Oh, this is a good one! We’ve all been there, in a trial, and sometimes we handle it pretty well while other times, we botch it. Can you think of the last trial you’ve been in? I’m sure it wasn’t easy. Trials never are. But trials, believe it or not, have a purpose. James 1:2-4 tells us to count it all joy. Can you believe that?
It’s been a year since my husband and I entered into a troubled period. It was a few months later that we heard this message, what our response should be in trials, so I took notes as I knew it would be beneficial to pass on someday. It would even be a good thing to look back at the whole thing in light of God’s Word to see how He worked things out. Our trial is coming to a close very soon, in a matter of days even. I look forward to sharing with you more details when that happens as I know God will give us the victory.
Related Post: Living Out James 1:2
Well, today, let’s look at Scripture to see how we should handle trials when they come our way. Besides being joyful as James instructs us, maybe somewhere else in God’s word, we’ll find another way to look at trials.
As always, I use the King James Version, so if you have your own favourite version, please follow along with us. The links in this study are for the Blue Letter Bible so you can follow along if you’re not at home while reading this. As well, I do not receive any compensation for the links.
So, time to begin. There are 9 responses that we should have when in the midst of a trial. We’ll be examining them from 2 Kings 19.
Accurately discern the seriousness of the situation ~
Verse 1: King Hezekiah’s men told him of a message from Sennacherib, king of Assyria through Rabshakeh (2 Kings 18:37) who was sowing discord between the two kings. This message was serious so Hezekiah immediately sprang into action.
Go to church ~
Verse 1: Upon hearing this message, Hezekiah tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord. At this point, it is vital for us to stay in fellowship with other believers. Put on the full armour of God, Ephesians 6:10-17, and unite with other believers with your shields together to fight off the darts of the enemy.
Seek the Lord in prayer ~
Ask for prayer ~
Verses 2-4: As you go to the Lord in prayer, you do not need to do this alone. Ask your fellow believers to join you in prayer regarding the situation. This requires humility as you tell them of the circumstances.
Verse 3: Remember that it’s not about us, it’s about God. He will not take blasphemy lightly. Nor will He stand for rebuking and being mocked the way king Sennacherib was mocking God. You can trust that God will defend you.
God has a plan to resolve the trial ~
Verses 5-7: The first thing we need to do is go to the Word of God when in a trial. We need to have a working knowledge of God’s Word so we can stand strong on the promises of God.
Verse 6: This is a word from God to us too. Do not fear the words that you heard spoken against Me, says God. When someone speaks against you, they are speaking against the God you serve as well. God will not let that go unnoticed. Hezekiah sent aÂ message to his people to encourage them and build them up, telling them not to listen to the lies being told.
Many times the things that we hear creates fear in us and yet at the same time, the things we hear can also create faith. Be careful what you listen to. Remember that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, Romans 10:17.
In the Old Testament, we often read “Hear O Israel”…what we hear, will either grow to fear or to faith. The more we hear the Word of God, the more our faith will grow.
Expect the enemy is going to attack again and again ~
Verses 8-13: Sennacherib, king of Assyria continues to attack the king of Judah and taunt him with his past history of successes. Satan is merciless, ruthless and does not give up in his attempts to destroy us. He’s doing his job of ‘seeking whom he may devour.’ Stand your ground, don’t let him devour you.
Continually commit the trial to the Lord ~
Verses 14-19: Hezekiah brought the whole situation before the Lord again, spreading the letter he received before God. And then he prayed.
It’s time to cast the problem upon the Lord. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast our cares upon Him. Proverbs 16:3-4 tells us to commit everything to the Lord and Psalm 37:5-6 also tells us to commit our way to the Lord and to trust Him. Psalm 55:22-23 reminds us to cast our burdens on the Lord.
Isaiah 26:3 comforts us with these words, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. This is telling us that we can leave our cares with him, however, we need to remember not to pick them up again when we leave.
View from God’s perspective ~
Don’t view problems through finite minds but rather view them from God’s perspective. View big problems in light of our bigger God. Philippians 4:6-7 teaches us not to be anxious for anything but to bring everything to Him so the peace of God can guard our hearts and minds.
God hears ~
Verse 20: Isaiah spoke a word to Hezekiah telling him that “because you have prayed to me, I have heard.” We don’t ever want to hear God tell us that “because you did not pray to me, I will not answer.”
As we are reminded in Philippians 4:6-7, to be anxious for nothing, we can condense it to “pray for everything, thank God for anything and worry about nothing” and God will give us peace. So have faith, for faith pleases God.
Verses 21-37 relates how God vindicated His name and gave the victory to Hezekiah. God is faithful to those who seek Him and put their trust in Him.
So, we have seen how Hezekiah responded to the trouble that fell upon him. These are actionable steps for us to take as well. When you look over these steps, have you done any of them? Can you trust God enough to follow all of these steps? Do not be anxious about your situation. God’s got this, if you’ve given it to Him.
I mentioned at the start of this that my husband and I found ourselves in a troubled period a year ago, so when we heard this message, we reviewed these actions and saw that we had done all of these steps. In verses 3 and 6 which is about blasphemy, we realized that the other party had blasphemed the name of God and from these verses, we see that God will not let that go unpunished. Though we don’t yet have the conclusion of our trial, it has already been settled in Heaven’s Court and a word was given to us just yesterday that God has already won the case for us. We believe this and are waiting to see the outcome. I’ll keep you posted on that as all the glory belongs to the Lord!
Do drop me a line telling me of the victory you’ve received, or if you’re like me, awaiting the victory, let me know that too and I will pray with you in agreement for your victory as well!
Related Post: What Does It Mean to be Joyful in Trials?