. My FLESH and my HEART may FAIL, but God is the STRENGTH of my HEART and my PORTFION FOREVER. For indeed, those who are FAR from You shall PERISH; You have destroyed all those who DESERT You for harlotry. But it is GOOD for me to DRAW NEAR to God; I have put my TRUST in the LORD GOD, That I may DECLARE all Your WORKS."
- Psalm 71:20 (NASB) "You who have shown me MANY TROUBLES and DISTRESSES will REVIVE me again, and will BRING ME UP again from the DEPTHS of the earth."
21 Keys of Advice On How Believers Can Overcome:
Suffering, Trials, Tests, & Adversity Biblically - The Storms of Life
- TRUST THE LORD COMPLETELY, NOT IN HUMAN WISDOM— NO MATTER WHAT SIZE THE STORM IS
- SING PRAISE TO THE LORD & GIVE YOUR WORRIES & CARES TO JESUS
- LET GOD'S WORD DOMINATE YOUR THOUGHTS— CAST DOWN THOUGHTS CONTARY TO GOD'S WORD
- GOD IS MORE CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR ETERNAL SOUL THAN YOUR TEMPORAL EARTHLY HAPPINESS
- THE GREATER THAT GOD'S WORD IS INSIDE YOU, THE SMALLER THE TRIAL WILL SEEM ON OUTSIDE
- RESIST THE DEVIL & HE WILL FLEE— QUOTE GOD'S WORD— LIKE JESUS DID!
- GOD MIGHT BE TESTING WHAT IS IN YOUR HEART BY APPEARING TO WITHDRAW FROM YOU
- ALLOW THE LORD TO PRUNE & WEED YOUR LIFE - STRIPPING YOU OF THE OLD NATURE
- STAY HUMBLE
- PRAY HARD FOR GOD'S WILL TO BE DONE
- STAY ALERT & WATCH OUT FOR SATAN'S ATTACKS AND STRATEGIES
- BE PRAYING FOR OTHER BELIEVERS EVERYWHERE!
- PUT ON ALL OF GOD'S ARMOR—AND KEEP IT ON
- STAND FIRM, BE STRONG IN FAITH & IN GOD'S WORD ALONE
- GOD KNOWS WHAT IT TAKES FOR YOU TO RECEIVE A GREATER ETERNAL REWARD
- GOD DESIRES TO COMFORT YOU & HEAL YOUR BROKEN HEART
- REMEMBER TO KEEP PRODUCING GOOD FRUIT FOR JESUS
- ASK THE LORD FOR WISDOM, THEN TRUST HIM FOR THE ANSWER—DON'T BE DOUBLE-MINDED
- REMEMBER: TRIALS CAN GET WORSE BEFORE THEY BETTER—PRAISE HIM ANYWAY—GOD HAS A PLAN
- GREATER IS JESUS WHO LIVES IN YOU, THAN HE THAT IS OF THIS WORLD
- REMEMBER—GOD IS TESTING YOU TO FIND OUT WHAT IS IN YOUR HEART
21 Keys to Overcoming Suffering, Trials, Tests, Adversity - Intro
(Amazing & Inspirational Story of God's Grace in a Believer's Sufferings)
No matter what happens in the life of True Believer— like Suffering, Trials, Tests, and Adversity...according to the Bible all things will work together for Good for a True Believer.
- Romans 8:28 promises us this, “ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
- Romans 8:35-39 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall TRIBULATION, OR DISTRESS, or PERSECUTION, OR FAMINE, OR NAKEDNESS, OR PERIL, OR SWORD? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." (37) Yet in ALL THESE THINGS we are MORE than CONQUERORS THROUGH HIM WHO LOVED US. For I am persuaded that neither death nor Life, nor Angels nor Principalities nor Powers, nor things Present nor things to come, nor Height nor Depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to Separate us from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Here are some words of Advice, from God's Word, when encountering the STORMS OF LIFE— For True Repentant Believers in Jesus Christ.
