Someone I know and love is going through a difficult trial. Being with this person has sometimes been hard because of his rejections of others as he suffers.
As I observed what this person was going through, I saw three things that seemed to be making matters worse.
These are self-pity, impatience, and negativity. As I looked at the beginning of those three words, I saw that it spelled SIN.
Then I thought of the opposite of those three words. They are thankfulness to replace self-pity, adoration to counter the negativity, and patience to come against the impatience. The beginning letters of those words spelled TAP.
My conclusion: If we hold on to the SIN of giving in to self-pity, impatience, and negativity during trials, life will seem unbearable, and discouragement will be the result.
However if we replace these with thankfulness, adoration (or praise) of God, and patience, we can TAP into God’s power, and He will help us to endure and face our trial with faith. Then our trial will have a powerful effect on our souls.
At first I judged this individual, but then I realized that my natural response (and perhaps every human being’s response) to trials is self-pity, impatience, and negativity. I even saw that as I was sharing this trial with my loved one, I was giving in to these three when interacting. I was feeling sorry for myself for being treated badly. I was impatient for this trial to be over because of how it was affecting me. Negativity was beginning to take over when I spoke to and of this person.
I, too, need to embrace thankfulness, adoration, and patience as I go through trials of my own or as other people’s trials affect me.
Whenever I think of trials I remember this verse in James:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. (James 1:2 NIV)
I’m not there yet, but my heart’s desire is to effectively go through trials and let them do a work in me and draw me closer to the Lord and cause me to be the kind of Christian He wants me to be: “mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4)
I told my loved one about choosing between SIN and TAP. He received what I said and even apologized recently for “being so negative” as he continued to battle discouragement in regard to his trial.
The good news about trials is that God wants to help us through them and will do so as we call out to Him. My goal is to make the most of every trial He sends my way and to assist my fellow Christians to do the same.
“When Trials Come” by Keith and Kristyn Getty