How to Handle the Trials of Life

Text: Philippians 4:13

Everyone faces trouble in life. How can we handle the trials in life that we encounter? Paul had trouble in his life. He knew he could do all things – including handling the trials of life – through Christ (Philippians 4:13). We must handle the trials of life in the same way. To find out exactly how this is done, we can look to His word.

Prayer

  • Instead of being anxious, we should pray (Philippians 4:6-7) – always pray for God’s will to be done (Matthew 26:39); it will be done (1 John 5:14-15)
  • Must understand – praying will not necessarily mean that our circumstances will change
  • But we can obtain the “peace of God” – How? … by praying “with thanksgiving“; certain things we must remember

Providence

  • Many define providence in a way that is nothing more than mere speculation that borders on the miraculous – the simplest definition of providence is what God provides
  • What has God provided that can help us handle the trials of life? … evidence of His care in the created world (Psalm 8:3-4; Matthew 6:26,28-29,31-33); His word (includes His promises – next point); the church (Hebrews 3:13; 10:24-25)

Promises

  • God has promised us the hope of eternal life (1 John 2:25)
  • This hope is an “anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19) – no matter what happens in this life, we have something better awaiting us (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
  • So do not become distracted by the things of this life (Colossians 3:1-4)

Praise

  • It is not always easy to praise God in the midst of trials – but remember that God made it so that man will have good & bad days (Ecclesiastes 7:14)
  • Do not let temporary hardships cloud your perspective – God is worthy of praise (for His providence & promises)
  • Remember the example of Job (Job 1:20-22)

Patience

  • Patience is necessary to inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:12) – dealing with trials helps us to develop patience/endurance (James 1:2-4); makes us complete
  • Remember that every trial in life is only temporary (2 Corinthians 4:17)
  • Do not allow worry to choke out the word (Luke 8:14)

Perseverance

  • Patience & perseverance are related to one another; but they are different – patience is enduring what is bad around us; perseverance is continuing to do good despite the conditions around us
  • The one with the good heart bears fruit with perseverance (Luke 8:15)
  • If we seek eternal life, we must persevere in doing good (Romans 2:7; cf. Philippians 3:14)

Conclusion

  • When trials come (and they will), we must handle them properly – do not be distracted from what you ought to be focused on; do not turn away from God
  • Instead – pray to God & praise God; remember His providence & promises; display patience & perseverance
  • Life is not always easy, but we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13)

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