God’s Word is clear that we will all go through times and season of trials. Staying connected to God in the midst of these trials isn’t easy. We understand these trials will come, yet the storms that come against us can turn our focus away from the Lord.
We understand that the trials in life produce perseverance…
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”—James 1:2-3
So, the question is: How do you stay connected to God in the midst of trials?
Let’s take a look at Matthew 14 to understand how the enemy uses trials to distract our focus. Then we will look at 3 ways to stay connected to God in the midst of trials.
How the Enemy Uses Trials to Distract Our Focus | The Schemes of Satan
- The Enemy Uses Confusion during Trials to Distract Our Focus
Matthew 14:24 says,
“… and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.”
The boat, which carried the disciples, was away from the shore and had waves and wind coming against it. Isn’t this a reflection of how we can all feel in the midst of trials?
It can feel like we are miles from the safety of Jesus—exposed and vulnerable to the spirit of confusion, fear, and doubt—in the midst of trails. The disciples likely felt confused when they were in the middle of the lake, at night, during a storm.
- The Enemy Uses Fear during Trials to Distract Our Focus
Matthew 14 goes on to say that Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
“When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’”—Matthew 14:26-27
When trials come, we naturally are drawn to fear. But when we stay connected to God, it is easier to cast out the spirit of fear.
- The Enemy Uses Doubt during Trials to Distract Our Focus
Peter couldn’t tell if it was Jesus walking on water, even after He said, “It is I.” Jesus called him out of the boat and Peter walked on water until the spirit of fear kicked in. Then he began to sink (Matthew 14:28-31).
Peter shouted, “Save me!” and Jesus did. Jesus also followed up with a question, “Why do you doubt?”
During trials, you will have moments of connection with Christ, but the key is staying connected. Here’s how….
3 Ways to Stay Connected with God in the Midst of Trials
Stay Connected to God by Staying in the Word and Praying
John 1:14 says that Jesus became flesh and made His dwelling among us. And John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Therefore, to stay connected to God during trials, the first step must be connecting to His Word. The Word of God is alive and active. It gives us what we need every day to live a life of righteousness, even when trials come against us.
Jesus fought temptations with the Word while in the desert. “… ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’”—Matthew 4:4
When we are in the Word, it is easier to recall them and use them to fight the devil’s schemes. Paul writes to the Corinthians…
“The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything… in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”—2 Corinthians 2: 9,11
Paul also writes to the Ephesians, instructing them to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18). Not only are we to stay in the Word, we must also pray the Word!
- In Short…
Above I’ve listed the “schemes of Satan.” Now you are aware of them. Staying in God’s Word every day is an act of obedience that will protect and guide you through trials.
If the devil uses trials as a battle ground to work out his agenda, then the Word is the only sword that can cut off the lies of the enemy (Ephesians 6:10-17) and reveal the true agenda of God.
Stay Connected to God by Proclaiming and Declaring His Promises
God told Joshua…
“’Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’”—Joshua 1:7-9
God told Joshua this because he was promoting him to an office of leadership that would take him into a new land. This new office and new territory would come with trials. Therefore, God reminded him of the importance of keeping His Word on His lips, which is the act of declaring.
When you declare you are “careful to do everything written,” meaning you come into alignment with it, and that leads you to prosper in what you do. God’s promises remind you of what you have and that He is with you during the trials.
- In Short…
Proclaiming and declaring promises during trials helps you to stay connected to God. The act of declaring aligns you with truth and positions you to prosper in all that you do.
Stay Connected to God by Asking for Prayer
There is power released when you pray with another Believer, or that Believer commits to pray for you. When another Believer prays for you, he or she can pray for you to receive spiritual wisdom and understanding during the trial.
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives…”—Colossians 1:9
- In Short…
Don’t hesitate to ask for prayer, for it is God’s will. And through the prayers of the saints, He releases wisdom and understanding.
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