Everybody has them from time to time.
But why do some sink beneath the raging waves but others experience joy?
To be honest when I was a new Christian I was taught once you become a believer you don’t experience trials anymore. That’s a stronghold of the mind (pattern of thinking) that needs to be shattered. It’s a lie we believe.
“When you face stormy seas I will be there with you with endurance and calm; when you will not be engulfed in raging rivers.
If it seems like you’re walking through fire with flames licking at your limbs, keep going; you won’t be burned,” (Isaiah 43:2 VOICE Translation).
Did you notice God didn’t say “if”. . . He said, “When you face stormy seas. Everyone will face stormy seas at one time or another. But it’s possible to walk through the storm knowing He’s right there with us and we will not be completely covered by the raging rivers when they come.
Many times right in the middle of calamity, when it looks like a disaster, we hear His voice saying, “Be not afraid.” His presence is all that we need even in the deepest floods of tribulation.
Early in my Christian life, the Book of James didn’t make sense to me. “My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy.” I mean really James. . . you can’t possibly mean this. You don’t know what I’m going through.
Years have gone by since walking through the depression, major liver surgery, and breast cancer – and I’ve found James was right.
Conversational Prayer has a place in your trials.
Before 1990 I couldn’t see nor understand how to meet trials with joy. I met people who thrived in their trials. But I wasn’t one of them. Reading chapter one of James just made me angry.
But 1990 was a turning point in my life. During a four week stay in the hospital one night, while I sat on my bed my heavenly Father spoke to me. His voice wasn’t audible but these spontaneous words went through my mind.
“You’re my daughter that will never change. I’ll never leave you or forsake you.”
The surprising thing was I was more than 1,000 miles away from home. He KNEW where to find me. He KNEW where I was. His words comforted me like a fluffy down comforter. I felt warm, enfolded and safe in His affectionate presence.
Another thing happened that night, my perspective changed. The anger lifted. I hadn’t changed my thinking because my attention span was non-existent because of my illness.
Even so, my life took a turn for the better. It was life-changing because my perspective changed how I looked at trials.
Conversational Prayer is about having a two-way conversation
God and you talk back and forth. It’s like any other conversation you have with a close friend. You speak and they listen, then they speak and you listen.
On a side note. I highly recommend Whispers of my Abba, by David Takle. You will learn how to listen to the Spirit of God and develop a conversational prayer life that will change forever your relationship to God and your approach to the Christian life.
In his book, David Takle summarizes and clarifies much of the best on the subject of Conversational Prayer.
Sean P has this to say about Whispers of my abba, “Because Christianity is referred to as a “Relationship” and not a “Religion”, I struggled to understand how to have this relationship when it seemed so “one-sided”. I was always doing the talking through Prayer.”
Now back to 1990. Prior to my four-week stay in the hospital, my life was like a hamster running on its hamster wheel. Busy, busy, busy. No let up and so much to do. I was driven.
Was it because my life came to a screeching halt that now I had time to listen to my heavenly Father’s voice? I think so. I had almost totally forgotten Him. I had pushed my heavenly Father to the sidelines of my life but He was waiting for the right time to speak to me.
Jesus was no stranger to trials either. In the Garden of Gethsemane waiting for His betrayer in the dark shadows of the cross, He’s in conversation to His heavenly Father.
“He walked a short distance away, and being overcome with grief, he threw himself face down on the ground. He prayed that if it were possible, he would not have to experience this hour of suffering.
He prayed, “Abba, my Father, all things are possible for you. Please—don’t allow me to drink this cup of suffering! Yet what I want is not important, for I only desire to fulfill your plan for me.”
It’s a good idea to speak to your heavenly Father too when you walk through trials. Asking for wisdom is the natural thing to do. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
This verse is in the context of trials and tribulation. I don’t know about you but walking through trials can be confusing. What better person to go to than your heavenly Father who will give you wisdom generously.
Before finally ending up in the hospital I frantically tried everything humanly possible to get better. I never thought of crying out to Abba, my Father for wisdom.
Nothing helped, until. . .
By this time I didn’t know what I needed. But what I needed most was hearing my Abba, Father say, “You’re my daughter and always will be.” My healing didn’t come overnight but what a journey. Conversational Prayer is a dialogue between two persons who love each other.
Hearing “You’re my daughter and always will be” went straight to my heart. What daughter doesn’t want to hear those words from her father. Here I was hearing these words from my heavenly Father.
Even though I still had a long road to recovery, my inner being came to complete peace and rest. The peace and rest flooded my soul in a deep and profound way.
I tell people it’s one thing to hear about Conversational Prayer but experiencing God speaking to you directly is transformational. It’s the most life-giving thing you will ever experience.
You never believe again that God stopped speaking once the Scriptures were completed. Your perspective has changed. That’s why James could say.”
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance.
And let endurance have it’s perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
I gained wisdom that dark lonely night in the hospital, spiritual wisdom that is. Spiritual wisdom is smarter than human wisdom. I thought I needed one thing but God knew I needed to hear His voice and sense His presence.
Like me are you able to go back on a storm of life and see how God brought you through? I’ve learned not to deny what I see around me, but know He will open my eyes to a new and fresh perspective when I ask for wisdom.
Thank Him for bringing you through past trials, and for holding you through current suffering. Cry out to Him, to help you see the light in a trial that has seemed so far just darkness.