21 Keys of Advice on How Believers Are to Overcome:
Suffering, Trials, Tests, & Adversity— The Storms of Life
1 - Trust the Lord Completely, Not in Human Wisdom—No Matter What Size Storm
When a True Believer is going through the Storms of Life— Trust the Lord completely despite what you See, Think, Feel, or Hear in the Natural, do not put your Confidence in Human Wisdom— as God has an Eternal Plan for you in Mind...and if you are a True Repentant Child of God, He has your best interest.
- Proverbs 3:5-8 "TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART; do NOT depend on your OWN UNDERSTANDING. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you (DIRECT YOUR PATH) which path to take. DON'T BE IMPRESSED WITH YOUR OWN WISDOM (Don't be wise in your own eyes). Instead, Fear the Lord and turn away from Evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones."
Someday God is going to be able to display His Eternal Glory & Goodness for all ages to come.
- Ephesians 2:7 "So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his Grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus."
- Romans 8:19 "For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are."
When the Storms of Life hit it will appear at that moment that Jesus doesn't care. God will appear to be distant, unconcerned, and unaware. If you are living a Godly life, this is merely a Test of your Faith in God and God’s Word.
- Mark 4:38-40 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. Frantically they woke him up, shouting, "Teacher, don't you even care that we are going to drown?" When he woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the water, "Quiet down!" Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. And He asked them, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still not have faith in Me?" You can worry and believe that Jesus doesn't care about you, or you can resist those lies and put your complete Trust in Him. Don't panic like the Disciples did:
The Disciples panicked because the storm threatened to destroy them all, and Jesus seemed unaware and unconcerned. Their storm was a physical storm, but storms come in other forms. Think about the storms in your life—the situations that cause you great anxiety. Whatever your difficulty, you have two options: You can worry and assume that Jesus no longer cares, or you can resist fear, putting your trust in Him. When you feel like panicking, confess your need for God and then trust Him to care for you.
- 1 Pet 5:7 “Give all your Worries and Cares to God, for He Cares about you.”
- James 4:8 “Draw Near To God, and He will Draw Near to You”. These Trials are to Test your Faith.
2 - Sing Praise to the Lord & Give Your Worries & Cares to Jesus
- Psalm 51:8-15 (NASB) "Make me to HEAR JOY and GLADNESS, Let the bones which You have broken REJOICE. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; Then MY TONGUE will JOYFULLY SING of YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. O Lord, OPEN MY LIPS, that MY MOUTH may DECLARE YOUR PRAISE.”
- Psalm 30:5 (NASB)“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, but a SHOUT OF JOY comes in the morning.”
- Psalm 30:11-12 (NASB)“You have turned for me my MOURNING into DANCING; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with GLADNESS, that MY SOUL may SING PRAISE TO YOU and NOT be SILENT. O LORD my God, I will give THANKS to You FOREVER.”
- Psalm 13:1-6 (NKJV) A Psalm of David. “How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God; Enlighten my eyes, Lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed against him"; Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will SING TO THE LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”
- 1 Peter 5:7 (NASB) "CASTING ALL your ANXIETY on Him, because He CARES for you."
- Psalm 55:22 (NASB) "CAST YOUR BURDEN on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He will NEVER permit the RIGHTEOUS to be SHAKEN."
3 - Let God's Word Dominate Your Thoughts—
Cast Down & Hold Captive All Thoughts that are Contary to God's Word - 2 Cor 10:3-6
Everything a True Believer: SAYS, THINKS, or DOES needs to go through the Sifter of God's Word.
If a Believer allows any old Thought into their heads— we are allowing ourself to be DECEIVED BY SATAN.
- Rom 8:6 "To be CARNALLY (Worldly, Fleshly) MINDED IS DEATH"
- Rev 12:9 "Satan Deceives the Whole World"
God's Word says that we are to Cast down ALL Imaginations (which are MANY), and Hold CAPTIVE ALLTHOUGHTS that are Contrary to God's Word. This is what God's Word says:
- 2 Cor 10:3-6 (NKJV) "For though we Walk in the Flesh, we do Not War according to the Flesh: For the Weapons of our Warfare are NOT CARNAL (WORLDLY), but Mighty through God to the PULLING DOWN OF STRONGHOLDS; CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS, and EVERY HIGH THING that EXALTS ITSELF against the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, and bringing into CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT to the OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST."
