56: Your Trial is Not Strange


What You'll Discover in this Episode:

Trials, difficulties and Impossibilities are not arbitrary and point-less from the Lord's view. They will produce desired spiritual results if we respond appropriately. What are the benefits of trials in the Christian's life?

The Benefits of  Trials

1 Peter 1:6-7 speaks of godly suffering and indicates some of the spiritual benefits that can result:

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Although we have great cause for rejoicing in the Christian life, we can also face considerable grief as a consequence of the assorted trials that come our way. Yet, such grief is certainly worth the discomfort, because of the spiritual dividends that it may produce.  Through the challenging situations of life, our faith can be demonstrated as genuine.  When difficulties arise, they provide an opportunity to trust in the Lord. 

Observers can see that our claim to faith in God is real, not merely religious words. We prove authenticity. We also are thereby given a chance to see the reality of our own dependency upon the Lord. 

Additionally, our faith is refined unto greater purity and reality. In 1 Peter, God likens faith unto gold, which goes through a refining process.  Gold ore is intensely heated, so that the worthless dross might be separated from that which is precious.  Similarly, God takes us through circumstantial fires, that true faith in Him might be separated from dependence upon ourselves or others. Ultimately, all of this process climaxes at the return of the Lord Jesus, when He gets all of the honor and glory for what He did in each situation, as we trusted in Him.

Make your comment below and tell me a brief story about how this truth applies to you life. I look forward to reading your testimony!

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  • Josh says:

    Trials aren’t fun to deal with and they can slow our processes and plans. They can keep us from moving forward in our dreams and desires that God has placed on our hearts. They can block us from seeing the potential for our future. But we know there’s no spiritual growth without trials. Every mature believer has at one time or another dealt with trials in their lives. As Christians, it’s important to not let our trials to tear us away from our faith. These are the moments where we need faith even more. The key to help overcome our trials, with God’s help, is by replacing our fear with God’s truth and love. The trials we face in life are followed by anxiety, fear, worry, anger, stress, and every other negative emotion. This can keep us from dealing with our trials correctly. We must replace these negative emotions with Gods words. We can focus and realign our thinking through prayer, studying, memorizing and meditation. Understanding God’s truth and love will help us remove the destructive thoughts we have.
    No matter how big our problem may feel, or how impossible it may seem, we must always remember and know that nothing is too difficult for God to handle – Jeremiah 32:27. When faced with a trial, we must not focus on how big the problem seems, but instead, focus on how great God’s power is. He is unstoppable against anything we will ever face! Knowing this helps us to shift our perspective and gain the confidence needed to handle anything with Gods help.
    We must recognize that God uses trials for His purposes and our best. Trials not only remind us of our weakness in and of ourselves, but they also are a reminder that God is in control. The Lord is never caught off guard by our problems or situations. He uniquely prepares and chooses us for the journey of dealing with our trials. In the process of working through and around them, we grow up in the faith and our testimony encourages others to press forward in the Lord. No matter what problem is in our way, God is with us through each step.

    Hebrews 12:1, Isaiah 12:2, II Corinthians 10:4-6, Romans 8:28/Genesis50:20.

    • harry e innerst says:

      Right on Josh. Running this race we are like finely tuned race cars. We tend to want to run full throttle all the time. God knows when to slow us down so that we don’t crash or over heat and blow up. God’s timing is always best.

    • Stacy Wiggins says:

      Josh, Your post reminds me of the old saying, “trials will either make you bitter, or better”. We have to seize the opportunity to see trials as a work of something that God wants to do in our lives. Everything that comes across our path is always for our good and His glory. It’s up to us as to whether or not we allow the Lord to do His work in us.

    • Kim McCarrick says:

      So true. This reminds me of a poster of a poem my sister had on her wall. It was about our walk with God and it ended with, “It’s not always easy, but it is always good and it is always right.” God doesn’t promise that life will be easy nor that He will erase any difficult situation, but He does promise to carry us through and deliver us and ultimately overcome.

      • Josh says:

        “some of the hardest things in life are usually the most worth it.” Gods promises to us are so vast that there is not one area of our lives he has not covered and given us His hope for.

