During my long season as a “work-a-holic,” I faced multiple trials in my professional career as well as my personal life. Specifically, with my marriage. It’s not difficult to imagine the damage inflicted on a relationship when the number one priority is hyper-focused on work and career pursuits. Gratefully, I’ve learned how to turn trials into triumph.
When I look back on bad circumstances or trials, as I call them, I can see situations that were self-inflicted and others that were entirely out of my control or a combination of both. What I find fascinating is the way trials in life shape our future regardless of our role in the affliction. The future state of our well-being is determined by how we react long-term to the situation. If we respond with positive or negative actions, there is an undeniable impact. However, if we choose to do nothing, there is an outcome not quite so obvious.
Many times, I felt remorse and regret about the distance and discord that manifested in my marriage from a self-centered focus. However, if I had not gone through that season, I would not be living the fantastic life with my husband today, whom I emphatically adore. How could a bad situation be the catalyst for such an incredible outcome?
Through God’s grace and wisdom, I faced disruption of pure conviction and a desire to seek help through God’s guidance before the complete destruction of my marriage. The thought of living a different outcome than I’m living today frightens the heck out of me. I praise God for sending the right people, resources, and for being my potter in molding my new character.
“But now, O Lord, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.” – Isaiah 64:8
What I’ve learned through every negative circumstance is how to turn trials into triumph when God is declared our potter, our Father. We need to become a lump of clay sitting helplessly on the potter’s wheel with a storm swirling around us so God can create his masterpiece.
When we turn trials into triumph we understand these attributes & grow to new heights:
T – Temporary
Trials are temporary and last for a season. Each situation will have a different timeline and not intended to become our lifelong sentence. If we partner up with the potter, learn His ways, and embrace the teaching from the trial, we move on as better people through character building. The challenging season should always bring us into a closer relationship with Jesus.
R – Reason
I believe that there is a reason for every negative situation. If we turn to the Lord for help and humbly submit to gain His understanding through the crisis or event, we will grow in our character in some way. We should see a decrease in our sinful nature. We might experience an increase in compassion, empathy, giving, or greater overall understanding of God’s ways.
I – Integrity
We all have character flaws. We are born into the world as sinners, and we make choices that can go against God’s ways. On the other side of life’s turmoil awaits a new person if we give the potter control to expose and teach us a new way – His way. My prayer every day is for God to continue revealing my iniquities so I can grow closer in the likeness of Christ. That is God’s desire – to sanctify our souls.
A – Attitude
Through every affliction, I have gained a better attitude about serving others and achieved a new level of empathy towards those who faced the same trial. Gratitude for the adversity increases because I know that I’m growing closer to Jesus through the circumstance. I also know that if I don’t embrace the potter, that same circumstance will come around again until I’m a new mold in that area. Do I carry a great attitude during the trial, of course not! I’m human just like you and fall short much of the time.
L – Lesson
There is a lesson to be learned, embraced, and tucked away for future reference to avoid repeating this circumstance. I love the quote, “there are no failures, only learned experiences.” I believe how we interpret and manage our self-talk about trials is critical to our growth or stagnation. If we learn from the affliction and apply the lessons learned, we are stronger vessels in serving the Lord.
All of this to say, trials are precisely that. They are not intended to be fun, easy, or taken lightly. Quite the contrary. With God as our potter, who loves us and wants to mold us, we take the shape of His best representative for His glory while living the amazing life that He intended. Weather the storm – there’s clear skies on the other side.
How do you turn trials into triumph? I would love to hear your story. Please comment below.