God's Word says that we are to Read His Word and Study it Continually— Night & Day! Run to Jesus and God’s Word 24/7, and Obey His Commandments, which is His Word (1 John 2:3-6). He loves us, cares about us, and is concerned about us (1 Peter 5:17. We must however come to God on His Terms, and we do this through GOD'S WORD.
- Josh 1:8 "Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to Obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed."
We do this not only to Obey God's Word, but Jesus says that if we Love Jesus we will KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS (John 14:15,21,28).
In Psalms 119 we read about how King David continually Thought about, Read, and Spoke about God’s Word Day and Night. Psalms 119 is the longest Chapter in the Bible, and David wrote it about his love for God’s Word. Notice when you read it, that in almost each of these 176 verses it pertains to God’s Word. David uses the words: Commandments, Commands, Principles, Promises, Degrees, Word; and describes in detail his love for God’s Word, and his love and desire to Obey God's Commandments in almost each and every one of these 176 verses!
We too need to read God’s Word continually. We should never neglect or put aside His Word, especially when you are going through the Storms of Life (or even when you are not). If you are feeling overwhelmed with Trials & Hurt, read God's Word; or listen to it by putting on a Bible CD, or MP3, and let the Holy Spirit, through His Word, heal your broken heart.
We know that Jesus is God, but if Jesus had not spent time Memorizing, Studying, and Reading God's Word (the Old Testament at the time), He would not have been ready for His Fiery Tests of Temptations He had with the Devil. Jesus Studied the Scriptures even as a young child. (Luke 2:39-52)
The Temptations Of Jesus by the Devil - (Matt 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:13)
Remember, Satan is a Liar and the Father of Lies. Do not underestimate his power to Deceive you, and to draw into your Emotions, and away from God's Word, leading you into Sin.
- John 8:44 "he (Satan) is a Liar and the Father of Lies."
- Rev 12:9 “Satan deceives the Whole World.”
We realize too that this life is but a Vapor (James 4:14), and if we are a True Repentant Child of God, someday we will will see God's Neverending Faithfulness to those who have truly Loved & Obeyed Him.
- 1 Cor 2:9“No Eye has Seen, no Ear has Heard, and no Mind has Imagined what God has prepared for those who LOVE HIM.”
- Faith comes by Hearing & Reading God's Word. (Rom 10:17)
- Believing God’s Word over what you: See, Think, or Feel— That is Faith! (Heb 11:6)
- Faith is Believing & Obeying God's Word in the Good Times or Bad. (James 2:14-20, 1 John 2:3-6)
- Rom 10:17 "Faith comes by Hearing, and Hearing by the Word of God."
- James 2:17-20"So you see, Faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces Good Deeds, it is Dead and Useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have Faith; others have Good Deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your Faith if you don’t have Good Deeds? I will show you my Faith by my Good Deeds.” You say you have Faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that Faith without Good Deeds is Useless?"
- Heb 11:6 "Without Faith it is impossible to please God. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that there is a God and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
4 - God is More Concerned About Your Eternal Soul Than Your Temporal Earthly Happiness
Pray for Him to do what is necessary for Him to be Conformed into the Image of JESUS. Here is a little saying I came up with:
God isn't as interested in our Personal COMFORT, as He is in CONFORMING us into HIS Image
The only Rewards any Christian will get in Eternity is those things that were Truly Godly & Conforming to the Image of JESUS. Your Temptations & Trials in life can happen as little mundane things you do during the day when interacting with people. We get tempted to be Snippy and Offended with people, to have a thought that doesn't line up with God's Word, etc. Our Temptations are constant.
Ask God to Conform you to the Image of JESUS...HE delights in answering that PRAYER! God's desire is to see you & I DIE to our flesh (Gal 2:20), because He knows that the only vessels that He can work through is a truly humble broken vessel who knows that “apart from Him we can do nothing” (John 15:5). God uses the foolish, weak, humble things to confound the wise (1 Cor 1:27).
