My family, many friends, and I have faced tough times this year. Lately, I have been asking God the reason for these difficulties. In prayer, God spoke to me about the fruit and purpose of our trials. Believers and unbelievers face trials. The difference is that if you are a believer, your faith is anchored in God, our deliverer during these difficult times.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)
This verse speaks about two different types of trials. Some trials make us pass through waters, and others make us walk through fires. When trials by water test us, our problems might overwhelm us, but we do not experience permanent losses in these types of trials.
Trusting God in these trials is difficult because we never know how God will help us through them. We do not know if He will choose to pull us out of the water when the water gets up to our necks, will send a boat to get us when the water starts to rise, or will divide the waters for us to walk on dry land through it.
In my opinion, these trials test our faith in the promises of God. They come to show us if we genuinely believe that God is whom He says, He is. They show us if we trust God as our provider, healer, defender, protector, etc. These trials do not change us. They change the perception we have of God and ourselves.
When God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham already knew God as his provider. He knew that one way or another, he was coming down from that mountain with Isaac (Genesis 22:5). The one who needed to see God as his provider was Isaac. We do not see God testing Isaac's faith in God's provision in any other season of his life. This test revealed God to Isaac as his provider once and forever.
A person, who fails a trial by water by not trusting God, may have to repeat the same trial not as a chastisement from God but because the Holy Spirit is more interested in our maturity than in our comfort. Trust me, once you know that God is your provider, finances are no longer a source of fear for you.
Once you go through the other side of a trial by water, you will never have to relearn your lesson. Sadly, some people never learn to trust God in certain areas of their lives and get a distorted image of God in that area. Some may even believe God has favorites, is selfish, or does not answer every prayer.
If your faith is being tested, you, my friend, are going through some rivers. Remember that, in this trial by water, you are not alone. God is with you, and those rivers will not sweep you. Calm down, hold on to a Biblical promise that gives you faith in the area you are being tested, and wait for God to send a boat, dry up the ground, or help you walk on that water. I promise you He will.