    • Hannah Somerville says:

      Amen josh great comment!

      “ The key to help overcome our trials, with God’s help, is by replacing our fear with God’s truth and love.”

      Yes! Faith, His word and remembering the character of God = victory! But more importantly it brings glory to Him!

      Also agree with: “We must replace these negative emotions with Gods words. We can focus and realign our thinking through prayer, studying, memorizing and meditation. Understanding God’s truth and love will help us remove the destructive thoughts we have.”

      Yes, although I would emphasize not just emotions, but thoughts. As you did later. Incorrect thoughts can lead to negative emotion. We are to be renewing our minds and replacing “old man” thoughts!

      It is a great truth that we don’t have to hide anything or keep anything back because God is able and can do the impossible !

      I love the truth of God’s word as applied to struggles ( a word in season) the truth really set us free!! Praise God!

      • Josh says:

        Yes, precisely, your absolutely right. I’m very glad and thankful we see eye to eye on this and that you have the same absolute confidence in Him and His Word.

  • Autumn Duncan says:

    This season of all of us going through a trial on different levels during this COVID-19 period of time. I have realize how being in God’s word and focused on my classes at CCU has been such a blessing. My focus is not on the latest press conference, the stats, the drama but on what is important. This has been a blessing for me as I can share with others the comfort we can find in scripture and having a relationship with Jesus. It has been a wonderful opportunity with my daughter to spend more time with her in devotions and show her by example how we trust in the Lord during times where things are confusing. Although there are so many blessing in our family, I am heart broken for my friends who have lost their job and are struggling through this time. Thank you, Pastor Jeff, for sharing this encouraging message and verses. I look forward to using this as a resource to share with others.

    • harry e innerst says:

      There are so many stories that I am hearing like yours. We have just been distracted by so much frivolous stuff. I once read an entry in Johnathan Edward’s diary. He said, ” I have been particularly enjoying God today.” Maybe now is an easier time to experience that.

    • Tom Zimbelman says:

      That is awesome! Yes, stay away from as many press conferences as you can and keep digging deep into the Word and prayer. What peace that brings.

    • Stacy Wiggins says:

      I agree with you Autumn in being heartbroken for so many that have lost jobs and are struggling during this time. I have also loved having the resources from this podcast over the last 8 weeks to share with others. We are so blessed to be a part of CCU! And more importantly, we are so blessed to have the hope of Jesus to share with others.

    • Britttany Whitaker says:

      Thank you for sharing Autumn, and I totally agree! Though I too am one that has lost my job due to this pandemic, this has been such a sweet time of being in the Word. I am also very grateful that of all times, now is when I am back in school. This class has been very timely as the Lord has been speaking directly to my heart. He is so sweet and timely. I am very grateful to have Him and know Him.

  • harry e innerst says:

    I totally agree Pastor Jeff. Every trail I have ever been through seemed strange in the beginning. It was afterward, looking back that I could see more clearly what God was doing. When I was in the midst of it, I felt as if I was the only one and nobody ever suffered what I am suffering. It later becomes obvious that many have gone through the same things and will continue to in the future. God was equipping me to be able to help others as they experience their trials. Solomon said that there is nothing new under the sun. He also said,” And I set my heart to seek and search out wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this is a burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised”. (Ecc. 1: 33) Some things that happen to us do not make seance on the surface, but God calls us to see His wisdom in the trial. It is a hard task. But like all exercise, there is profit.
    Sometimes when I hear people say that we as a country have never experienced any thing like this horrible pandemic, I want to say, “give me a break”. I lived through the Vietnam War and the race riots of the sixties. My parents lived through two world wars and a flu pandemic that killed a hundred million people. Their great grandparents lived through a civil war that took six hundred and fifty thousand lives. Go back another three generations and they lived in the Hundred Years War in Europe. This is part of living in a sin cursed world. God has everything in control. He occasionally brings these things about to remind man that he doesn’t live for ever, and he is not in control of his own mortality. He is calling us to turn away from all of the cheap thrill entertainment that occupies our time, and to turn to Him, our creator and redeemer. I am getting reports from all over about the great number of people being reached by our live stream services. The Gospel is going out over the internet as never before. Thank you Lord for this trail.

