Not long ago I had a conversation with a friend who is walking through a really dark trial. As she began to share with me some of the emotions and struggles that accompanied her very difficult circumstances, I experienced a connection with her. The circumstances of her trial were similar to something I experienced in the past and the emotions she described felt very familiar.
While the circumstances of our trials weren’t identical, I was able to share with her a Biblical truth that had been a lifeline to me in my experience. Her countenance changed as she claimed that truth and the new perspective it gave!
I can’t describe how it felt to be able to sympathize, connect, encourage and pray for my friend on a level that wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t experienced my trial.
This is how God turns trials into blessings.
When we walk through dark times, we have a choice. We can wallow in pity and bitterness or we can hope in God’s faithfulness. Trials often feel like they can only yield negative things. God’s grace allows them to yield sweet moments like the one I just described – but only if we have hearts that are humble and surrendered to His will.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
-2 Corinthians 1:3-7
That’s not the only way God makes trials into blessings, but it’s one that I’ve experienced first hand. God doesn’t waste our suffering! It might not happen today, tomorrow or this year. God’s promises are not bound by the passing of time. Claim the promises of 2 Corinthians (above) and ask God to make your trial a blessing.
It doesn’t void the past. Those trials still happened, and the memories might still be painful. But in the sweetness of God’s grace, He allows us to share in the comfort we give to others!