Often we wonder why we go through trials… why we endure troubles… why our Almighty God does not spare us these difficult times. Perhaps He has a purpose. Maybe we are to learn from these times of darkness and distress. Possibly He is using them as a means for our spiritual growth.

Jeremiah is an Old Testament prophet used mightily by the Lord. Yet God has to teach him a very important lesson before He calls him to a higher calling… to become an active participant in the high purposes of God. Jeremiah needs to learn to triumph in his trials… to prevail with his God.

“Before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  Jeremiah 1:5

God places upon Jeremiah the high calling of prophet of the Most High God, setting him apart to be His spokesman to His chosen people. Jeremiah speaks words of warning to the people of Judah who have broken their covenant with God. Their persistent sin and abandonment of Yahweh God will cause Him to withdraw His blessings if they do not repent and return to Him.

As Jeremiah preaches powerful words against the nation, he faces persecution from its people… especially the people of his hometown of Anathoth… even his own family. As he encounters hostility, rejection and threats of death, he becomes emotionally and spiritually weary from the trial.

Jeremiah questions God as to why these evil people prosper while ignoring the Lord and His ways. God promises that He will come against those who come against His chosen prophet. God will take care of His own. Yet the Almighty poses a question for Jeremiah…

“If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, in which you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?”Jeremiah 12:5

If Jeremiah withers under the pressure of smaller challenges, how will he fare when faced with greater trials in the future as God’s prophet? How will he deliver God’s message when times of persecution become more intense? He may now be contending with people of his own hometown (footmen)… yet will soon face enemies (horses) in Jerusalem who will tyrannize him for his message.

Jeremiah is overwhelmed in a time of relative peace. How will he do when the Babylonians come to conquer the land? The enemy will soon overflow into Judah… much like when the Jordan River overflows its banks at harvest time, sending lions from their lairs to endanger the countryside. Jeremiah needs to be strong to endure the more challenging trials ahead.

“I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you.”  Jeremiah 15:20

The Lord promises Jeremiah that if he will be His spokesman and speak His words boldly, He will strengthen him for the challenge. If His prophet does not succumb to fear, God will give him courage to withstand any future persecution. If Jeremiah will place His complete trust in His Almighty God, He will be by the prophet’s side to be his Rescuer. In God, Jeremiah will triumph in his trials.

What can we learn from this great prophet of God? We will face trials in our lives. It is in these times of distress and darkness that we often learn the greatest lessons. Perhaps we find ourselves complaining about our troubles… seeing others breeze through life without a care while ignoring God. We wonder why we are facing difficult times… and we may think we are the only ones.

“Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”  Psalm 124:8

Without trials to overcome, we cannot learn to prevail with God. With Him we can weather any of life’s storms. He is greater than any trial we will ever face. Amidst times of trouble, we can struggle through on our own… or we can look to our all-powerful God who fights our battles for us. In Him we place our absolute trust to be our Rescuer.

God does not bring trials our way. Yet He may allow them in our lives because He knows how much we can grow through them. In difficult times, as we look to our sovereign God for help, He will strengthen us and deepen our faith. If we do not succumb to fear, He will grow our courage to face even greater trials as they come our way.

God is in our midst throughout our trials. He will forever take care of us, His children. As we face times of trouble with steadfast faith, we can be an inspiration to others who are facing challenges in their lives. They see our trust in our omnipotent Lord to save us. As we prevail with God, as we triumph in our trials, we glorify Him for all the world to see.