    • James L Padilla says:

      Thank you Harry…that was an encouraging post. I think you are right in the idea that God “occasionally brings these things about to remind man that he doesn’t live for ever, and he is not in control of his own mortality. He is calling us to turn away from all of the cheap thrill entertainment that occupies our time, and to turn to Him, our creator and redeemer.” I’m sure that there are many who are rethinking their commitments to God and even making first time commitments. What an opportunity we have to be a voice of light and truth in the midst of this darkness…”Thank you Lord [indeed] for this trial.”

    • Tom Zimbelman says:


      You bring up a very good point about the cheap thrill entertainment that our society is consumed with, and maybe even built upon. Entertainment is a huge distraction and occupies so much of our time. It’s something I’m concerned about with my kids, their dependence upon it. It’s a long seemingly never ending battle. That may be just one of the many issues in our current times that God is dealing with. Thank you for your post.

    • Kim McCarrick says:

      It’s so funny how insular our thinking can be when we are the midst of a trial. It’s so true that we think we are the only one suffering the way we are, yet you hit it right on in your reflection here. God has everything under control. I constantly need to be reminded of that, wether its because of the things happening in the world at large or just things happening in my personal little world, God’s got it.

  • James L Padilla says:

    Thank you Pastor Jeff, for taking to time to pray for each of us… very much appreciated. Yes…”consider it not strange. . . “. How often in our struggle, in our trial, and in our time of testing that we do find it strange, meaningless and even somewhat overwhelming. Many times in my trial have I taken my eyes off of Jesus and on to the situation. In fact, this has happened time and time again. A very forthright and biblical reminder here that “God wants to do a life changing work” in each of our lives. That’s the type of Father that He is. Always moving and working behind the scenes to mold us and shape us into the son and/or daughter that He would have us to be. I once heard someone say, (maybe Neil T. Anderson). “God totally loves us the way that we are, but He totally loves us too much to let us stay that way.” Hence the fiery trials. It is true, as disciples of Jesus Christ we should not consider it a strange, meaningless and/or overwhelming thing. On the contrary, we should be expecting, embracing, and eagerly awaiting the each trial. We really should “count it all joy,” for this is God working in us to transform our character. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 4:13).

    • Ritter Savino says:

      Jim, I heard that saying before and I love it “God totally loves us the way that we are, but He totally loves us too much to let us stay that way.” I love this, and this is how God changes us and sanctifies us and want to make us more and more like Jesus. He is always working behind the scenes, even if we don’t see it, He is. God loves us so much so He won’t stop shaping us and making us more like His Son. As believers we are not to consider it strange but normal, and welcome the changes that the Lord is doing through it with our lives. If I get my eyes off of Jesus and on the situation, I get reminded of Peter when He saw Jesus walking on water and he went out to walk, but then he took his eyes from Jesus and fear came over him and he started to go down. Peter was focusing on Jesus first, but then he stops. No matter the circumstance, our focus needs to be in Jesus who is our Lord and our Savior.

  • Tom Zimbelman says:

    It strikes me as amazing how Paul the apostle was able to not only handle grief and trials, but also rejoice in them. His concern was definitely with the spread of the gospel- not his personal safety. The book of Philippians (1:12-18) testified to this. Same with 1 Peter (1:6, 7), as Pastor Jeff mentioned.

    Like Jeff, I don’t like trials. They hurt. But they also build. I guess you can say they hurt the bad things in us (flesh), and they build the good in us (dependence on His Spirit).

    Right now we’re in a pretty big trial with this pandemic. There are a lot of questions as to how long this will last. Yesterday, I was counseling a friend of mine who’s coming face-to-face with some marital issues as he is at home far more often than before. He’s also out of a job. He’s questioning God.
    Today I spoke with a politician and asked about the many “other” life-threatening health conditions (cancer, heart disease, depression, etc,) that are being ignored, canceled or delayed. Grief abounds.
    I personally have to deal with turning from my own tendency towards anxiety (worry about ramifications on my kids, my job, ministry, nation, and also the persistent media mischaracterizations, etc).

