One of my favorite expressions is, "The victory is ours, and the battle is the Lord’s." There have been many trials in my life, as there are in all of our lives. Jesus said that in the world we would have tribulation, but His exhortation was to be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world. James tells us to count it all joy when we have trials because these trials will form patience and other character traits of God in us.
When we enter trials, we need to think of the word traits. When we change the l to t in the word trials, the word traits appears. Trials will always be turned into godly traits in us when we trust in the Lord, no matter how hard the trial is.
God allowed the children of Israel to experience trials as they traveled through the wilderness because He wanted their character traits to change. He knew they would have a tendency to want to go back to the land of Egypt (the land of bondage) when the going got rough. He knew their character, and we see the children of Israel murmuring and complaining to Moses. They said, "It had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness" (Ex. 14:12, KJV).
In every trial, we face the temptation to go back into the land of bondage. The enemy always whispers, "You were better off before you trusted in the Lord." The truth, however, is this: The Lord will fight for us if we hold our peace.
In the midst of our trials, we need to position ourselves in the cleft of the Rock (Jesus Christ) and watch Him do battle for us. Our place is to wait upon Him, trusting in Him with all of our hearts. When we trust in Him and surrender to His control of the trial, peace will always come. The Word of God says, "I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon the Lord." The Lord is our strength and song, and He has become our salvation.
The next time you are in a trial, ask the Lord what character traits of God He is trying to form in you. It may be one of the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, selfcontrol. Then position yourself in the cleft of the Rock (Jesus Christ) and trust Him. The victory is ours, and the battle is the Lord’s.
Read: Exodus 13:17–15:19; Matthew 21:23–46; Psalm 26:1–12; Proverbs 6:16–19.
Linda Sommer is the author of Around the Word in 365 Days.