Are You Surprised by Trials? By Rhonda Stoppe
Why is it some marriages fall apart when they go through hard times while others seem to grow stronger? Let’s unpack this question, shall we?
Over the years that I have been involved in ministry, the one common response I have observed in Christians when they encounter a trial is they are often taken by surprise.
This includes individuals who know that bad things happen to good people (one even wrote a book about that). But when their own little world is visited by difficulties, they are not only shocked, but they are downright bewildered. And this is often when Christians begin to question God’s love for them.
The apostle Peter warned that we should fully expect troubled times and warned,
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were hap- pening to you
(1 Peter 4:12 ESV).
In that verse, the word “happening” in the phrase “as though something strange were happening to you” means “to fall by chance.”
One Bible teacher explains it this way: “A Christian must not think that his persecution is something that happened accidentally. God allowed it and designed it for the believer’s testing, purging and cleansing.”*
Because people tend to question God’s goodness when trials come, it is important for you to understand how God allows––and even orchestrates––trials in the lives of His children to accomplish His purposes.
In Isaiah 55:8 God says, My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.
Through God’s strength, you can learn to trust that His ways are good regardless of how difficult your circumstances. And then your life––and marriage––can grow stronger to reflect more clearly His glory to those around us, beginning with your own children.
Have you ever considered that your trial may not be about you? Maybe God is allowing a struggle so that your kids will learn how to trust Jesus. Children need to believe that what you say you believe about Jesus is true. How better to see the reality of your faith than to watch you walk through trials with eyes fixed upon Jesus?
And if during your darkest hours you and your husband remind one another of God’s goodness and encourage one another with Scripture, your hearts will move toward one another as your grow closer to Christ, and your testimony of His faithfulness may be the very thing God uses to draw your kids to a relationship with Jesus.
First Peter 1:6 says,
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved.
In other words, that which brought grief to you can become a reason for rejoicing. In my own experience, I have encountered many trials that seemed to come out of nowhere. And yet, I have learned that God is always right there with me, amidst the storm. And if I keep my eyes on Jesus through prayer, Scripture, and fellowship with others who point me toward Christ, He is always faithful to give me His strength, peace and joy–even when I can make no sense of the purpose for the trial.
So, the next time you are blindsided by a trial, I pray that you will remember to look to God’s Word for encouragement. And I pray you will find at least one friend who will weep with you, and still remind you that His ways are always best.
And I am confident that one day–whether in this life, or when you stand before The Throne–God will make known to you the purpose for whatever trial you may be facing.
Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN. With more than 20 years experience of helping women live life with no regrets. I could have listened to Rhonda talk all night, is what women say about Rhonda’s enthusiastic, genuine and transparent style of teaching.
Through humor, and honest communication, she helps women build NO REGRETS LIVES by applying sound teaching from Scripture. Rhonda appears on radio programs, speaks at women’s events, MOPs, and homeschool conventions throughout the nation.
Rhonda Stoppe’s book MOMS RAISING SONS TO BE MEN is mentoring thousands of moms to guide sons toward a no-regrets life. Her new book IF MY HUSBAND WOULD CHANGE I’D BE HAPPY-And Other Myths Wives Believe (Harvest House Publishers) is helping countless women build no-regrets marriages. As a pastor’s wife, speaker, and author, Rhonda has helped thousands of women to build a NO REGRETS LIFE!
TO BOOK RHONDA FOR YOUR NEXT WOMEN’S EVENT: NoRegretsWoman.com
*Excerpt IF MY HUSBAND WOULD CHANGE I’D BE HAPPY & Other Myths Wives Believe