7 Tips For Enduring Trials

Those who follow Messiah are on a journey through the wilderness of this life. Before long, however, we begin to see that while on this journey, we encounter trials, adversities, and suffering.

Throughout the Scriptures, we are told that those who persevere and endure through troubles and trials will receive great benefit, even great reward. We must then ask, what is the benefit or reward for enduring the trials? And what are some tips that can help us to endure them? In this article, we will try to answer these questions.

Our Commitment to Follow Messiah

We began our journey as a step of faith in Yahuwah Elohim [the Hebrew name for the LORD God], through our belief in Yahushua Messiah [the Hebrew name for Jesus Christ].

As we continue our journey, we soon see in Scripture that we are called to a commitment to our Saviour, to follow in His footsteps, and to do the will of God. We see also that our commitment to follow Messiah will be tested many times, and in many ways.

There are times in our journey, when we encounter trials and afflictions, even suffering wrongfully “for conscience toward God.” Our conscience will move us to endure these trials, because of our Saviour’s example. With all our heart, we desire to follow Messiah. We desire to walk as Yahushua walked — which includes enduring trials and adversities. But as we strive to ‘walk as He walked’ and follow His example of obedience, little by little, we begin to discover the riches of His love for us, and His “Great Reward” (1John 2:6; Genesis 15:1; Psalms 19:11; see also Matthew 5:12; Hebrews 10:35).

Here are a few ‘tips’ that may help us to endure the trials, difficulties and sufferings that we all must go through (Acts 14:22), as we follow in Messiah’s footsteps on our journey.

Tip #1: Trials and Suffering — Part of Our Calling

Doing what is good and right in God’s sight, and then eventually suffering for it, is indeed a sad and grievous outcome of our good efforts. But this is part of the calling for those who love and follow Yahushua Messiah:

“Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered…” (Hebrews 5:8)

19) For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully…. 20) but if, when you do well, and suffer for it, and you take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21) For even hereunto were you called: because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. (1Peter 2:19-21)

The Scriptures remind us that our calling — what we are destined for — is to follow Messiah’s example, not only in our obedience to the Father, but also, through adversity and enduring trials.

When we look at Yahushua’s life, much of His example includes a humble and meek endurance through the midst of opposition and hatred. This means, as Yahushua’s disciples, we will most likely be subjected to false accusations or unjust suffering.

Not that we would go looking for suffering! But if we love Messiah and desire to follow in His steps, then it will inevitably happen — we do well and yet, we suffer for it. This is not surprising. It is part of our calling. We endure suffering and grief for the sake of our love and loyalty to Messiah.

The apostle Peter advises us to expect such trials:

12) Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13) but rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Messiah’s sufferings…. 14) If you be reproached for the name of Messiah, happy are you; for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you…. 19) Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.  (1Peter 4:12-14,19).

As followers of Messiah Yahushua [Christ Jesus], trials are not to be considered unusual. They are part of our destiny. This is the way of God’s kingdom — to be tried and tested, which is for our benefit! And if, “for conscience toward God” we suffer wrongfully, patiently enduring, then such patience is gracious, acceptable, and is worthy of thanksgiving (see 1Peter 2:19)!

However, during any trails or wrongful suffering, we may well question our ability to be thankful and endure graciously! Yet many have done it. They endured graciously, and have maintained a meek and quiet spirit.

Tip #2: Meekness — A Necessary Characteristic

Meekness is a necessary characteristic that enables endurance through grievous trials. Meekness is vital if we desire to receive instruction and guidance from Yahuwah in the midst of trials!

It is only the ‘meek’ whom Yahuwah will guide and teach. Only the meek will have the necessary fear of Yahuwah [fear of the LORD] to receive instruction from the heavenly Father (Psalms 25:9,12).

Only the meek will have the kind of heart that sincerely desires to diligently and continuously seek Yahuwah and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33; Zephaniah 2:3).

Only the meek will find rest for their souls as they learn to imitate Messiah’s characteristics of meekness and humility (Matthew 11:29; 1John 2:6).

But what does it mean to be meek?

Meekness in Scripture is not the same as the modern understanding of the word meekness. The modern meaning of meekness has evolved into a somewhat negative meaning implying weakness, timidity, cowardice, and lack of courage. But that is far from true in the Biblical sense of the word!

In Scripture, meekness is a characteristic that encompasses great strength, humility, perseverance, and a yieldedness to God’s Word! Biblical meekness includes sincerity, patience, openness to Yah’s instruction, and an intense love for Yahuwah [the LORD].

As we saw in 3 Keys to Receiving God’s Guidance, the prophet Moses reveals what meekness really is:

Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth! (Numbers 12:3)

When we study the actions of Moses throughout his dealings with the children of Israel, we can see that his actions consistently revealed a heart attitude of meekness. Moses persistently spent time with Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God]. Moses willingly yielded to the authority and wisdom of Yahuwah, regardless of the opposition. And Moses boldly declared Yahuwah’s truth in the midst of a resistant people. These qualities are the essence of meekness. It was Moses’ meekness of character that enabled him, over and over, to stand in the breach for the cantankerous children of Israel.