    All this said, this podcast I believe nails it: We will never “win” when battling the world in our strength and “ingenuity,” as Jeff said. But, Jesus walks with us in our trials and we need to get all of our hope, strength, joy, sustenance and peace from Him. Allow God to do His work. In fact, seeking Him for His sake – not for the blessings – is what He is training us to do. He IS our peace. He is the answer. This is the reminder I need daily.

    “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
    ‭‭(John‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭KJV)

    • Anne Marie Maguire says:

      Thanks Tom for your comment and I loved the reminder that Jesus gives in John 16: 33 that you mentioned.That Jesus gives us a powerful peace in him, in the midst of tribulation that we face in this world. I am so happy to have Christ in my life.
      My husband works in a mental hospital and there are days when I am completely alone. But I just feel the presence of the saviour in my home.

  • Stacy Wiggins says:

    I received a prayer request this week about a missionary that is leading an underground Bible school and is being harassed by the local police. Her prayer is that they are able to finish their study which is five more weeks, for protection, and for wisdom in responding to the police. Wow! Trials like this help me keep the right perspective and attitude when going through things. Often, the things that we deem as major trials are really just inconveniences that mess with our routine and comfort in life. And then there are those major trials that are real and bring us to our knees. Keeping the principles outlined in 1 Peter 4:12-16 in mind, helps us get through those trials. Our faith is made stronger. Our faith is proved genuine. Our faith is refined. We can rejoice in a trial because of the value that comes from it – we come out stronger. And we can trust that the Lord is with us and fighting for us. Psalm 18:39 says, “You have armed me with strength for the battle”. I recently heard this statement, “The Christian is the only soldier in the world who is the strongest when he is the weakest”.

    • Autumn Duncan says:

      Hi Stacy. Thank you or sharing about the prayer request from the missionary. I will join you in praying for them. After a trial, it is wonderful to see how much our faith has grown and the closeness we feel to the Lord. Thank you for sharing your quote at the end of your post. That is so true and a great perspective!!!

    • Sherra Krabbenhoft says:

      This is such an important perspective Stacy. My trials always seem the biggest when I am looking at myself, but when I instead look out to the world around me and up to see what God is doing, my burdens are always lighter.

  • Johan Alarcon says:

    A lot of people are thinking of this corona virus as unprecedented and strange, because it is out of the norm. Everything that is happening is a test and we need to be careful on how we respond. I like the statement that the pastor stated, “We should rejoice in the midst of the trial even in the grief and the hurt and the consequence because of the value it produces spiritually, and it is worth the discomfort”. I too, when through a lot of trials in my life and also came out as Gold. I see how Gold is refined they have to go through the fire going into a refining process and removing all of its impurity’s. I can see in my life that if it had not been all of the trials that I have been through in my life, I don’t know if I would know as much as I do today. Count it all joy, when the trials come, the scripture in the book of James says, so it is Very clear by saying to us that trials will come, and I do my best to expect the trials coming because when they do come, they won’t hit me as hard if I did expect them coming. We need to trust in the process and so we can be found complete, and I know for a fact that there is so much more circumcision in my heart that has to happen in order for me to be fully complete.

    • Autumn Duncan says:

      Hi Johan. I agree with you about hoe the Lord uses our trials as a refining process and removing the impurities. I was fortunate to learn when I was going through a difficult trial eleven years ago. It changed my focus and allowed me to seek the Lord with a different heart. I am right there with you about there will more trials ahead for us…it’ll be worth it when we are in the arms of Jesus!

    • Britttany Whitaker says:

      Thank you for sharing this. I can definitely relate with you. Though the trials are tough, I am grateful the fruit they produce in my heart. I am grateful that the Lord values me enough to take me through the trials to refine and shape me into the woman He created me to be. I am eager to be complete in Him. It is also humbling to be reminded that there is much more refining to be done in our hearts.

