When trials seem pointless


The story is told of an elderly lady who was in a bad accident but survived with a broken bone and a few bruises. Frustrated, worn out and weary of the handicap, she lamented to her friend who was visiting her, “I don’t understand why this had to happen. I don’t see any good coming from it at all!”

The friend gently replied, “Romans 8:28 doesn’t say that we SEE all things working together for good, it says that we KNOW it.”

If we only lived by what we could see — what we were sure of and understood on our own — there would be no need for faith! Faith is total surrender, total trust in God and His Word even when we don’t understand and when our situation seems hopeless.

We have all experienced difficult situations in our lives that seemed to bring no glory whatsoever to God, caused nothing but heartache in our family and seemed to zap every bit of courage we had in us. But we cannot see the big picture; we don’t see what is going on behind the curtain. Only God does.“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

There are many ways a difficulty or trial can work together for good in the life of a child of God. It may be that it strengthens you, causes you to go to your knees, to depend on God, to look to Him for your answers instead of trying to be the hero. Perhaps it is to be an example to others of God’s faithfulness. Maybe someone who doesn’t know the Lord, or who is struggling in their faith will see you leaning on God to help you through your circumstance and it encourages them to do the same.

Corrie ten Boom was the daughter of a Dutch watchmaker living in Holland during WWII. Her parents hid Jewish families in their home to keep them from being sent to concentration camps. Unfortunately, they were caught and her entire family arrested. Corrie and her sister Betsie were sent to the Ravensbruck death camp and Corrie is the only one who survived. In her book, The Hiding Place, she details much of what happened there and how God used her in dire situations.

Between her books and speaking engagements, the world came to know the God that Corrie and her family served. She led many souls to Christ before their untimely deaths and was even able to forgive those who inflicted unspeakable torture upon her.

This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see. ~Corrie ten Boom

Only He can see! He can take an unpleasant situation, a trial, a difficulty and use it for His glory, strengthening, encouraging and lifting you up in the process.

This thing called life truly is not about us, friend. Our entire purpose is to bring glory to God and to magnify Him in a way that points others to Calvary. When we submit ourselves for this purpose, every trial and hardship that we encounter can be turned into a stepping stone that makes a difference for someone else and gives us the courage to face the next one. For we may not SEE that He is with us, working behind the scenes, but we KNOW it, we trust, we believe His Word, we know He keeps His promises.

“Before she died in the concentration camp in Ravensbruck, my sister Betsie said to me, ‘Corrie, your whole life has been a training for the work you are doing here in prison—and for the work you will do afterward.’ Tramp for the Lord.”

The next time your trial seems pointless, remember these words from Corrie ten Boom’s sister, Betsie. You may not see it now but… “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

nannette elkins

Nannette has served in various ministry positions over the last 30 years, most recently as a pastor’s wife and missionary to Eastern Europe serving in the countries of Estonia and Latvia. Wife to The Sweetheart, Mom to the Fantastic Five, Nana to Lark and Norah, Author of The Daniel Fast, A Devotional. UPCI ministers, and NA Directors of RevivalByDesign. She travels with her husband, teaching churches a Bible-based blueprint of revival, Revival By Design. (rbdna.org) Nannette blogs at HopeintheHealing.com, is the curriculum editor for rbdna.org and devours anything with coffee in the title.

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