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Trusting God Through Trials – Where is God?

Spiritual Warfare & Trials

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Trusting God through trials that we go through in our lives is not easy, especially for a new believer. As we go through these hard times, much like we are experiencing now in the world, we sometimes ask the question, “where is God when it hurts?” Is He there? Does He see what I am going through?

Sometimes we question God and ask ‘why do You let me go through these difficulties? Why is it I pray for You to take these problems or hurts away and yet they go on?’ You may experience anger, hurt, and even disappointment with God. Don’t worry…you are not the first. We all go through this at one time or another.

So how do you start trusting God in difficult times? There are some Biblical examples of trusting God through trials that show that we may just be looking for the wrong answer. We may be looking for God to just take all our difficulties away, but He never promised us that. When we ask “where is God?’ we have these great examples in Scripture that tell us how to look for Him in them! Read on to learn more!

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an image of a male and female lion looking off to the side and text that says Where is God? - Trusting God Through Trials

Updated from 4/7/20

Trusting God in Through Trials – Examining Daniel

When asking ‘where is God?’ when we experience trials, hurts, betrayal, persecution, I am reminded of some people who went through some serious trials. They are an example of how God can be WITH us in a trial without removing us from it.

Let’s first look at Daniel.

God can be WITH us in a trial without removing us from it! Click To Tweet

Daniel in the Lion’s Den

Daniel was a favorite of the King. But he was tossed into a lion’s den because good old King Darius’ governors and satraps (essentially a local ruler) were jealous. He was one of the Governors of the King and the Bible tells us in Daniel, Chapter 6, that he “distinguished himself” over the others.

So as I said, he had a good degree of favor with King Darius.

So these men decide Daniel has to go and the begin to think about how they can get rid of him and they craft this plot against him.

They devised this law that prevented anyone from petitioning any man or god, other than the King, for thirty days, knowing full well that Daniel would not stop praying to his God.

They knew Daniel would not obey this law. So, they push this law in front of the King and get him to sign it, without him having an understanding of what they really wanted it for. The King has an ego of course, so a law that requires people honor only him? It probably wasn’t a stretch to get him to sign off on it.

A Trap for Daniel

So this law is enacted and the men just wait. But they didn’t have to wait long! When you have someone with devotion to God like Daniel had, you know to expect to act in accordance with their faith.

They catch Daniel praying that evening at his window, as they planned. Observant Jews pray three times a day, called davening, twice in accordance with the time of the daily sacrifice (whether the Temple is standing or not), and the evening prayer is believed to have originated with Jacob who always seemed to have his most intense interactions with the divine at night, but does not correspond with a sacrifice since there were no evening sacrifices.

So they find Daniel in his room and he’s praying to God, so they run and make a petition to the King to throw Daniel into the lion’s den for going against the law.

You can just see in the Bible that the King wanted to let Daniel off the hook but the men reminded the King that once he signs a law he cannot revoke it, even if he wanted to. So, the King’s hands were tied and he had no choice but to honor the law he signed and punish Daniel.

Darius is upset about all this but as King, he has to go by the very law he signed and he even tells Daniel, “Your God will deliver you.” And Daniel knew this to be true.

Daniel is then tossed into the den of lions.

The King retires to his room for the night but the next morning he jumps out of bed and runs to where the mouth of the den of lions had been sealed and he calls out to Daniel and asks if his God saved him. Funny that the King seems to have had faith that God would do just that!

Daniel shouts back that God shut the mouths of the lions and protected him. He was found to be alive and you just know King Darius is thrilled…the Governors and Satraps not so much…and Daniel says in Daniel 6:23 (verse 22 in some translations):

My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths, so they haven’t hurt me. This is because before him I was found innocent; and also I have done no harm to you, your majesty.”

CJB

You see Daniel may have broken the law of King Darius but he was obedient to God. And because of this, God provided him protection.

You see Daniel may have broken the law of King Darius but he was obedient to God.  And God provided him protection. Click To Tweet

Where is God in the Fiery Furnace?

The next example is also in the Book of Daniel and it is the story of three men, three friends of Daniel in fact, named Shedrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.

They were to be punished for refusing to bow down to a golden image of King Nebuchadnezzar as was ordered. They were not going to go against their God by bowing down to any graven image so they refused and therefore were to be punished. And their punishment was that they were to be thrown into this furnace. The men said to the King:

Your majesty, if our God, whom we serve, is able to save us, he will save us from the blazing hot furnace and from your power.

daniel 3:17 CJB

Into the Fiery Furnace

Now, the King was SO angry with them that not only were they to be tossed into this furnace but the King ordered that the furnace be heated SEVEN times hotter than usual! The King was not playing around! He didn’t want to just punish them, he now wanted to annihilate them!

So, he orders that they turn this thing up seven times hotter and this thing was so hot that the men who threw the three into the furnace were killed by the flames!

Where is God Through Trials? – The Fourth Man in the Furnace

They throw the trio into the furnace and, a while later, the King and his men go and check to see that these three have been burned up and the King looks and says,

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and leapt to his feet. He asked his ministers, “Didn’t we cast three men bound into the middle of the fire?”

They replied to the king, “Surely, O king.”

daniel 3:24 tlv

Now keep in mind, these men were not just thrown into the furnace, they were bound and had all their clothing on. And the men with him, the Governors and Administrators, tell him he’s correct. Then the King, probably quite shocked, says,

But he exclaimed, “Look! I see four men, not tied up, walking around there in the flames, unhurt; and the fourth looks like one of the gods!

daniel 3:25 tlv

Keep in mind, Nebuchadnezzar was a Babylonian and not monotheistic. He sees a fourth man in the fire and describes him as like one of their gods in appearance.

