Fiery trials in the life of a Christian – it’s a normal thing. It’s just as normal as when you go to the grocery store or farmers’ market to stock up on fresh fruit. Then, out of nowhere an army of gnats appears to invade your home. Gnats really get on my nerves. But, I digress. Back to my subject of natural or even predictable responses to specific actions. Yeah. Some things are certain to happen when other things precede (or happen before) them. Don’t get enough sleep, you’ll be grouchy and lackluster. Water a Philodendron plant, it likely will grow. These things are just as natural as trusting God in hard times should be for a Christian woman. It should just be natural. It should be automatic. But it isn’t always the first course of action we take, is it?
If nature can go on a sort of autopilot, why can’t we? Why can’t we program ourselves to automatically respond to troubled times in ways that are congruent with scripture?
After all, dogs bark; cats meow, and cows moo. It’s a natural part of their existence, right?
That ain’t the only thing that’s “natural.”
Humor me and imagine a war scenario.
Visualize two sides fighting feverishly against one another coveting victory over the other. Each side perceives the other to be an opponent or the enemy. The one to defeat. That’s only natural in battle.
Sis, you have an opponent, too, and he will do whatever he can to defeat you.
After all, what is an enemy supposed to do, right?
Any enemy you have or encounter is supposed to work relentlessly, tirelessly, and feverishly to harm you and distract you so that he/she can win the battle over you. In other words, an enemy is supposed to kick your butt!
This is exactly what your spiritual enemy, the devil, tries to do to you. He tries to kick your butt and wear you down. He is your arch-enemy and don’t you forget he will always be there to “mess” with you, Christian Woman.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.I Peter 5:8
He’s not at all lazy about hitting you up with one attack after another. He’s got a “spiritual uzi” (i.e. a machine gun) and he’s “lighting” up your world as often as possible!
In tough times, please remember who you are in Christ!
Now we are clear on the fact it’s natural for you to be under attack by your enemy who’s always lurking, let’s talk about your proper response. Have you noticed how much people talk about their attacks, but not enough about their response to the attack. It makes me wonder if they know how to respond. What do you think?
Anyway, in a bit, I’ll tell you how we should react to our attacks. It’s not by laying around or isolating. Your response should not be to stop going to church either. It shouldn’t be to veg out, eat junk food, or watch Netflix in a dark, sad room. No. While each of these sounds good when you’re going through an attack or hard time, they are not the proper response for strong Christian women living lives of hope and victory.
But, before I talk about the right way to handle your affliction (and how I try to handle mine), let’s answer a question people always seem to ask when they are going through really rough seasons.
The question is below in blue and the answer is in the graphic beneath it:
“Why do these things keep happening to me?”
Hey, I talk to you like I talk to myself. Above is what I literally almost always say to myself when I begin whining over difficult times. 😀
It never fails. When going through hard times, people always ask “why is this happening?” or “Why me?” Another version of this is when people say “if it ain’t one thing, it’s another.” While this is not so much a question, it’s an expression that something that is happening should not be occuring.
The truth of the matter is your attacks are just as normal as a cow moo-ing. Don’t be shocked or even mildly thrown off when they occur.
The older I get, I’m learning troubles and trials are “musts” in life. They have to be or else I’d never grow. I’d never get or build perseverance, character, and hope. Each of these is necessary for me to be a strong Christian woman.
They are necessary for you too.
3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,5 and hope does not put us to shame,Romans 5:3-4 (See scripture)
Don’t worry, though. This is where trusting God in tough times comes in.
Oh yes. Trusting God in tough times comes in very handy! It lightens your load, and gives you peace because you know He’s going to take care of you! He’s fought and won the battle you’re currently dealing with. He has secured your victory even though you’re in the midst of it. It may seem like your struggle is beginning, but it is actually already over. God lives OUTSIDE time. You’re bound by it, but HE IS NOT!
God’s secured your victory over two thousand years ago. You just have to leverage the tools He’s given you and walk in the faith of your victory.
Inside you dwells the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead! You’re a walking POWER PACK!
Besides that, you are a joint heir with Christ and in His name, you are more powerful and mighty than you know!
Christian Woman, Jesus gave you the authority to tread over scorpions and over ALL the power of the enemy. Pick up your head and stand – after doing everything else – STAND, Sister!
Since Jesus Christ has conquered the enemy on the cross and His victory was passed down to you, your natural response – your very first response – should be operating in the victory He’s already won for you. In other words, walk in faith and use those spiritual resources He has provided!
Don’t Get It Twisted – You still have to fight God’s way
Even though it may seem natural, don’t fight the way the world fights. Don’t go cursing anyone out. You really only look stupid in the end.
Don’t turn to alcohol, drugs, or anything man-made. It won’t help you in the long run. It won’t even really help you in the short run. Just don’t do it.