5 - The Greater 'God's Word' is Inside You, The Smaller the Trial Will Seem on the Outside
Video: Gianna Jessen Abortion Survivor in Australia
(Amazing & Inspirational Story)
- 1 John 4:4 "You are from God, Little Children (a humble Child of God), and have overcome them; because Greater is HE(JESUS) that Lives in You, Than he that is in the World!"
6 - Resist the Devil & he Will Flee - Quote God's Word - Like Jesus Did!
When Jesus was being Tempted by the Devil He quoted God’s Word!
The Temptations of Jesus by the Devil - (Matt 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:13)
The Lord wants us to Resist Satan (James 4:7), and we do this by Humbly Submitting to the Lord Jesus through His Word.
- James 4:4-10 "You Adulterers! Don’t you realize that FRIENDSHIP WITH THE WORLD makes you an ENEMY OF GOD? I say it again: If you want to be a FRIEND OF THE WORLD, you make yourself an ENEMY OF GOD. What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the Spirit God has placed within us is filled with Envy? God is OPPOSED to the PROUD, but He gives GRACE to the HUMBLE. So HUMBLE yourselves before God. RESIST the DEVIL, and he will FLEE from you. DRAW CLOSE TO GOD, and He will DRAW CLOSE TO YOU. WASH YOUR HANDS, you Sinners; PURIFY YOUR HEARTS, you Double-minded. Let there be TEARS for the WRONG THINGS you have done. Let there be SORROW and DEEP GRIEF. Let there be SADNESS instead of Laughter, and GLOOM instead of Joy. When you BOW DOWN BEFORE THE LORD and ADMIT YOUR DEPENDENCE on HIM, HE will LIFT YOU UP and GIVE YOU HONOR."
We are to be aware of Satan's Lies (Eph 6:18), and it's important to KNOW God's Word & HIDE God's Word in our Hearts so that we do not Sin against Him.
- Psalm 119:11 "Your WORD I have Hidden in my Heart, that I might NOT SIN against You!"
When the TRIAL comes unexpectedly, we can Overcome these Trials & Tests thru Jesus Christ our Lord! If it helps you to Quote God's Word outloud like Jesus did, do so, but just remember that we are to not only Listen & Quote God's Word (Matt 7:24-27), we are to be Humbly Obedient to God's Word (Phil 2:5-11), which is what part of Keeping the Full Armor of God is.
- Phil 4:13 " I can do ALL things through CHRIST who strengthens me."
If Jesus did not know God's Word (have it memorized in His heart) before He was being Tempted by the Devil, He might of failed His Temptations (so to speak). Think God's Word constantly...Give People God's Word...Heb 4:12-16. His Word is Full of Living Power cutting deep into our inner most thoughts and desires…etc. It’s God’s Word that changes people’s lives.
- Psalms 119:165 "Those who love Your Law (God's Word / His Commandments) have Great Peace and Do Not Stumble."
7 - God Might Be Testing What is in Your Heart by Appearing to Withdraw From You
Go to: Why Does God Test Us? Scriptures on Testing for more info on Testings
- 2 Chron 32:31 "God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to Test him and to see what was really in his heart."
God Tested Hezekiah by withdrawing from him. He did not abandon Hezekiah, but He wanted to strengthen him by showing him what was in his heart, and then dealing with his weaknesses. When good times or hard times hit you, and you don't "feel" the presence of God, are you going to turn away from the Lord and turn to the World for your comfort? Or are you going to Trust the Lord at all times? God is good all the time. He wants to Test and develop our character, and mold us into the image of Jesus. God is at work in sanctifying us, leading us to Holiness. Heb. 12:14 "Without Holiness no man shall see God." Stay connected to the Vine (Jesus) and God's Word all the time, then you won't need to wonder, worry, or doubt His love for you when the cares and storms of life hit you.
- John 15:5 Jesus says, “I am the Vine; you are the Branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much Fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing."
- Prov 3:5-8 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body, and refreshment to your bones."
8 - Allow The Lord To Prune & Weed Your Life - Stripping You Of The Old Nature
When a True Child of God prays, God their Father listens, and He is actively involved in their life, answering His True Children’s requests, according to HIS WILL and His ETERNAL PURPOSES for their lives.
