As I was walking yesterday morning in the heavy fog it seemed as if I was surrounded by a warm cocoon. Even though the temperature wasn't all that warm, the cocoon seemed to encircle me in it's safety. As I walked and prayed I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “turn your negatives into positives”. It was at that point that I began thinking about the old saying that says, “there's a silver lining in every dark cloud.” Isn't that what we all want to see in every unfortunate situation? Another idiom is “this, too, shall pass”. Even though both of these idioms are not directly found in the Bible their principles are. Both of them pertain to the perspective we hold about what we are experiencing in life.
Sometimes it seems as if life closes in around us just like that cloud of fog that I was in as I walked. We can't see past the exterior boundaries of the fog. It seems as if there is no world outside of what we are experiencing right now. As I think back through the years I am convinced that had I not pressed through the boundaries of what I was experiencing to touch the future in a real way that I would have been consumed by the fog of adversity at that particular moment. We often think there is nothing good that could come from the trial in which we are involved.
There is a song that was originally recorded by the McKameys called “God Will Make This Trial A Blessing”. I couldn't find a really good video of it, but I wanted to share the lyrics with you because they speak so well of the trials that we experience in life and how God turns them for our good.
I've just come into a valley one like I've never been before
I keep searching for a way out seems like padlocks are on the doors
Oh there must be another sunrise another sunset that I'll see
God will make this trial a blessing that's the love He has for me
God will make this trial a blessing though it sends me to my knees
Though my tears flow like a river yet in Him there's sweet relief
There's no need to get discouraged there's no need to talk defeat
God will make this trial a blessing and the whole wide world will see
I was not the first one to come into this place
You see every child of God this test he must face
It is here that God will mold you and make you what you ought to be
God will make this trial a blessing just be patient you will see
Now I'm standing on the mountain looking back and I can see
When I was in that lowest valley His strong hand was leading me
Oh it's good to see the sunshine and to taste sweet victory
God has made this trial a blessing oh the grace He gives to me
I am reminded of some of the Bible characters that experienced extreme hardship in life and how God turned it around for their good. I think of Joseph and how his brothers sold him into slavery and He spent 13 years away from his family in Egyptian exile. When speaking of what his brothers did to him Joseph replied:
Genesis 50:19-21 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to save many people alive. “Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Joseph realized that God was in charge of his life and he willingly endured the evil that his brothers had brought upon him knowing that God had a bigger plan than what he had experienced at their hands. He knew that God would turn his trial into a blessing if he patiently endure the adversity.
Think about how many difficulties the Israelites experienced at the hands of their oppressors, the Egyptians, and how God turned their trial into a blessing by bringing them out of bondage and taking them into the promised land.
The disciples watched their beloved Jesus be put to death at the hands of the Roman soldiers. When Jesus was crucified it was the darkest day of their lives. They couldn't see past the cloud of heartache that they were experiencing. But on the third day God raised Jesus up out of that grave to new life. He was alive! Peter ran to the tomb and marveled at what he saw there; an empty tomb.
John 24:12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stopping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.
God turned the trial that they experienced into a blessing for all mankind. If Jesus had not been crucified we would not have salvation through His blood to save us from our sins.
We don't always understand why we go through difficulties except that Jesus told us that in this world we would have tribulations.
John 16:32, 33 “Indeed the hour is coming; yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to this own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
In the world we will experience difficulties, but in Christ Jesus we have peace in the midst of the storm and victory as we overcome through His strength.
Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There is no trial or adversity that can come against you that can separate you from God's love. He is always there to turn your trial into a blessing.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
My friends, you can be assured that God will not allow what you are experiencing today to be more than you can handle, and He will make a way of escape for you. He will turn your trial into a blessing just as He has done for so many others. Job lost his children and all his possessions in a matter of about nine months and this is what the scripture records about his outcome:
Job 42:10 ; 12-13 And the LORD restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning, for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters.
God turned Job's trial into a blessing. He will do that for you as well.
Father, I thank You for taking the bad things that we experience in life and turning them for our good. We don't always see what You are doing in our lives and can't always understand why we go through the difficulties, but You promise in Your word that You have a good plan for our lives and that You will show us Your favor as we trust in You. Thank You, Father, for turning my trials into blessings.
I pray for my friends, this morning, who are going through adversity right now, Father. They don't know how this will turn out, but I ask You to show them the silver lining in the dark cloud of adversity. Help them to see past today to the good that You have planned for their future. Draw them close to You, Father, and wrap Your arms of love around them. Carry them through the dark valley into the sunshine of tomorrow. Father, I thank You for protecting them from the evil one and for restoring all that the devil has stolen from them through this adversity. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.