Falling into a self-induced depression or being anxious is not God’s way either. He has too many promises in His word to deliver you from those things, so why turn to them?
If God says not to be anxious, why would you lean into anxiety? Why entertain the thoughts of anxiety?
[Note: I am not talking about clinical depression or anxiety. That requires a diagnosis from a mental or medical health professional]
“What should I do while trusting God in hard times?
Spoiler alert: I did not include in my tips anything remotely close to having a breakdown, crying incessantly or staying in bed with the curtains drawn like a stupido. Full disclosure, I’ve done them all and fought the urge to do them not long ago. In my opinion, it’s ok to “check out” for a short while. Sometimes you may need to withdraw. When a couple prophets in scripture went through tough breakers, God fed one with a raven and had a huge plant grow over the other.
Hey, it’s ok to just collapse into the arms of the Lord for a season, but you can’t stay there. You have too much to do and accomplish for the Kingdom. Know when to get up, wash your face and get moving.
Check out one of my relevant t-shirt designs
Back to your natural response during hard times…
Here’s the plan…here is what you do to conquer the enemy and claim your blood-bought victory in the midst of a trial:
1. You worship
(Even if you have to force yourself!)
2. You praise God for the victory
(Even if you don’t “see” it yet; praise Him in advance!)
3. Keep on going in the Holy Spirit
(No giving up allowed; press forward like a champ and don’t quit like a chump!)
4. Shhh..keep your mouth closed to negative talk
(Speak only words of faith.)
5. Release what you cannot fix and let God fight your battle
(Surrender and stop trying to manipulate the victory.
Faith is trusting God in tough times and watching HIM work. Remember Moses!)
Real Life Examples…
What do the above look like in day-to-day life? It looks like responding to attacks and struggles by finding something praise-worthy in it. Go on…praise God for what didn’t happen or thank Him for being all-knowing and all powerful. Thank Him for His nature – gracious, kind, loving and long suffering.
Slap on some worship music and force yourself to praise HIm for the things I’ve listed above. Worship music is so powerful and changes the narrative in your head. It silences the doubt and replaces negative thoughts with praise-worthy ones!
1) Marriage example: if your husband is acting up – keep your mouth shut, love him through it, and pray.
Prepare his meals with excellence; wash his clothes with a smile and do whatever it is you are supposed to do in both your home and your marriage. Pursue peace with him and do so in the name of the Lord. God will honor that and it will mature you in the process. The best part: it confuses your enemy! #bigdummy (him – not you)
2) Hmmm..maybe your battle is in the workplace.
If your co-workers are being hateful – you gotta kill them with kindness. Do something wild like bring them donuts one by one. Give them gifts. (I’ve done it – it REALLY works!) Pray for them often. They don’t have to know why you’re doing it, just pray God blesses them. This will change the most important thing…your heart!
3) Speaking of which…your battle could be for your heart and your peace…
Perhaps, you are living with piercing grief and the intense pain of it all aches down to your bones. Fight those attacks of depression and keep on trucking! Go through the grief process, but don’t get stuck in it. Trust me, it’s so easy to get “stuck” in grief. Don’t do it!
You’re going to get through this. You can make it!
Look, a variety of attacks are going to come your way. It’s supposed to happen. It’s as expected as the sound the coffee maker makes in the morning. Even so, you’re a spiritual warrior with a MIGHTY arsenal of holy weapons. Use them!
Hey, Sis…whatever the spiritual assault, you walk out your faith in the Word of God and continue trusting God in tough times, Okay? No “punking out” allowed. You’ve got this!
Another relevant tee…
Listen, Christian woman: Be sure to “war” God’s way and not your own. Again, his means you don’t get to tell folks off or side-eye them.
Bless your enemies and fight your battles on your knees in prayer. I know it’s difficult and I’m not telling you to do anything God hasn’t made me do time and time again.
Trust me – by the power of the Holy Spirit, you CAN do it! Remember, the very Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives inside you! He will help you do it! You can make it and be the Godly woman you want to be. Shucks, the trirals might be a tool He’s using to get you there.
My final thoughts on trusting God in those hard times…
Either way, don’t be surprised by the attacks of the enemy, Girl.
I’m telling you, it’s only natural for him to spiritually sucker-punch you and try to distract you from God’s work.
On that note, this is especially true when you are a new Christian, or God is taking you to a new level of maturity. You can definitely expect the attacks as you are transitioning toward that deeper commitment to God and His work.
I’ve seen it countless times – hey, I’ve lived it countless times! Don’t think it’s peculiar when fiery trials come as you mature spiritually.
Instead, consider it all joy and worship God for the opportunity to build those spiritual muscles!
That’s only natural for a Christian woman! It’s only natural indeed…just like gnats gravitating toward my fruit bow.