If we are honest about our lives, we all have trials going on. If you aren’t struggling with a trial, then someone in your life is. More than likely, there’s something hard, difficult, challenging, uncomfortable, inconvenient, or trying in your life and if there isn’t, then I would guess that you are a perfect human with a perfect life.
So what do we do about it? Sadly, I often see the same wrong responses in my life that I see in other people’s lives, so I’m pointing the finger at myself here. We complain. Or if we don’t want to talk about it, then we don’t say anything and just pretend that there’s nothing wrong.
So what’s the better thing to do? I find the Psalms incredibly helpful when I’m thinking about the trials in my own life. David honestly prayed about his struggles and also praised the Lord in the midst of them. And yet these two things seem like opposite ends of the spectrum to me. If I’m trying to rejoice always, then how can I talk about my trials?
I think there’s an answer here but I’m not a Bible scholar. I’m just trying to find a God-honoring application. I hope there is a way to talk about our trials to others as well as to God other than complaining. Instead, we could talk about our trials in a way that glorifies God. For example, if I talk about my trial to a believer, I can ask for prayer and I can also share how I’m growing or want to be growing in the Lord. I don’t have to complain to do that. In turn, they might share something difficult with me and I can encourage them in the Lord. In so doing, we can build each other up in the body of Christ.
If I’m talking to a non-believer, it’s a little bit different but I still ought to be Christ-honoring in how I talk about my trials. For example, they need to see that a Christian’s life is not perfect but I have my hope set in God. I should be reacting to the difficulties of life differently than the world. I could share how something is hard but God is growing me, changing me, or He’s providing for me or answering my prayers through the trial somehow. Or I could just say that I’m praying through my trials and am happy to pray for them too.
I’m not saying I have this all figured out. Believe me, I really don’t have much figured out. But I am trying to find and practice a good application for dealing with all of life’s trials. Maybe I’m the only one who doesn’t see proper sharing of struggles that honors the Lord and mutual praying between believers. It’s just something I wish I could see more of: glorifying of God through the trials of my life and others’ lives. And I wish I could use my struggles more as a witnessing tool when I’m talking to non-Christians. Of course we still need to filter what we say when speaking to either believer or non-believer but I know for myself, I want to grow more in talking about my trials in a way that glorifies God.
So as we desire to draw closer to God, I pray that we would also use our trials and how we talk about them to glorify Him more.