Don’t Waste This Trial
by Holly Blakey
April 3, 2020
There’s no doubt that the heat on our lives has been cranked to “high” these past several weeks! In March COVID-19 showed up in it’s first known case in Idaho, and it has since spread to over 900 known individuals. What began as a guideline of “no gatherings over 250 people” quickly moved to a “stay at home” order. Schools have since shut down, retail stores are closed, and restaurants are only operating for carry out or delivery options. To say these are interesting times to be alive is an understatement! Not one of us could have predicted nor imagined that April 2020 would look like THIS. Not one of us would have guessed that we, plus everyone we know, would be home bound out of nowhere with no known date to resume where we left off. We haven’t been able to gather with our church for two Sundays so far, and we are about to begin the most bizarre Easter week we’ve ever experienced. Interesting times is an understatement!
But the Bible talks about the “heat” that gets cranked up in our lives when it speaks of trials. This heat isn’t a pointless pressure disrupting our life; it is a planned and measured test that has a serious purpose to accomplish in each one of us. 1 Peter 1:6-7 reads, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Peter gives important insight in these verses, but there’s two statements I’d like to highlight for the women in our church. The first is that he says, “if necessary.” Trials show up in our lives only if they are necessary, which means the trials you face are needed and have a purpose to accomplish. And the second is that trials test the genuineness of our faith. It’s one thing to affirm sound doctrine and appear to bear genuine fruit in your life, but what’s bound up in your heart is truly made known in times of trial or testing. There’s no way to avoid seeing what’s actually there when the heat is cranked to high!
Which is why I encourage you to consider these questions:
What is being exposed as the heat is cranked up in my life?
What has overflowed from my heart in this time of testing?
For some people, trials will expose that their faith is fake. They will realize that their trust, hope, confidence, joy and stability was all bound up in their circumstances rather than in the Rock who is our immovable God. Meanwhile for others they’ll grow confident in the genuineness of their faith as they’re tested, but even that’s never where it’ll stop! The fire testing their faith will cause the impurities from their heart to rise to the surface. They will see fruit of their flesh to repent of, and areas of immaturity that need growth. And this is why Peter says we can rejoice! This is why James says to “count it all joy when we meet trials of various kinds.” The work God seeks to accomplish in us is reason to be glad when we meet trials! The surety of our faith as a result is absolutely a reason to rejoice!
Because of this your heart’s cry in times of testing ought to be a commitment to not waste this trial! Don’t waste all that God is trying to show you and build in you through this season!
- Don’t waste seeing the sinful attitudes that have risen up in your life these past several weeks, or the opportunity you have to see how you spend extra hours that have been given to you.
- Don’t waste seeing how Jesus is a companion and a helper when you feel lonely and isolated.
- Don’t waste seeing how diligent you actually are to train and disciple your children while you’re home bound, or seeing your heart exposed as your finances are disrupted.
- Don’t waste seeing what your heart longs for most right now, and the reasons why.
- Don’t waste seeing how you respond when your health is threatened, or as you face the pressures of this unique season.
- Don’t waste seeing how you treat your husband as you’re both home more, or how proactive you’re being as his helper.
- Don’t waste seeing how much you’re mindful of yourself right now versus creatively serving others.
- Don’t waste seeing what your prayers are really all about during this uncertain time.
- Don’t waste seeing what you’re actually trusting in.
Right now God has assigned a bizarre path to walk down due to COVID-19, but he’s also providing a way to see your own soul more clearly. He’s providing a way for the impurities in your heart to rise to the surface so they can be dealt with. He’s providing clarity about your faith. So as long as he’s assigning this trial to us, let’s commit to NOT let it be wasted. Let’s be women who make every effort to exit this season more like Christ than when we entered it. Let’s go!