Loving God Through the Trials

I’m going to be really honest right now. Much of this past year has been really difficult for me. I’ve had a lot of disappointment and confusion and hurt to work through, and I’ve cried more this year than I ever have in one concentrated period in my life.

God has been so, so generous and faithful to my heart through it all. He hasn’t given very many specific answers to my questions, but sometimes, when I get really quiet, He will share with me how He feels about how I’m handling this season.

Today, as I was once again reflecting with Him about how I’ve grown through all of this, I said, “At least I love You more now… I think. Do I really? I don’t even know how to measure that, but that’s all I really want. Do I really love You more now?”

In the next few moments of quiet, as I offered Him that question and listened, He began quoting to me the words of a scene I wrote last year sometime, before any of this happened. It’s a story about Miriam of Bethany and Yeshua of Nazareth, and this conversation takes place soon after Yeshua raises Miriam’s brother from the dead.

“Do you understand now why I had to wait?”

I nodded. “Some. You said it was for the glory of God, that the Son of God would be glorified.”

Yeshua nodded. “Yes. God was glorified today, and he will be glorified so much more because of this. I’m only sorry it caused you so much pain in the waiting. But Miriam—I am so proud of the way you refused to stay offended! You felt the doubt and fear and anger, but time and time again during those four days you pressed through and chose trust over offence. That delights my Father and me so much.

My stomach fluttered, and I looked down, then back up at Yeshua’s twinkling eyes. “I would have given up so many times, but I guess I’m just too stubborn.”

Yeshua threw back his head and laughed. “That’s okay,” he said. “Stubborn love is my favourite kind, because that’s what it becomes when it has an obstacle to overcome. The obstacles prove your love is real.”

“They prove my love to God? Doesn’t he know all things?”

“Yes, of course. But don’t you love me more now than you did before? Your love has been tested and strengthened and refined because we’ve been through something together. So it proves your love to you, and also to the world, because loving God through the trials is declaring that he is worthy of it.”

“And God is glorified.”

“And God is glorified.”

In the midst of the trial, when every circumstance is screaming that God let you down and that He doesn’t know what He’s doing, your stubborn, weak prayers of “God, I love You and I trust You,” are so powerful. They declare to you and to the world that even this valley cannot make God less than who He is.

Love in the midst of hardship carries a very unique kind of fragrance to God. I believe that’s why the blood of the martyrs is so precious to Him. What else can bring Him glory and touch His heart like one who chooses to love Him in a moment when they are given every reason not to?

I discovered that I do love Him more now, because my love has been tested and strengthened. I have walked through the wilderness and I have come up leaning on Him. (Song 8:5)

And God is glorified.

“But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.”
Psalm 13:5-6

Worthy in the wilderness

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: IHOPU Graduation: Looking Back on Four Years | Fragrance Arise

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