- John 9:31 “We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but He is ready to hear those who Worship Him and do His Will.”
- James 5:16 “The effective, fervent prayer of a Righteous man accomplishes much.”
- 1 John 5:14-15 “this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for.”
God however might be Pruning & Weeding you out of a situation or circumstance for you to do a GREATER WORK. He might now answer your prayers the way you like. He is the Great Gardner, and He cuts of things that He sees that are dead in our life, and are not truly producing Eternal Fruit that will last.
- John 15:1-8 Jesus says, “I am the True Vine, and my Father (God) is the Gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more…”
Allow the Lord during these Storms of: Heartache, Hurt, and Hardship to Strip & Prune you of your Fleshy ways of doing things, to allow Him to be Big in your life. Remember, God’s Ways are not our ways. His answer to our prayers might not always be the answers we were looking for.
- Isa 55:8-9 The Lord God says “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
God works best through weak, human vessels who are Broken & Humble. When we are weak, that is when He becomes Strong. When Paul begged the Lord in Prayer to take away his Storms in Life (Satan was afflicting Paul, but God was using this affliction to keep Paul from getting Proud) here is what Paul wrote about:
- 2 Cor 12:7-10 “Even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming Proud, I was given a THORN IN MY FLESH, a messenger from Satan to TORMENT ME AND KEEP ME FROM BECOMING PROUD. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away . Each time the Lord (Jesus) said, “My Grace is all you need. My power works best in Weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the POWER OF CHRIST CAN WORK THROUGH ME. That’s why I TAKE PLEASURE IN MY WEAKNESSES, and in the INSULTS, HARDSHIPS, PERSECUTIONS, AND TROUBLES THAT I SUFFER FOR CHRIST. FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG.”
There are certain things HE is requiring of each of us to "die" too in order for God's Eternal Purposes for you to take place. Don't think merely of this short period of life you live on this earth, think about Eternity.(Col 3:1-5; James 4:14)
- Heb 12:1 “Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”
9 - Stay Humble
- 1 Pet 5:6-10 “Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor."
10 - Pray Hard for God's Will to be Done
The Lord will open and shut doors. His “No's” (Re: Answered Prayer) are a result of HIS great Wisdom and Understanding of YOUR Eternal Future. He knows what is inside you. No Flesh Shall Glory, and He will Share His Glory With No Man.
- Matt 26:39 He (Jesus) went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this CUP OF SUFFERING BE TAKEN AWAY FROM ME. Yet I want YOUR WILL TO BE DONE, NOT MINE.”
- Matt 7:21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.”
- 1 Pet 4:19 So if you are suffering according to God's will, keep on doing what is right, and trust yourself to the God who made you, for He will never fail you.
11 - Stay Alert & Watch Out for Satan's Attacks and Strategies
- 1 Pet 5:8 "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith."
- Eph 6:18 “Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
12 - Be Praying at All Times in the Power of the Holy Spirit
- Eph 6:18 “Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere."
13 - Put On All of God's Armor - And Keep It On
- Eph 6:10-20 “Finally, my Brethren, be STRONG IN THE LORD and in HIS MIGHTY POWER. Put on the FULL ARMOR OF GOD, so that you will be able to STAND FIRM against the SCHEMES and TRICKS OF THE DEVIL. For our STRUGGLE (wrestle) is NOT against People made FLESH and BLOOD, but against the EVIL RULERS, against the POWERS, against the WORLD FORCES OF THIS DARKNESS, against the SPIRITUAL FORCES OF WICKEDNESS in the HEAVENLY PLACES. Therefore, take up the FULL ARMOR OF GOD, so that you will be able to RESIST IN THE EVIL DAY, and having done EVERYTHING, to STAND FIRM (in God's Word). STAND FIRM therefore, putting on the STURDY BELT OF TRUTH (Be Truthful), and having put on the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (Living Righteous through Obedience to His Word). For SHOES, put on the PEACE that comes from the GOOD NEWS (we have Peace with God now thru the Gospel), so that you will be fully Prepared. In addition to all those, Take up the SHIELD OF FAITH with which you will be able to STOP ALL the FIERY DARTS of the DEVIL (Believe God’s Word over your Emotions, when FIREY DARTS of Temptation, & Lusts come your way). And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION (the Hope you now have of Salvation), and the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the WORD OF GOD. PRAY in the SPIRIT (Eph 5:22-23) at ALL TIMES and on EVERY OCCASION. STAY ALERT and be PERSISTENT IN YOUR PRAYERS for ALL BELIEVERS EVERYWHERE. And PRAY for me, too. Ask God to give me the RIGHT WORDS so I can BOLDLY EXPLAIN GOD’S MYSTERIOUS PLAN that the GOOD NEWS is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, STILL PREACHING THIS MESSAGE as God’s Ambassador. So PRAY that I will keep on SPEAKING BOLDLY FOR HIM, as I should.”
