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Trials and Tribulation

Updated on November 4, 2017
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Betty Frein is a Biblical Scholar who has been sharing her personal studies since 2007.

Finger Pointing

Finger Pointing
Finger Pointing | Source

The Accuser of the Brethren

Throughout the scriptures, everyone who walked with God faced very real trials and tribulations. The bible shows that Satan stands as the accuser.

Some examples of this:

And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Job 1:7-9

God allows us to be tested at times. Sometimes we are tested in the form of false accusations. Job is a prime example of this. God allowed Job to be tested, and Job's friends thought that he must have done something terrible to have gone through such difficult times. Although Job didn't fully understand the reasoning behind all of his suffering. He never turned away from God. Through all of it, Job held his hope and his faith in God.

Resistance:

The book of Zachariah contains a similar account of Satan standing as an accuser.

And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. Zechariah 3:1

Peter, who also faced trials for his faith said:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8

The Pharisees were constantly looking for ways to accuse Jesus.

  • And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. Luke 6:7
  • Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him. Luke 11:54
  • And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. Mark 3:2

Jesus knew that the Pharisees sought to not only accuse Him, but to entrap Him.

This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. John 8:6

The verse above is contained in a passage where the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery to Jesus. They didn't bring her to him for his advice. They brought her to Him to see if He would call for her to be stoned.

Jesus knew their intentions, and He knew that they were no more innocent than the woman. "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." So, instead of reacting in the manner they expected, He called them out:

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. John 8:7

The Pharisees were convicted in their hearts, and they all walked away until the only two left in that place were Jesus and the woman.

Jesus showed her mercy when He asked, "where are those accusers of yours?"

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. John 8:11

God is far more merciful than man, even in the midst of accusations, and even if the accusations are true.

King David understood God's mercy. David had taken a census when God had instructed him not to count the people of Israel.

God is just, and considering the legal systems of this world, when a person breaks the law, he or she faces consequences. Even with God there are consequences for our actions. In this case, Gad gave David options that he could chose from.

So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. 2 Samuel 24:13

David knew knew that God is far more merciful than man when he said, "let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great; and let me not fall into the hand of man." 2 Samuel 24:13

Defense
Defense | Source

Trials, Tribulations And Hope

Turning to God, and making a commitment to "take up our cross," and follow Jesus, does not make the trials that we face in life suddenly lesson. In fact, when we are striving to walk in faithfulness to the Lord, trials can, and sometimes do increase.

But we, as Christians have something that we did not have before we believed in Jesus. We have consolation because of the hope that reaches beyond whatever it is we face, and this hope sustains us.

From the moment every person on earth was born, there is one thing that is certain. Each and every living soul will face difficult times. Sometimes those difficulties can bring heartache beyond measure, and for those who are non-believers there is little in this world that offers any hope at all.

In Christ, there is a depth of compassion for those who are without faith that is realized when we have faced similar trials ourselves. Through the difficult times that we all face, we know that beyond this flesh, there is a hope that sustains us and even comforts us. Most of us have wondered on occasion, how anyone can go through this life without having the hope that we have in Christ. The kind of hope that picks us up when we're down and puts us back on our feet. The same hope that keeps us pressing on.

The Apostle Paul experienced great trials. He also knew the comfort available to us as we pray and seek the Lord in every matter.

God uses our trials to extend His love to those who are without Christ.

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Paul spoke about not only the insurmountable hope that we have in times of trouble and difficulties, but also how this same hope allows us to comfort others, whether they be believers or not. This is because the Love of God is shed abroad within our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us. God's love for us is greater than we can even imagine. His love is so great that it reaches beyond the hearts of those who abide in Christ, and extends from our hearts outward to a lost and dying world.

For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; 2 Corinthians 1:8-10

Many times trials come in the form of accusations. We've all heard stories of people, even today, who have been imprisoned for their faith in Jesus. Paul understood these types of trials and in one account, he and Silas had were both arrested, beaten and thrown in prison where they were put in chains. Rather than express fear, or anger, Paul and Silas did something that most of us would have difficulty doing in such a situation. As they sat in the dark prison, they began to worship God and they sang hymns.

Something amazing happened as they glorified God through their suffering. Not only did the chains fall off of their hands and feet, but the doors of the prison were opened.

The prison guard had fallen asleep and when he awoke to see the prison doors opened he was ready to take his own life. It was a very serious matter when a prison guard failed to stand guard, and he himself would likely have been put to death had the prisoners escaped.

The Apostle Paul stopped him from taking his own life when he called out saying: Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Acts 16:28

Paul and Silas could have left the prison, but rather they stayed. Perhaps Paul knew that by staying the guard and his family would be saved. Which is exactly what happened.

Peter also knew all about being falsely accused. He wrote:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8

Like Paul and Silas, Peter knew that part of being vigilant involved doing the everything with integrity.

Sometimes situations arise that might lead a person into doing things that the enemy will gladly use as an occasion to accuse. Since we already know that we will face trails, never give the enemy any added fuel. "Be sober, be vigilant..."

Make No Room For Accusers

Daniel also faced trails so serious that he was cast into a lions den.

There were accusers who worked out a plan in order to have Daniel put to death.

Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Daniel 6:3-5

Daniel did everything on the line. He didn't break the laws of Babylon, but he would not compromise his obedience to God by bowing down to the idol that King Darius had set up. I'm certain that when the Apostle Paul spoke about honoring our leaders, he had the same ideals as Daniel did. By respecting the rules in Babylon, those who accused him had to invent reasons to accuse him. However, Daniel wouldn't compromise his obedience to God, and neither should we.

Although Daniel was framed by these men, God was was with him through it all. Rather than stopping their wicked plot, God used Daniel's conviction as an occasion to testify of His sustaining power. He allowed Daniel to be set up, accused and cast into the lion's den. However, God kept Daniel from being attacked by the lion.

God's word tells us that He takes what was meant for evil, and makes it good. And the Example of Daniel in the lion's den is an excellent lesson in this very area. It also offers great encouragement and is an example of great faith with a continuous hope in God.

When King Darius found that Daniel was alive, and the lion had not touched him, he ordered that the accusers be cast into the den.

Then king Darius honored God and even made a decree in all the land.

Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. Daniel 6:25-26

Daniel's experience served as an example and revealed to king Darius that the power of God is greater than anything he could imagine. When Darius found Daniel alive and unharmed after being thrown into the lions den and spending a full night there, Darius made a decree and called for "every dominion of his kingdom to "tremble, and fear before the God of Daniel: for He is the living God, and steadfast for ever, and His kingdom that winch shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall be even unto the end."

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

God's grace sustained Paul through all of his trials. God is not a respecter of persons, and He is the same yesterday today and forever, so we should also remember that God's grace is sufficient for us, even in our weakness "strength is perfected." There truly is a great reason to glorify God in the trials we face of any kind.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Comments

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    • Annkf profile imageAUTHOR

      Betty A F 

      11 months ago from Florida

      Hi Kari, I hope you are having a wonderful weekend! Thank you for your encouraging comment. You're always so nice.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      11 months ago from Ohio

      You are correct, we all go through our trials and tribulations. I love the story of Paul and Silas, singing praises to the Lord in jail. You are also correct that Satan is always waiting to make us stumble. Great article! :)

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