How to Steward Your Trial with Grace

November 9, 2011 by Paul Chappell

Have you ever thought of your trial as a stewardship from God? It is. And when stewarded properly, God will use your trial to give you some of His greatest gifts.

God has given us an incredible, amazing resource with which to steward our trials. It’s called grace.

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

If we will receive the grace which God offers during difficult seasons, we can steward our trials in a way that results in unimaginable blessings.

So how do we steward our trial with the grace of God?

1. Trust God’s ways.

Faith trusts God, even when it can’t trace Him. Anyone can trust when we see how circumstances are working together for good. But when we can’t see, when it looks as if nothing good could come of our circumstances, this is when true faith is developed.

James 1:3–4 reminds us, “the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

Faith, patience, and contentment all work together in our lives to help us steward our trials for God’s glory, trusting that He will work them for our good as well. Author Jeremiah Burroughs wrote, “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”

This kind of contented faith honors God and is the first step in stewarding trials for His glory.

2. Seek God’s wisdom.

Even when we are trusting God’s ways in a trial, sometimes we struggle to understand our surroundings and make wise decisions. Conflicting advice and confusing information cause us to feel overwhelmed and frustrated.

God has the perfect resource for such times, and in James 1:5, He instructs us to ask Him for it: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

To steward our trials for God, we must seek His wisdom.

God’s wisdom is available through prayer (James 1:5), through diligently reading and studying His Word (Proverbs 2:2–6), and through wise counsel (Proverbs 1:5). When you are in a time of trial and don’t know which way to turn, earnestly seek God’s wisdom. He will give it to you!

3. Rest in God’s love.

Are you a “fix it” person? I am. In fact, I think we all are to some extent. We want to make God’s ways work—now. We want to seek His wisdom and get answers—immediately.

But there comes a point when we must simply rest in His love. Even without answers. Even without direction. We trust God, not only because it is right, but because He loves us. When we come to this realization, we can rest; we can trust that He will make all things work together for good in the best possible timing (Romans 8:28).

There are many questions that will never be answered this side of Heaven. There are many circumstances we won’t understand until we see our Saviour face to face. Until then, we must settle in our hearts that God is a good God and that He loves us. And we must choose to rest in that love.

Romans 5:3–5 encourages us to remember that each trial allowed into our lives has the potential of increasing our hope in God’s love, if we will trust Him through it. “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

In time, we will see that our trials were the greatest gifts God ever gave us, and we’ll be thankful that we stewarded them with God’s amazing grace.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.—Romans 8:18


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