14 - Stand Firm, Be Strong In Faith & In God's Word Alone
When you are weak, tired, or feeling alone and isolated from others - keep Standing Firm and Strong in Faith on God's Word! Seek out fellow Believers for support to pray with you, or for you.
- 1 Pet 5:8-9 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are."
- James 5:16 "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a Righteous person has great power and wonderful results."
15 - God Knows What It Takes for You to Receive a Greater Eternal Reward
Storms are an opportunity for a True Believer to Shine for Jesus, so take advantage of your storms in life, and TRUST JESUS in the Storms! The Greater The Sacrifice You did on this Earth for Him… The Greater the Eternal Reward You Receive. God knows what you will have needed to go through to strip you of your selfish sinful nature. We need to die to ourselves and allow Christ to Shine through us!
- Gal 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
16 - God Desires To Comfort You & Heal Your Broken Heart
- 2 Cor 1:3-11 “All Praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our Merciful Father and the Source of All COMFORT. He COMFORTS us in All our Troubles so that we can COMFORT Others. When they are Troubled, We will be able to give them the Same COMFORT God has given us. For the More we Suffer for Christ, the More God will shower us with His COMFORT through Christ. Even when we are Weighed Down with Troubles, it is for your COMFORT & Salvation! For when we ourselves are COMFORTED, we will certainly COMFORT you. Then you can Patiently Endure the same things we Suffer. We are Confident that as you Share in our Sufferings, you will also Share in the COMFORT God gives us. We think you ought to know, Dear Brothers and Sisters, about the Trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were Crushed and Overwhelmed beyond our Ability to Endure, and we thought we would Never live through it. In fact, we Expected to Die. But as a result, we Stopped Relying on Ourselves and Learned to Rely only on God, who Raises the Dead. And He did Rescue us from Mortal Danger, and He will Rescue us again. We have placed our Confidence in Him, and He will Continue to Rescue us. And you are Helping us by Praying for us. Then Many People will give Thanks because God has Graciously Answered so Many Prayers for our safety.”
- 2 Cor 4:15-18 "All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s Grace reaches more and more people, there will be Great Thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more Glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever."
- Psalms 34:15-20 “The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do Right; His ears are open to their cries for Help. But the Lord turns His face against those who do evil; He will erase their memory from the earth. The Lord hears His people when they call to Him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. THE LORD IS CLOSE TO THE BROKENHEARTED; He Rescues those whose SPIRITS ARE CRUSHED. The Righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the Righteous; not one of them is broken!"
- Psalms 147:3 “He heals the BROKENHEARTED, binding up their wounds."
- Psalm 107:13 "Then they CRIED unto the LORD in their TROUBLE, and He Saved them out of their DISTRESSES."
- Isa 61:1 “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has appointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to COMFORT THE BROKENHEARTED and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed."
(Luke 4:18 - Jesus quotes this same verse)
- 2 Cor 7:5-13 “PAIN caused you to REPENT and CHANGE your ways. It was the KIND OF SORROW GOD WANTS HIS PEOPLE TO HAVE, so you were not harmed by us in any way. For the kind of SORROW God WANTS US to Experience LEADS us AWAY from SIN and RESULTS in SALVATION. There’s NO REGRET for that KIND OF SORROW. But WORLDLY SORROW, which LACKS REPENTANCE, results in SPIRITUAL DEATH. Just see what this GODLYSORROW produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right."
