Sometimes when trials come my way, it would be my preference to go around them, rather than through them.

I read this quote in my study Bible the other morning: “The Bible points to the conclusion that instead of taking us out of adversity God is much more interested in taking us through it, using the adversity to effect something good in our lives.”

The truth is, it’s natural to want to go around a mountain, around a body of water, around an obstacle when we come to it. It seems like the easier route. But the Lord says:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. (Isaiah 43:2)

He says He’ll be with us as we walk through the trials that life brings our way. And over and over again (sorry, I know I use that phrase all the time) we see Him in Scripture, bringing His people through trials and adversity, not removing them from the situation.

Daniel makes it through the trial of being in the Lion’s den — and God is with him, stopping up the mouths of the lions. Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego go through the trial of being  thrown in the fiery furnace — and God is with them in the fire. Esther walks through the trial of being called to deliver her people from genocide — God is with her, guides her steps and gives her wisdom on what to do. The Israelites pass through the Red Sea, and the trials of their season in the desert — but God is with them, parting the waters, and showing up miraculously to provide food and water, and to lead His people.

I often want to go around the mountain that’s ahead of me, but James says:

My brethren count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (James 1: 2 – 3)

And Romans 5: 3-5 says:

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

The Sermon in a Nutshell: God’s promise is that He’ll be with us through the trials. So let’s learn to count it all joy, and embrace the gift of the trials we face. Hold on to the hope that God will bring you through. The results will be glorious!