Also our Saviour’s meekness of character was a main quality that enabled Him to endure the injustice of His execution. Throughout His ministry, Yahushua was enabled to allow no corrupt communication to come out of His mouth, which is characteristic of meekness. Whenever Yahushua was reviled, whenever He suffered, He did not retaliate, He threatened not! (1Peter 2:22-23)

It is our meekness of character that enables us to humble ourselves when we have been selfish and have failed in our obedience. Meekness enables us to withstand injustices, for the sake of our Saviour. It is meekness that Father is looking for in His children. It is the meek He will beautify with His salvation. It is the meek He will teach His ways! It is in quietness and confidence [trusting in Him] that we find strength! And it is a meek and quiet spirit that is of very great value in the sight of God! (Psalms 149:4; Isaiah 30:15a; 1Peter 3:4)

Tip #3: Trust Father’s Oversight

Enduring under injustices and afflictions is never easy or natural for any of us to do. But, many have done it! History is full of stories of those who have endured overwhelming afflictions and eventually triumphed. Many saints were victorious by enduring and persevering through great trials of persecutions and tribulations. They maintained their patience and faithfulness, thus obtaining “a good report through faith” (see Hebrews 11:38-39).

Believers in Yahushua Messiah have the great advantage of Father’s enabling grace available to them. Believers who are serious in their commitment to Yahuwah Elohim, who seek to remain loyal to Father, are often the object of great sufferings. Yet they have determined to look beyond the temporal, and have set their heart on ‘things above‘. They call on Father’s help, moment-by-moment, to strengthen and rescue them, even in small, seemingly insignificant matters.

By Father’s great grace, such Believers are enabled to withstand the grief and humiliation of sufferings — not because they find any enjoyment in it [far from it!]; but because they confidently trust the heavenly Father’s love and wisdom, even in the midst of their pain.

They trust Father’s oversight of life’s circumstances. They trust in His permission of distressing troubles, because they know His plans and purposes are much greater than any human level of understanding!

“If I had not felt certain that every additional trial was ordered by God’s infinite love and mercy, I could not have survived my accumulated sufferings.” — Adoniram Judson

The character quality of meekness helps us endure and bear the injustices and trials that we all experience for Messiah’s sake. It is meekness of character that helps us be more forgiving. Meekness quiets us, helping us reconcile ourselves to the love and design of The Heavenly Potter. Meekness helps us accept ourselves and our situation, and surrender as the clay in His hands.

Without a doubt, wrongful suffering is a huge mystery! Human understanding of this mystery is beyond our finite brains. There must come a moment therefore, when we surrender our demand to understand. We must trust Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God], the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, Who knows the end from the beginning. We must trust His promises given to us in His Word. We must trust Him that He will turn our troubles to our good, just as He did for Joseph (Genesis 50:19-20; Exodus 20:6; 1Peter 1:7; see also 1Peter 5:10; 1Corinthians 2:9; Deuteronomy 8:2).

Tip #4: Cultivate Endurance

Acquiring endurance will not happen overnight. Endurance and meekness are qualities that require the process of cultivation over time. Just as it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. We may put seeds into the ground and expect good fruit, but fruitfulness requires time and cultivation through hardships.

In my own life, my weaknesses and failures have often tended to discourage me. Learning to endure trials is not for the faint-hearted! Thankfully, Father is not discouraged or disgusted with my failures. Father knew from the beginning what kind of project I would be when He called me to be His child. His unfailing love for me remains faithful and unchanged! However, this is no excuse for me to sit back and coast, or give up. Father expects to eventually see the fruit of endurance in my life. My failures simply become the ‘fertilizer’ that will finally bring about the fruit of endurance He expects to see.

Our failures and sufferings are never an excuse for us to allow ourselves to deny our Saviour. Rather, such things are for us to learn greater patience and trust in Yahuwah’s love and wisdom, trusting that He knows about the tiniest details of our life. When circumstances occur that are grievous and humiliating, upsetting our plans and concerns [no matter how small the event may be], then it is our strength of character that will enable us to seek Father’s grace and mercy.

If we desire to continue within Yahuwah’s plans and purposes for us, then we need to accept the reality of a life of self-denial, and be willing to endure hardships and afflictions, as a good soldier (2Timothy 2:3). Learning to endure, while drawing on Father’s grace, comes, very slowly it seems, as we grow and mature in our commitment to Father.

Tip #5: No Retaliating

The great injustices that Messiah endured for our sake are for our example. The Holy Spirit urges us continually to follow the Saviour’s example, doing what Messiah did:

Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judges righteously. (1Peter 2:22-23)

If we are faced with suffering wrongfully, or if we encounter slander, reviling, or a confrontation with a loved one — all because of our loyalty to Yahuwah — then as Messiah’s disciples, we must determine to keep our quietness and maintain a spirit of meekness. This is how we possess our souls: by patiently persevering, not murmuring or retaliating (Luke 21:19; Romans 5:3).

