Tag Archives: trials

Weak: Why I wrote a poem about Job

The book of Job shocks its reader at almost every point. We avoid it, we are confused by it, terrified by it, scandalized by it, and certainly if we’re honest- we want no part in it. Who would? These are nice lessons for Job- nice lessons to read about- but keep it far away from my tent.

Some may sympathize with Job, others, shake their head in disbelief that a man God called “blameless” would desire to die and accuse God of taking pleasure in his pain. We might flatter ourselves, think Job a fool. Continue reading

Christian Hope and Freedom From Fear (Part 1)

Some Hopes Perish

I have plenty of hopes. When one is fulfilled another steps in to take its place. I have one child, I hope for more. I have a small home, I hope for a larger one. My husband and I have achieved the hope of running a business- we hope for greater success.

Some hopes go unfulfilled for a long time- some maybe forever. Some hopes seem to betray us, and once they are fulfilled we find they are not what we imagined. Some hopes are gained, only to be quickly lost, and we feel the pain of having once had it to be greater than to have never seen it fulfilled at all. Continue reading

Prayer Answered by Crosses

I read this poem probably five years ago and have come back to it many times.  It’s easy to see the loving care of God when He answers our prayers the way we want them to be answered.  Sometimes we pray “Your will be done” but in our hearts we really mean “but please, please, please do this the way I want.” When things don’t turn out that way we feel like God didn’t hear us.  When times are extremely difficult we may be tempted to ask “Doesn’t He love me?”

This poem helped show me what it means to pray with the Glory of God as the highest aim in mind.  “Lord, whatever it takes- glorify yourself in me.  Ultimately Lord, do what it takes to receive the most glory from this situation.”  Oftentimes that process means God opens our eyes to our own sinfulness and uses trials to reveal areas where we need to grow in faith, love, hope and trust in the Lord.

Prayer Answered by Crosses
By John Newton

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith and love and every grace,
Might more of his salvation know,
And seek more earnestly his face.

‘Twas he who taught me thus to pray;
And he, I trust, has answered prayer;
But it has been in such a way
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that, in some favoured hour,
At once he’d answer my request,
And by his love’s constraining power
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, he made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart,
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea, more, with his own hand he seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe,
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this? I trembling cried;
Wilt thou pursue this worm to death?
This is the way, the Lord replied
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I now employ
From self and pride to set thee free,
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st seek thy all in me.

Note: This post is 4 years old. God has continued to use this poem in my life and to my great delight I discovered that Indelible Grace has a wonderful rendition of this, which I wanted to share below. There are so many things I could say in reflection on this song, but truly, it speaks for itself.

What I’ve Learned Lately Through Suffering: Speaking Openly and Honestly From The Heart

My greatest, and most overriding desire in all forms of trials I face, is no longer that they would be removed but rather that they would not be wasted.  If God would be pleased to use suffering to make me more like my Lord Jesus Christ, and if He would refine me in the fiery trials in a way that would  bring Him glory and draw men and woman, boys and girls to Him, then I will rejoice in my sufferings.  I might trip and fall along the way, and find myself in doubt and sorrow, but this I know: by Christ’s power He will be certain to bring me back to a place where I can rejoice and thank Him, even for my pain.  This I know, because He has done it for me time and time again and because His word assures me it is true.

I may sound bold, and strong to say this, but I can assure you I am the farthest thing from it.  If you knew how fiercely I have fought in the past against temptation, and how close I have come to caving in to it and heeding the advice of Job’s wife “Curse God and die (Job 2:10),” then you would know that I am nothing but a weak and empty vessel, in desperate need of God.  The only reason I can say such things as above is because of the slow and painful work God has done in me.

How pleased I am that God saw fit to bring trials into my life, when I thought that I was strong, and when I stood in shallow faith.  What a gracious and awesome God I serve, that He would treat me like a daughter!  I thank God that He would not withhold from me that which “for the moment…seems painful rather than pleasant, but later…yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11). Continue reading

A Purpose For Suffering

When I was off work this summer, experiencing a lot of pain with my fibromyalgia, I was working on an article entitled “Purposes In Suffering.”  Purpose number seven was “that we may primarily seek Christ as our refuge above anything or anyone else.” 

That we may primarily seek Christ as our refuge above anything or anyone else.

Journal Entry:  “There are days when trials weigh so heavily on my soul, and make me feel like I have been assaulted in every part.  When these times come the natural and fleshly response is to sit down in your pain and to pity yourself so much that you feel like you would rather die than endure the day.  Sometimes, in my flesh, I become angry with my circumstances and have such pent up anxiety that I feel the only way I can get rid of it is to rant about how unfair it is, and to kick or hit whatever object is nearby.  I have had other times where I am filled with what seems to be a debilitating sorrow, where I am simply too sad to do anything other than sit on the couch and stare blankly at the wall.   This is NOT how Christ Jesus desires me to respond, but these are in fact sinful responses, which break open the gates of Hell for Satan to come when I am at my lowest only to discourage me further.  He will then come and tell me that I am a failure and that I should punish myself for having acted like such a fool (instead of fleeing to the cross where Christ freely took my punishment).  He will further drive me into self pity and self hatred and take me on such a wicked tumble downhill that if I do not recognize it I will wind up in a state of panic.  Is this God’s purpose for suffering?  NO! Continue reading

In The Midst Of Trials

 
I think I wrote this poem around the same time last year, when I was going through very difficult times.  I thought I’d post it as I haven’t had time to work on anything new lately.  I hope that it may encourage someone who is in the midst of trials to perservere in their faith, and to remember that God has a good purpose for all that comes our way.
Where does my contentment lie?
In what do I most gather peace?
In need of nothing, satisfied
From endless craving to find release.

Continue reading