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 kitchen the very next day. Ugh! Gnats really get on my nerves. But I digress. Some things are certain to happen when other things precede (or happen before) them. For instance, if you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll be a grouchy, lackluster version of yourself the entire day. Water a Philodendron plant, and it likely will grow long enough to wrap around the table legs. These things are just as natural as trusting God in tough times should be for a Christian woman. It should just be an expected result of living one’s life. It should be automatic.
Trusting God in tough times
But it isn’t always the first course of action I take. So wild. When a problem occurs, often, my first response is to try to fix it. However, my first response SHOULD be to trust God. Trusting God in tough times should be our first gear -not our last resort.
Why can’t we program ourselves to automatically respond to troubled times in ways that are congruent with scripture and trusting the Lord?
After all, dogs bark, cats meow, and cows moo. It’s a natural part of their existence, right? We need to make trusting God our “natural.”
Something else that is natural…
Humor me and imagine a war scenario.
Visualize two sides fighting feverishly against one another, coveting a hearty victory over the other.
It is natural that each side perceives the other to be an opponent or enemy. The one to defeat.
Any enemy you have or encounter is supposed to work relentlessly, tirelessly, and feverishly to defeat and distract you so that he/she can win the battle over you. In other words, an enemy is supposed to try to kick your butt!
Sis, you have an opponent who is trying to kick your butt, too. He will do whatever he can to do it. He wants to make trusting God in tough times something you will not do. He would rather you panic, cower in fear, or grow depressed in the trial you’re in. He is your spiritual enemy. The Bible talks about him this way:
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! It’s only natural for him to do it.
Trusting God in tough times means you accept one fact.
Have you noticed how much people talk about their attacks but not so much about their response to the attack?
Let me cut to the chase and tell you the answer: the proper response to an attack is not lying 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.
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.
Ever wonder: “Why do these things keep happening to me?”
It never fails. When going through hard times, people often 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.”
The truth of the matter is your attacks are just as normal as a cow moo-ing. They are a natural part of our Christian walk.
The older I get, the more I learn that troubles and trials are “musts” in life.
They have to be, or else we will never grow. We would never gain or develop 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.
Trusting God in tough times 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 already 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; in His name, you are more powerful and mighty than you know!
Christian Woman, Jesus gave you the authority to tread over scorpions, serpents, and over ALL the power of the enemy. Pick up your head and stand – after doing everything else – STAND, Sister!
I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.Luke 10:19
Since Jesus Christ triumphed over the enemy on the cross and His victory has been imparted to you, your immediate and natural response should be to live in the assurance of that victory. In other words, walk in unwavering faith and utilize His abundant spiritual resources graciously provided for you.
Don’t Get It Twisted – You still have to fight God’s way.
Even though it may seem natural to do so, don’t fight the way the world fights.
Don’t go cursing anyone out.
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 tells us not to be anxious, why would we still lean into anxiety? Why would we entertain thoughts that only bring us distress and unease? It seems contradictory, doesn’t it? But let’s explore this further.
First, it’s important to acknowledge that human nature is complex and multifaceted. We are prone to experiencing a wide range of emotions, including anxiety. Despite the divine guidance to not be anxious, we are still susceptible to the pressures and uncertainties of life that can lead to anxious thoughts. It’s only natural.
In times of difficulty or uncertainty, it is natural for our minds to wander and for anxious thoughts to arise. It’s almost as if our minds have a tendency to prepare for the worst-case scenario, even when it might not be warranted. This can be a defense mechanism, a way for us to anticipate potential challenges and protect ourselves from harm.
However, it’s essential to differentiate between acknowledging the presence of anxiety and actively embracing it. While we may experience moments of anxiety, it is crucial not to dwell on those thoughts or allow them to dictate our actions. Instead, we can turn to the teachings of our wonderful Savior for guidance.
[Note: I am not talking about clinical depression or anxiety. That requires a diagnosis from a mental or medical health professional]
When a couple of prophets in scripture went through tough times, God fed one with a raven and had a huge plant grow to shade the other. They knew trials and depression just like we do.
Hey, it’s okay 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.
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!)
Ideas for trusting God in tough times.
What does the above look like in day-to-day life? It looks like responding to attacks and struggles by finding something praiseworthy 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 just 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 is that 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 coffee maker’s sound 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!
Listen, Christian woman: Be sure to “war” God’s way and not your own. Again, this 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 become the Godly woman you want to be. Shucks, the trials might be a tool He’s using to get you there.
Scriptures on trusting God in difficult times
The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.
You are my strength, I watch for you; you, God, are my fortress.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10
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 expect the attacks as you transition toward that deeper commitment to God and His work.
Sister, 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!