- 1 Pet 1:3-9 "All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by His great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your Faith (reading & Obeying God’s Word), God is protecting you by His power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is 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. You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of your souls."
- James 1:2-9 “Dear Brothers and Sisters, when Troubles come your way, Consider it an Opportunity for Great Joy. For you know that when your Faith is Tested (Obedience to Gods Word), your Endurance has a chance to Grow. So let it Grow, for when your Endurance is fully developed, you will be Perfect and Complete, Needing Nothing. If you need Wisdom, ask our Generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not Rebuke you for Asking. But when you Ask Him, be sure that your Faith is in God alone. Do Not Waver, for a Person with divided loyalty is as Unsettled as a Wave of the Sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should Not expect to Receive Anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the World, and they are unstable in everything they do.”
- 1 Pet 5:5- "God opposes the proud but favors the humble.So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against Him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. All power to Him forever! Amen."
- Psalms 34:4 "I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears."
- Psalms 34:6-7 "In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; He saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the Lord is a guard; He surrounds and defends all who fear Him."
- Psalms 34:15 "The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; His ears are open to their cries for help."
17 - Remember to Keep Producing Good Fruit for Jesus
- John 15:8 Jesus says, “My True Disciples produce much Fruit.”
Anytime you get frustrated, it’s usually a clue we are trying to do things in our own strength and power and not being led or guided by God’s Word, and by His Grace— and His Strength. Read about the Fruits of the Spirit and of the Flesh. Even going through disappointments, frustrations, and Trials we must remain loyal to Jesus and continue to produce Good Fruit by walking in kindness with those around us.
- Gal 5:19-26 “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another."
18 - Don't Be Double Minded, Ask the Lord for Wisdom, & Trust Him for the Answer
- James 1:2-8 “Dear Brothers and Sisters, whenever Trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for Joy. For when your Faith is Tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. IF YOU NEED WISDOM— if you want to know what God wants you to do— ASK HIM, and HE WILL GLADLY TELL YOU. He will NOT resent your asking. But WHEN you ask Him, BE SURE THAT YOU REALLY EXPECT HIM TO ANSWER, FOR A DOUBTFUL MIND IS AS UNSETTLED AS A WAVE OF THE SEA that is driven and tossed by the wind. People like that should NOT EXPECT TO RECEIVE ANYTHING FROM THE LORD. They can't make up their minds (DOUBLE MINDED). They waver back and forth in everything they do.”
19 - Remember: Trials Can Get Worse Before They Get Better -
Praise Him Anyway - God Has a Plan
Israel was in bondage to slavery in Egypt for hundreds of years. Moses, Israel's Leader, and his Brother Aaron spoke with God's Anointing and Authority to tell the Pharaoh, the Egyptian Ruler, to "Let God's people go free..." But instead of things getting better for Israel (especially after Moses had spent time talking with the Lord about this problem), things got much worse!
- Exod 5:1-23 "After this presentation to Israel's leaders, Moses and Aaron went to see Pharaoh. They told him, "This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'Let my people go, for they must go out into the wilderness to hold a religious festival in my honor.' " "Is that so?" retorted Pharaoh. "And who is the Lord that I should listen to him and let Israel go? I don't know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go." .... "Let us take a three-day trip into the wilderness so we can offer sacrifices to the Lord our God. If we don't, we will surely die by disease or the sword." "Who do you think you are," Pharaoh shouted, "distracting the people from their tasks? Get back to work! Look, there are many people here in Egypt, and you are stopping them from doing their work." That same day Pharaoh sent this order to the slave drivers and foremen he had set over the people of Israel: "Do not supply the people with any more straw for making bricks. Let them get it themselves! But don't reduce their production quotas by a single brick. They obviously don't have enough to do. If they did, they wouldn't be talking about going into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to their God. Load them down with more work. Make them sweat! That will teach them to listen to these liars!"
What was God's plan in keeping Pharaoh's heart hard vs. getting softer? Don't we too usually ask the Lord for God to "soften people's hearts" so that they can come to Christ? Why would God not answer Moses' prayer the way that Moses might have wanted?
