Thankful for Trials?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. — Philippians 4:6

The longer I’m on this journey with God, the more I realize how little I truly understand of his ways. But that’s okay. I’m learning to trust Him for the big picture. In fact, I’ve found a lot of relief in that, knowing it wasn’t up to me to keep the world spinning on its axis (wink).

But we do like to be in control, don’t we? And though it’s biblical to have a thankful attitude, it’s often counterintuitive to our human nature. Yet God knew how important this attitude would be not only to our spiritual health, but to our emotional and physical health as well.

One of the harder lessons we have to learn on this journey is to be thankful for our trials. The key here is understanding some important truths:

  • God is good. First John 4 is all about God’s character and that He IS love. Therefore his motivations for allowing trials in our lives are good as well. He’s literally not capable of a bad motivation. That’s the one thing God simply can’t do.
  • God is in control. All our trials have God’s seal of approval. That one can be hard to swallow, but understanding the first truth I pointed out helps a lot. The story of Job is a great representation of this truth. Everything has to go before God first. If He allows a trial or challenge in our life, He has a reason. And like Job, we may not understand what it’s all about. God simply asks that we trust Him and trust that He has a purpose for it all.
  • God is an equipper. To look at the Bible as a whole is to see a story spanning hundreds of years with a universal message. God loves his children and does not abandon them. He doesn’t just allow a trial in our life and then leave us to fend for ourselves. God has already given us his strength through his Holy Spirit. It’s right there. We just have to make sure we’re functioning in that strength and not our own. That means we need to spend time with God in order to stay close to Him and the source of that strength.
  • God is a redeemer. The amazing thing about all our trials is that God redeems everything. He doesn’t allow them in our lives without a reason. He has a purpose and a plan for each one. Sometimes the focus is on us, other times it’s to do with another person in our lives, like a spouse or a child. He uses them to refine our faith, teach us more about His character, and to bring us closer to understanding what sacrificial love is all about. He brings us closer to the image of his Son, Jesus.

So in the midst of our trials, we can be thankful for all these truths. God even calls us to combine thanksgiving with our prayers and petition. He does this for our own benefit, so that we can keep our eyes focused on him and not our situation. And to build our trust in Him.

My favorite verse is Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

You may have heard it a hundred times, but this time let it soak in and really permeate your faith. God works for our good in ALL things. Not just some of them, or just the good things. He works in ALL of them. This is one of our greatest promises and something to truly be thankful for.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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13 thoughts on “Thankful for Trials?

  1. andie

    Dineen, This post is really great, every word of it. It is written with total faith because you admit at the beginning that don’t understand God’s decisions. You have gone to Scripture to show us that our God can be trusted and believed. He doesn’t break his promises (Covenant). Thank you for this, concise, beautiful and TRUE.

  2. Laurie Adams

    Dineen, what a powerful Word today! We don’t always see the good in our trials but it has been proven over and over again to me that when we give God glory in the midst, we will never be disappointed! (((hugs)))

  3. LynnLynn

    but this time let it soak in and really permeate your faith. God works for our good in ALL things.

    My sweet friend. Amen.. Amen… AMEN.. You always inspire me. Love you much. Hugs.

  4. Angela (Ang4him)

    Oh Dineen, this is an amazing post and one I have personally come to know as being absolutely true in recent weeks. Thank you for writing it.

  5. Debbie

    Oh Dineen, what a timely post for me. I love that you wrote:
    “All our trials have God’s seal of approval.”

    I see that resonated with several other commenters. 🙂

    It’s good to be reminded as life can be very challenging in the midst of trials. Often friends don’t know how to respond either. But God is a God of love and hope and He is faithful. I’m learning that first hand in my life right now.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

  6. Cindi

    Thank you Dineen for this post. I heard at a sermon recently that we have to remember that we are here for God. We exist for Him, He doesn’t exist for us! We exist to glorify Him in all that we are and do. Changes the perspective of our trials a bit doesn’t it? Wow! He DOES work in all things for our good so that he is glorified and that we are reminded that He is the LORD! …”He does this for our own benefit, so that we can keep our eyes focused on him and not our situation. And to build our trust in Him.” Thank you Jesus! You be glorified!

  7. Raymund

    It is easy to write as a general advice, but how do you get thankful for loosing your father back in early childhood? How do you get thankful for loosing your own child. Do you build some kind of brainwash? Do you just obey orders, and say thanks, because you have to, when you feel the opposite?
    How would a thanks to God for an earthquake look, prayed by a man when He find His whole family dead in the ruins of what once was their home?

    I just wonder
    raymund

  8. DineenDineen Miller

    Hi Raymond,
    Those are good questions. No, it’s not a brainwash. It’s about trusting God no matter what happens because you know He is working for your good in every situation, trial and loss. In my walk with God, I have seen him work in all my trials and losses to bring healing, love, and deeper relationship with him and not just for me but those around me as well. It’s not so much about thanking God for the trial or loss itself as being thankful that He is there with us, crying with us, loving us, and providing for us. He redeems everything and brings good out of all of it. That’s his nature! He’s not capable of having a wrong or selfish motivation.

    In 2008 my daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer. It was not something I ever expected to happen to us (do we ever?) nor was I “happy” about it. But I knew God was there and I was thankful for his presence, his comfort, and the miraculous ways he worked in the situation to bring his good for my daughter and our family. He is still working to do that.

    Whatever loss you’ve suffered, whatever pain you’ve endured, let God walk that with you. He will bring purpose and healing from all of it. It’s a place of peace and trust. I can think of no better way to live this life. God is so very faithful. I pray this helps you in some way. Blessings!

  9. Raymund

    Hey Dineen.
    Thank you for your answer. I feel sad for your daughter, I hope she will get healed.
    You are lucky, having His presence and comfort real in your life, and seeing Him work in mireculous ways. I still wait for it all.
    You are lucky, have found that place of peace and trust.

    I invite God daily to come and walk with me, but He seems to be busy some other places.
    All I have is the trust that He knows where I am, even if I have no clue where He is. We will see if it ever changes.

    All the best –

    raymund

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