18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. - Psalm 34:18-19
If we live our lives as if our afflictions will be many, we will be ready for them when they come. God warns us many times in scripture that we will endure trials in this life, so we can prepare for them. When we’re prepared, our trials don’t take us by surprise, and they’re a lot less likely to knock us on our heels. When we’re ready, we’re more likely to see our struggles as part of His grander plan, we can see His purpose and His good when things appear to go wrong.
Sometimes trials seem to come out of nowhere, and the deepest challenges seem to hit us where our hearts are most tender. If we’re not prepared, if we haven’t put in the armor of God, the trial can seem more than we can bear. We desperately grasp at solutions to rid ourselves of the trial, and we often make foolish decisions we regret, whether it's following worldly counsel, responding in anger, making rash decisions, or experiencing the physical symptoms of extreme stress.
Trials are going to hit. If we are a child of God, we can count on that fact, but we can prepare for them. So, how do we do that? First and foremost, we need to meet up with Him at least once a day in quiet time in His Word and prayer - alone, by ourselves, without anyone else. While it is so important to fellowship with other believers and spend time in the Word and praying with other believers, that is never to replace our one-on-one time with Him. It is in that quiet time that the Word comes alive and He can speak specifically to your heart, He can comfort you, He can strengthen you, He can guide you and give you counsel, He can speak to you. Don't ever forsake your time alone with Him - you never know what's ahead in your day, and you want to always be prepared. It is how we put on the armor of God - don’t enter the daily battle without His protection.
In addition to being in the Word everyday, in order to prepare for trials, it is important we surround ourselves with people who know and seek the Lord for wisdom. We need to have those people in our lives who will hold us accountable and who will give us wise counsel when we need it...because if we don't, we run the risk of seeking wise counsel from people who follow the world in times of great need. Know the people in your life well, and be sure they know and seek the Lord with their whole heart before you seek them for counsel. Choose those people you trust for advice when you are NOT in a trial, so that you will be well prepared when you are in a trial. When we're in the throws of emotional heartache, it's more difficult to discern who we should be seeking advice from, and our hearts have a tendency to seek advice from the person who says what we want to hear. When we have those Godly people already chosen, we know we can trust the words they say to us - even, and especially when those words are hard to hear.
Prepare for the many afflictions you will endure in your life by spending time alone with Him every single day, and knowing who you will turn to when you will encounter trials.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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