Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
(1 Peter 4:12-13)
What is your usual response when you face times of trouble? Are you inclined to stand and fight? Perhaps you are convinced that you’re strong enough to handle any obstacle. Or maybe you do what so many others do: run as far and as fast as you can.
Trials are unavoidable in life. Instead of deciding how best to avoid them, we should instead focus on the way to respond to them. There are several things for the Christian to do when confronted with conflict.
First, we should trust God, based on His holy Word. Scripture assures us that the Lord knows our limits and will therefore never allow us to be pushed or tempted beyond our ability to persevere (1 Cor. 10:13).
Second, we must trust in His faithfulness. In times of trouble, take time to reflect on previous hardships. Did God help you then? What was the result of that trial? How has He shown Himself to be faithful at other times? (See Ps. 37:23-24.)
Third, we must make a conscious decision to persevere. Romans 5:3-5 reveals that persistence is a vital part of a healthy growing Christian life. Our encouragement is that perseverance in the face of trials leads to the hope which “does not disappoint” (v. 5).
Finally, it is important to acknowledge the sovereignty of almighty God. Our heavenly Father is never surprised by the tragedies in our lives. Rather, He stands ready to work in us (Phil. 2:13), through us (1 John 4:4), and for us (Rom. 8:31) to bring us to the point of victory in His Son Jesus Christ.