God hardened Pharaoh's Heart so He would be able to redeem Israel with HIS mighty power...and show His Great Power with His Great acts of Judgment. His end desire was that Israel would turn from their slavery to become God's Special people. God in the end received the Glory for the Great things that He did to save them from the bondage of Egypt, and a hard-hearted Pharaoh. God's Word says:
- Exod 6:1-13 "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh," the Lord told Moses. "When he feels my powerful hand upon him, he will let the people go. In fact, he will be so anxious to get rid of them that he will force them to leave his land!" And God continued, "I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty, though I did not reveal my name, the Lord, to them. And I entered into a solemn covenant with them. Under its terms, I swore to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living. You can be sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel, who are now slaves to the Egyptians. I have remembered my covenant with them. "Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the Lord, and I will free you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with mighty power and great acts of judgment. I will make you my own special people, and I will be your God. And you will know that I am the Lord your God who has rescued you from your slavery in Egypt. I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It will be your very own property. I am the Lord!' "
20 - Greater is Jesus Who Lives in You, Than He That Is Of This World
- 1 John 4:4 “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the World.”
Remember, Satan has no authority unless God gives it to him. Satan is powerful, but he is still merely a fallen "Angel" who serves at God's will, and for God's Eternal purposes. Satan desires to sift people (Peter), and destroy families (Job)—in both cases things seem to get worse for both men before they got better. God however got the glory in the end! God wants to receive the Glory in our life as well. Remember that "Greater is Jesus who lives in YOU (if you are Born Again) than he that is in the World."
- Luke 22:31-32 Jesus said, "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have all of you, to sift you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up your brothers."
21 - Remember: God Is Testing You to Find Out What is in Your Heart
- Deut 8:2-20 "Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and Testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would Obey His Commands."
Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people need more than bread for their life; real life comes by feeding on every word of the Lord. For all these forty years your clothes didn't wear out, and your feet didn't blister or swell. So you should realize that just as a parent disciplines a child, the Lord your God disciplines you to help you. So Obey the Commands of the Lord your God by walking in His ways and fearing Him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with springs that gush forth in the valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley, of grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, olives, and honey. It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking. It is a land where iron is as common as stone, and copper is abundant in the hills. When you have eaten your fill, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. "But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey His Commands, regulations, and laws. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, that is the time to be careful. Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. He gave you water from the rock! He fed you with manna in the wilderness, a food unknown to your ancestors. He did this to humble you and Test you for your own good. He did it so you would never think that it was your own strength and energy that made you wealthy. Always remember that it is the Lord your God who gives you power to become rich, and he does it to fulfill the covenant he made with your ancestors. "But I assure you of this: If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods, worshiping and bowing down to them, you will certainly be destroyed. Just as the Lord has destroyed other nations in your path, you also will be destroyed for not Obeying the Lord your God."
- Job 7:18 "For you Examine us every morning and Test us every moment."
SEARCH for these AUDIOS & MORE on John MacArthur's "Grace To You" Website: GTY.org
- AUDIO - HOW GOD USES SUFFERING - PART 1 - JOHN MACARTHUR - 2 Cor 12:7-8
- AUDIO - HOW GOD USES SUFFERING - PART 2 - JOHN MACARTHUR - 2 Cor 12:9-10
- AUDIO - SUFFICIENT GRACE FOR HUMBLING CIRCUMSTANCES - PART 1 - JOHN MACARTHUR
- AUDIO - SUFFICIENT GRACE FOR HUMBLING CIRCUMSTANCES - PART 2 - JOHN MACARTHUR
- AUDIO: DELIVERED TO SATAN - PART 1 - JOHN MACARTHUR - 1 Tim 1:19-20
- AUDIO: DELIVERED TO SATAN - PART 2 - JOHN MACARTHUR - 1 Tim 1:19-20
"OVERCOMING SUFFERING, TRIALS, & TESTS"
(21 KEYS OF ADVICE ON HOW BELIEVERS CAN OVERCOME: SUFFERING, TRIALS, & TESTS - STORMS OF LIFE)
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