    • Ritter Savino says:

      Johan, God is so gracious to us because He let us know that trials will come our way. He doesn’t want us to be surprise about them. He didn’t have to let us know, but yet He did. God is a good Father to His children. It is so true that if we expect trials, because they will come as the scriptures says, we will be prepared and not surprised. Trusting in God in the middle of them, will help us to be joyful and to know that it is not a permanent thing, but just for a season. I agreed with you when you said that if it wasn’t for our trials, we would not know all that we know today. It has been so helpful to know this and to have been through all these experiences. We are strong because of it and only God gets the glory.

    • James L Padilla says:

      Yes Johan…not only true, but comforting. Trials will come, but praise God because He is the “Author and the Finisher of our faith.” In the midst of, before and after the trial we can turn and keep our eyes upon Jesus… because He is the Wonderful Counselor and He always councils toward discipleship.
      Every trial, every setback, every victory, and every day is a learning experience. We learn to surrender, we learn to trust, and we learn to lean on Jesus… every step of the way. The enemy of our souls is continually trying to trip us up, “prowling around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” Praise be to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has already won every victory for us. In Him we have the victory… victory over the past, victory over the present, and victory over the future….:) 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Britttany Whitaker says:

    I appreciate the mention of 1 Peter 1:6-8 “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love” This was a memory verse for my last missions boot camp that I attended. This is a reminder that all of our trials are for a reason and God will bring it to completion. He care for us enough to not only provide for us but also to develop and strengthen our character in Him.

    Your comment about the fact that after we have endured trials, we get to look back at how clinging to the Lord produced much fruit. We also get to rejoice in how strong He’s made our faith through that trial. It feels so awful to respond to a trial or test in the flesh. When we cling to the Lord instead, looking back, we are encouraged by the fact that we didn’t rely on our flesh but on His strength, and He gave us the endurance to persevere.

    I also loved your quote “He takes us through fires so that our faith is separated from our flesh”. This is definitely a great reminder and encouragement. I am grateful that He takes the time to refine and purge us to make us more like Him.

    There are many different trials that we will face and we are never to be surprised by them. Trials produce steadfast Christ like endurance in my character. I am encouraged by this. Many times when we are in the midst of trials we see no end to it. I am encouraged that trials always have a purpose and we always have the Lord with us in and through them, delivering us to endure through to the end.

    • Josiah Arceo says:

      What an excellent comment! I love what you said that the biblical outcomes of trials produce greater character in Him. Your comment reminds me of what James says in James 1:2-3, which says, “Brethren, count it all joy when you enter into various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete lacking nothing.”

      The Word of God claims that trials aren’t pointless and are in fact God’s graciousness as you have pointed out! Thank you for making your comment. It has encouraged me personally. Sometimes when I have to face my trials. My selfishness comes out and wants to take control. Thankfully, trials cause us to abide in the Lord, thus allowing to bear fruit!

  • Ritter Savino says:

    Thank you again Pastor Jeff for the podcast today. My bad experiences and also good ones have been tremendously helpful for my Christian life. I have used them to remind myself that God has been with me through all. 1 Peter 1:6-7 – “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,”
    I have learned as a Christian that the Lord is using everything in our lives for His glory including the struggles and trials that we face daily. God has shown Himself faithful my whole life, and I’m not going to start doubting Him now; there is no way. God is real, and He is loving, and He has a plan for our lives. Whatever it takes for Him to bring us to the place that He prepared for us to be, so be it. God’s results are the best results, and even thought trials don’t feel good while we are going through them, I’m grateful for them because it keeps me dependent on Him, and also because it helps me to grow to be godly. Whenever a trial comes my way, I asked: God what is it that You want me to see, or to change? I absolutely believe that the suffering is for our benefits. We should be asking what it is that God is doing with our character and what it is that He wants us to see in ourselves so that we can make the needed changes. I want to continue to bring praise, honor, and glory to God, so I pray that I will continue to be aware of God’s goodness in the middle of trials and difficulties. Like you said Pastor Jeff, trials bring spiritual value and our faith is demonstrated as real genuine faith, because of our dependency in God. We are to count it all joy because of what it does in our Christian life and because we can use it to help others.

