February 1, 2021 · C.E. Carter
Trials de-abstract our lives. They remind us of our sin, limits, and smallness of faith. When we are backed into a corner, thrown into the lions den, and desperately clinging to the end of our rope, we understand more deeply what dependence on God really is. A severe trial may appear to us as a calamity which has driven us to the end of ourselves. Ironically, in this is when we learn that our previous state of self-dependent stability was only an appearance. A moment of trial is not a temporary moment of dire need; it only appears to be temporary. Every moment of life is as dire as the most severe moments of the most severe trial, in that we are hopeless to retain anything unless Christ alone sustains us. Were He to remove His care from us, we would be without help, undone, and pitifully useless to provide for ourselves. Every believer in Christ is anchored in assured hope, sustained and protected at all times by the help of the Spirit, by grace alone, through faith alone. Every unbeliever is sustained from being plunged into the depths of Hell for the duration of their life, for no other reason than that God is kind and patient towards even His enemies.
Both are sustained and blessed by God, and contribute nothing to their respective prosperities. For the believer, a trial is a reminder that God sustains them at every moment. For the unbeliever, a trial is a warning that God could cease sustaining them at any moment, lest they turn to Christ.