King Solomon is credited with the saying, “This too shall pass.” I was thinking about that saying yesterday after I had lunch with a friend. We are both experiencing the same difficulty and shared some of our frustrations. But then I felt compelled to tell her the story of a very difficult experience I had gone through a little over a year ago, and to express how thankful I was that God had resolved that difficulty before the present difficulty came along. I commented that God never gives us more than we can handle.
Later, as I thought back on the story I had recounted to her, I realized how devastated I had been when it happened, how I had thought I could not bear it. But it passed, and things got much better. All the trials and tribulations in my life have worked that way. They seem so terrible at the time, but then when they have passed I realize they were not more than I could handle. Sometimes there are even blessings that have come from my trials.
Regarding trials and tribulations, James wrote:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:2-8.
So according to James, these trials that will eventually pass are good for us. They lead to spiritual growth and perseverance. James calls us to trust that God will bring us through these trials and give us the wisdom we need. We cannot doubt that He will provide the wisdom we need and will be with us. Psalm 23 says, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou are with me.” Notice the preposition in this sentence: through. We don’t stay in the valley of the shadow of death, we don’t stay in the trial or tribulation forever; we walk through it, and we do so with God by our side (or carrying us when necessary).
The apostle Paul gave some great advice for getting through the brief trials of this world:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
So I will remember that this present trial shall pass, God will give me the wisdom I need to get through it, it will teach me perseverance and provide spiritual growth, and it is nothing compared to the glory I will experience with God when all of my trials come to an end and I go to my heavenly home.