    • Sherra Krabbenhoft says:

      I agree. One thing that I have noticed as I have grown in my walk is that I am quicker to recognize in the midst of trials that God is up to something. It is always much easier to look back at the rough patches and to see the fruit, but it has been so freeing to be able to do that during the trial as well.

    • Anne Marie Maguire says:

      Thanks Ritter for your comment especially when you said “the Lord is using everything in our lives for His glory including the struggles and trials that we face daily. God has shown Himself faithful.”
      I believe the same and I know that God is 100 percent dependable and trustworthy even in my suffering and that pain is as C.S Lewis said:

      “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain.

      I thank God for the megaphone of pain because I was so selfish before pain came into my world. Now because of pain we want to care for others.

    • Hannah Somerville says:

      Thank you for sharing Ritter! Great wording !

      I like when you said:

      “I have learned as a Christian that the Lord is using everything in our lives for His glory including the struggles and trials that we face daily.”

      Yes! He is so involved and intentional, he wastes nothing ! We are refined as fire refines gold !

      Great testimony that he has been with you, sustained you and helped you your whole life. I think of the verse “I was young and now I am old and have yet to see the righteous forsaken.” Psalm 37:25

    • James L Padilla says:

      Hi Ritter…wow…such great positive statements of faith… “I have learned as a Christian that the Lord is using everything in our lives for His glory”… “God is real, and He is loving, and He has a plan for our lives.” … “God’s results are the best results,” … “I want to continue to bring praise, honor, and glory to God,: … Thank you for sharing all that, I appreciate your outlook and your so obvious expressed faith. God is the center here, the all in all, as He should be in each of our hearts and minds. That is His rightful place, He has earned it, “we have been bought at a price.” Life gets tough sometimes, but God is always good. Thanks again.

  • Sherra Krabbenhoft says:

    This is such a timely message. So many people are struggling right now, feeling that the trials of the world are to be blamed on people, they are seething with anger at the “other side” rather than looking to what God is doing.1 Peter 4:12 – We aren’t to consider this trial to be strange, trials are common to man. The restrictions we are all living with may seem pointless from our perspective, but we need to be looking for God’s point in allowing this. When we go through trials God’s way, our faith is refined. What a great reminder that by seeking to lessen the effect of the trial we are not helping, instead we are distracting from what God may be up to.

    • Josiah Arceo says:

      Wow Sherra that’s huge! Your statement has reminded me of what James said in James 5:11 which says, “Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” Though Job himself along with his friends tried to guess what evil Job may have done that he received what seemed to be such harsh judgment,the truth of the matter is that the Lord had a purpose in all of it!

  • Hannah somerville says:

    Great Podcast! It was necessary for me to remember the instruction given in 1 Peter 4: “My brethren do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial.”

    I am glad for the specific example that Jeff mentions, of the common statement made when people are going through a difficult circumstance. It is said about trials “this is pointless.”

    Yet, according to God’s thinking – “This trial is not pointless.”

    We can ask in the midst, “What is God wanting to do from this?— What can He get from it?” — we are not to think it strange!

    Trials are not unexpected. Many testings make our faith stronger and provide us a better view of him. Trails can bring blessing.

    As Biblical counselors we can see it is about:
    ” Making much of God, not making much of our problems.”

    • alejandro anchondo says:

      It is so important to think of our trials as having a purpose. Such a simple perspective change can bring so much fruit in our lives unto the Lord. When we change our mindset (renew our mind) we will have a better chance of participating in God’s plan instead of fussing like Jonah chapter 4 or Paul kicking against the goads.

  • Kim McCarrick says:

    Feel like there is no way out? Though it seems like these times are strange, the Bible tells us that there is nothing new, but encourages that God will bring us through. How do we respond differently to the goings on and the restrictions we face today? Rejoice. This was good to hear and be reminded about this concept. It is definitely not a natural thing to rejoice, but we are called to, and if we do, we will see God work in us and through us.

