WIN THROUGH THE TRIALS OF LIFE! Reflection for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) Rev. Fr. Bonnie Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

There are moments in life when we have more questions than answers about the things that confront us. Have you been at that point when certain conflagrating situations force you to ask that depressing question, “who did I offend?”

Indeed, as you go through life, you will soon discover that you don’t have to offend anyone before some tough trials come your way. For example, imagine the story of the man born blind in the Gospel of John (9:1-3). Jesus made it clear that the man’s blindness was not because of his sins nor those of the parents but a manifestation of the works of God. So, could it be that some of your trials are manifesting the works of God?

Trials vs. Tests

The Book of Wisdom (2:12, 17-20) tells us the reasons behind the trials of the innocent person, also described as the just one. Here, we see that the wicked go all out to frustrate the just one because his choices and actions expose their evil ways of life.

From the narrative, we understand that the wicked are out to put the just one to the test. So let’s hear the evil again, “Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him.” The quick lesson here is that some trials come to test the authenticity of what we profess and how we would react to the difficulties that come our way; in other words, our faith and patience are tried.

At this point, it would be pertinent for us to field some relevant questions, “am I true to my words to the Lord?” “Can I prove that I will be steadfast and consistent in my faith when I am passing through trials?

Steps to Overcome the Trials of Life

What are the best ways to handle the trials that come to us? Sometimes we complain; at other times, we blame people and even God. However, these approaches would not solve the problems; rather, they get us more confused. So, what can we do when trials come after us?

Trust in God

The attack on the just is because of their dedication and trust in God. Notice that the wicked mentioned that the just had said that God would take care of him. Consequently, it would be foolish to lose trust in God when trials come. The Book of Proverbs (3:5) tells us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and not lean on our understanding.

Trust, which is faith in action, turns our trail to triumph. Abraham shows us what it means to have trust in God when tested by trials. We could recall that he had to endure a period of twenty-five years before God fulfilled the promise of a son from his wife, Sarah. He further had to demonstrate his trust in God when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac (Gen. 22:1-18)

Be Patient

Trials come as seasons in our lives, and the only way to get through any season is to wait till it passes, but it takes patience to wait. For instance, the Book of Psalms (37:7) says, “be patient and wait for God to act.” The instruction is pertinent because there is no victory without patience, and it takes patience to receive blessings from God.

Recall that some trials come to test our patience with God, ourselves, and the world around us. When we are impatient, we lose hope and give up. However, patience helps us remain steadfast in our journey through trials knowing that God will take us to the next level.  

Be in Humble in Service

To be patient in our trials, we need to be humble in our service to God. Humility is a unique key that could open any conceivable door in our lives. In the Gospel of Mark (9:30-37), our Lord Jesus Christ teaches that the easiest access to greatness is through service while instructing his disciples after their fight over the greatest among them.

Did you know that you can offer your trials as a service to God after the manner of our Lord Jesus Christ who did not count on his equality with God but humbled himself to the point of being a servant in other to pay for our sins on the cross?

If you consider yourself a servant of God like the patriarch, judges, and the prophets, then you need to serve. Of course, a servant is a designation, and service is a function. But service without humility amounts to a show-off display.

Moving Forward: Focusing on the goal!

There is an end to every trial we face in life. Victory can only come when we get to the end of our trial. Focusing on the goal would be a better way to outlive the trials of the moment.

When Jesus said that he would suffer and die but would rise again in glory on the third day, Peter saw a disaster and darkness, but James and John saw an opportunity and started making plans to sit at the right and the left hand of the Lord because they were looking beyond the trials to the glorious resurrection (Mark 10:35-37).

Do not pray against trials because they would surely come, and you don’t even need to ask for them. Instead, ask for the grace to win through the trials that may confront you. By the way, the same words of the Lord to St. Paul applies to you, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made manifest in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9)

God bless you!

Fr. Bonnie.

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