As Messiah’s disciples, we can do as King David did: personally proclaim, say or sing out loud, that “Yahuwah is always set before me! I keep Him at my right hand! I keep His guidance and instruction always near me in my thoughts, my heart, my focus.” When we personally proclaim Father’s Word, then we build our confidence and hope, which helps us to not waver (Psalms 16:8; Psalms 62:5-6).

We must also do what Moses did so often: And Yahuwah [the LORD] spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaks unto his friend (Exodus 33:11a). Moses knew he needed help from above, so he went to the Father in prayer, frequently! Prayer is our instant life-line to the heavenly Father! (See Numbers 11:2; 14:20; Exodus 32:11, 30; Deuteronomy 9:18-20,26-29; Psalms 106:23; Isaiah 30:15).

Tip #6: Trust God’s Righteous Judgment

The phrase in 1Peter 2:23, Yahushua “committed Himself to Him that judges righteously” is like an anchor for our soul. This is a key to maintaining our hope and our loyalty to Yahuwah, the Mighty One of Israel. We commit the keeping of our souls unto our loving Father. We resolve to trust that Father is holding us tightly throughout the trials and humiliation, trusting in our righteous God to ultimately do as He has promised:

He [Yahuwah] comes to judge the earth: He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth. (Psalms 96:13)

Happy is he that has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD his God]: which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keeps truth for ever: which executes judgment for the oppressed…. (Psalms 146:5-7a)

Let Israel hope in Yahuwah [the LORD]: for with Yahuwah there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption. (Psalms 130:7)

Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. (1Peter 4:19)

As these Scriptures teach us, we commit the keeping of our souls to Yahuwah Elohim, the God of truth! We trust Him, Who is the One Who will execute righteous judgment for the oppressed; the One Who will judge righteously on that fateful Day when all things will come into the light of His truth! Yahuwah our Mighty One, through Messiah, is our hope of redemption, our hope of deliverance, and our hope of glory. He will be our guide even unto death (Psalms 48:14).

Tip #7: Be Prepared For Trials

The apostle Peter admonishes us: “Do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you” (1Peter 4:12a). Peter is warning us, and encouraging us, to be prepared for trials and testings, and for suffering wrongfully.

If we are the object of ridicule, hatred, or unjust sufferings; if we have yielded to foolishness or temptations, then meekness of character and endurance go hand-in-hand. These two qualities will help us to fight our fight of faith. They will help us be repentant when needed, and help us to not give up our commitment to follow Messiah’s example! And if we will cry out to Father for His help in our time of need, then by His enabling grace, we can continue following in our Saviour’s steps! (Psalms 106:44)

Of course as it often happens, I ‘know’ more than I am ‘doing’! Knowing the right thing to do, and then doing the right thing, requires the mercy and grace of the Holy Spirit’s mighty power working within me: “Not by might, nor by power, but by Your Spirit!!” (Zechariah 4:6). Every victory that I have seen in my life is due only to Father’s intervention on my behalf.

To better understand the Holy Spirit’s dealings with us, we must maintain a teachable heart. We must be sensitive to His guidance. We must cherish the smallest impressions He gives us, and then be quick to humble ourselves. Our “growing in grace” while learning His lessons for us, begins with our commitment [and our many re-commitments!] to Him to keep His ways.

Our commitment to keep His ways requires personal study of Father’s written Word for ourselves, learning His Word intimately. Only in this way can we sincerely obey Father’s Word with all our strength.

One very great help for us in the midst of trials, is to pray in the Holy Spirit. When praying in the Holy Spirit, our spirit is praying, although in our mind we do not understand what we are praying. We can be sure, however, that Father hears these prayers, for it is the Holy Spirit Himself praying within us (see 1Corinthians 14:14-21). Praying in the Spirit is a significant tool for helping us to build up our faith, keeping us confident of Father’s love (Jude 1:20-21; 1Corinthians 14:4a). We are best prepared when we pray often in the Holy Spirit, praying in detail before things happen.

Conclusion

When trials come, if we will cry out for Yahuwah’s help (this is essential), crying out for help to remain loyal to Him, for patience to be of a meek spirit, then He will be faithful to hold us close to Him. He will give us the necessary grace we need to maintain our patience, meekness, and endurance, even through wrongful sufferings.

Let us set our heart and affections on God, with sincere loyalty to Him. Then if we are reproached for the name of Messiah, let us be brave and courageous, for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon us! (see above 1Peter 4:14).

Happy is he that has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD his God]: which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keeps truth for ever: which executes judgment for the oppressed…. (Psalms 146:5-7a)

Let us remember, when we do well and we suffer for it, and ‘if’ we can take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. This is part of our calling as Thirsty Souls who follow Messiah.

Therefore, let us not think it strange or unusual whenever we face difficult testings and trials, for our God tests and tries His children, but He will not forsake those who seek Him! (Proverbs 3:11-12; Psalms 9:9-10)

These 7 tips, when practiced, will be helpful for enduring trials.

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Posted in Building Character, Commitment, Messiah, Obedience, Trials

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