    We shouldn’t be surprised by trials, but trust that God is able to produce godliness in us through them. It was a good reflection to compare the trials as circumcising of our flesh. God uses trials and struggles to refine us and make us more like Him. I don’t like the process, but I do like that God cares enough to refine us.

    • alejandro anchondo says:

      You are right when you say, “it is definitely not a natural thing to rejoice” in trials. If anything, we do the exact opposite. We pout and fuss like children who didn’t get their way. But, the Lord desires to use these trials to mature us, develop us, and glorify Himself. Those are things to rejoice over. Our hearts should be to rejoice over the learning, instead of the homework and tests if we take schoolwork as an analogy. Or, we should rejoice over the championship won and fun had and not the hard work of exercising and practices if we take team sports as the analogy.

  • Anne Marie Maguire says:

    Thanks Jeff for that powerful message of encouragement and equipping.

    On the topic of suffering and the benefits: I was able to encourage a person yesterday by praying for them.

    But I had a deep understanding, empathy for their situation because as a child I had faced a similar trial. But I was thanking God for that life experience I had, although it was awful, but I could remember the feelings and emotions I faced at the time as a child and now I could help someone in similar circumstances.
    After praying I was just overwhelmed with joy that all that happened in my past was training me up for today!

    So the trials we face today, do have a purpose that equip us for future ministry.

    Also I believe and have seen that God gives us a supernatural patience for those impossible people. I had another chat with someone like that yesterday. Again afterwards was rejoicing that past trials had enabled me to be a patient, listening ear.

    We can rely on God for the fruit of the Spirit when we come to the end of ourselves (I am at the end of myself at the moment) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23.

  • alejandro anchondo says:

    I’m glad Jeff brought up the fact that we can have multiple trials at once. It isn’t so linear as we first expect as young believers. But, in each trail there is a chance to grow our faith, learn patience, etc. When we have multiple trials going on there will always be a desire to escape from one, maybe even with the mind to focus on another. But, this will only lead to greater issues in the trial being ignored. There is a purpose in all the trials and even there timing. The overwhelming nature of a trial should put us seeking the Almighty God to answer, rescue, lead, sustain, and perform.
    In Hebrews 1 the Lord Jesus is described as being heir of all things, creator of all things, and sustaining of all things. My faith ought to be in a Lord who sustains me through multiple trials at once, to create in me greater faith and patience, and who deserves the praise for it all.

  • Josiah Arceo says:

    1 Peter 4:12

    Trials are what circumcise the flesh

    philosophical psychology:
    Detour around the cross –

    This was a much needed

    • Josiah Arceo says:

      Haha I apologize! I did not mean to turn in the above comment. I was taking notes on the podcast and was not thinking and prematurely sent it. The content below is what my comment is for this week’s podcast:

      This was a much needed podcast for me this week. Last week I wrote about how I at times am greatly burdened by temptation and depression. My trying times are not as severe as others may be, but they are sometimes very difficult to handle. I needed to hear this this week because sometimes I wonder why in the world I have to go through this. What stood out to me that Pastor Jeff mentioned was that “Trials are what circumcise the flesh.”

      I thank the Lord that He does indeed allow us to go through trials so that we can go through the process of sanctification the way that He does it.

  • Margaret Deherrera says:

    Thank you Pastor Jeff for another informative pod cost, these pod casts have really helped me a lot to get focused back on truth instead of my feelings and emotions. Through my trials instead of asking why like I usually have in the past I ask God what is it you want me to learn from this trial. It is so hard when you are going thru the trial to actually think and feel like God is with us and everything He does something good for His glory comes out of it. We have to learn to trust in the Spirit and not let our feelings and emotions lead us. In this season I am in as I do the homework, listen to the pod casts, I get redirected to truth and I know in my heart that everything I am going thru God is right there with me and every trial will definitely build trust, endurance and everything we go through may not feel good at the time but God in his faithfulness doesn’t allow us to through anything that he can not use to help us grow and trust in Him. Faith is only built by going through things that are meant to break us and realizing that God will always get us through and He will never leave us or forsake us.

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