Other translations have ‘son of the gods’ or ‘son of God’. Part of Daniel is written in Hebrew and part in Aramaic and this is part of the book that is in Aramaic but “like a divine being” is often used in translating this verse.

Trusting God in Hard Times – Come Out Not Even Smelling Like Smoke

Regardless, the King sees FOUR men when only three were thrown into the furnace, one appears to be of divine nature to him, and not only are they all IN the furnace..a furnace so hot that it killed the men who put them in it, but these four men are in there walking around!

So, the King calls for them to be brought out and he is looking at these (now three) men and his Governors and Administrators are looking and they all see that not only were their clothes not burned, not only were the hairs on their head not singed, but the Bible says they didn’t even smell like smoke.

It was as though they had never even gone through the fire.

Trusting God through trials means believing He is WITH you in the fire!

The Bible says they didn’t even smell like smoke! Click To Tweet

Where is God? – Trusting God Through Trials Means Believing He is Always With Us

And our trials are a lot like that in the sense that while God did not remove Shedrach, Meshach and Abed-nego from the furnace, while God did not remove Daniel from the lion’s den, He got them through it.

Where is God when we face trials? The Bible says He was right there with them!

Daniel said God sent “His angel” to shut the mouths of the lions. King Nebuchadnezzar saw one like a divine being in the midst of the furnace.

Our trials are not much different. God may not remove us from the trial, He may not remove us from the situation, He may not remove us from the problem, but He will be there with us in the midst of it. And He WILL get us through it if we place our faith in Him.

The one thing these people all had in common was a FAITH that God would deliver themNot that He would keep them from facing difficulties but that He would see them through them.


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Trusting God Through Trials – Noah and the Flood

I am reminded of another person who had that kind of faith. It was a man named Noah.

God told Noah He wanted him to build an ark. He told him He was going to cause a flood to come across the entire planet and destroy every living thing except for Noah and his family and the creatures of the earth Noah brought into the ark.

I can just see old Noah out there without a sign of rain, not a cloud in the sky building this huge ark! And I can just imagine all the people…all these people around him laughing and mocking him. I am sure they all thought he was crazy!! I am sure Noah had a time or two he wondered that himself!

But he kept on building it.

And he built it to the exact specifications God give him. Then the rain comes.

Now, God did not take Noah OUT of the flood. Noah and his family still had to go through the flood. They still had to leave their homes. They still had to leave the people around them.

And they still had to live around these animals who I am sure stunk! Imagine having to live on a boat with all these stinky animals!! And it probably wasn’t a pleasant situation!!

And a lot of times our problems and our situations stink too!!

God did not take Noah OUT of the flood! Click To Tweet

Trusting God in Hard Times – Overcoming the Storms of Life

Noah had the flood that forced him out of his comfort zone and many times we too have to leave our comfort zone, we have to lose people we love, we have to get in situations that make us wish we could go back (like the Hebrews wanting to return to their bondage in Egypt at times) and we have to get around a bunch of stinky, smelly stuff.

Where was God in the flood?

He was there in the ark. God took Noah THROUGH the flood, not out of it. He got him through it, He didn’t remove him from it.

Trusting God through trials means trusting Him and His plan! Trusting God in hard times, trusting God in difficult times, means believing He has a plan for it all and knows INFINITELY more than we do.

When it comes to people overcoming their trials, the storms in life, they all had one thing in common. Each had a faith in God and an obedience to God’s Word. They did what they knew God wanted them to do. They didn’t question, they just DID. They didn’t bow down to idols to get out of a bad situation, they dug in their heels and obeyed even when they didn’t yet see the outcome.

 So while God may not always remove us from the trials, while He may not remove the problem from us, if we have faith and stand fast in His Word He WILL get us through it.

You see God will do no less for you than He did for them.


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Where is God? – He is Our Ark in the Flood

Trusting God through trials often means we need to stop always looking for God to take our problems away! Oh He will at times! But at times He needs us to go through stuff, and we need to pray for the faith, the grace and the mercy and the strength to get through it.

We need to pray for God to show us the lesson He has for us in the trials of life. Pray for that increase in faith so we can learn to lean more on Him.

Pray for God to give us our ark in the flood, our fourth man in the fire, our angel to shut the mouth of the lions that want to devour us!

And if you do, you will come out of them not even smelling like smoke!

Not only will He get you through any problem..you will come out not even smelling like smoke! Click To Tweet

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Thumbnail from the Youtube video Another in the Fire by Hillsong United

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CJB – Taken from the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029. www.messianicjewish.net.

Tree of Life (TLV) – Scripture taken from the Holy Scriptures, Tree of Life Version*. Copyright © 2014,2016 by the Tree of Life Bible Society.  Used by permission of the Tree of Life Bible Society.

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22 Comments

  1. This is such a great encouragement. No matter what we’re going through, the battle is already won. We don’t have to fight for a place or for our own justice, we just have to let Him fight for us.

    Thank you!

  2. Wow!! Thank you so much for this encouraging reminder!! When we go through challenges, it’s so tough to see the positive and to blame God but he always has a purpose and will see us through. I have been through some very challenging times but looking back can see why God walked me through those valleys and can also see that he never left me. So profound – thank you for posting!!

  3. Of course I’d rather God just remove all my problems, but since he doesn’t do that :), I am SO grateful that he goes through them WITH me. Thanks for this encouraging word through the life of Daniel. I appreciate hearing these stories again and again.
    1. Ugh…mistyped in my last comment and don’t see a see to edit it….I meant to say I’d rather God remove all my PROBLEMS. Not sure how I typed prayers instead. I don’t want him to remove my prayers!

  4. Yes, for all those reasons and more we can trust God in the midst of trails. Trails come to us all but if we can keep our eyes on God, trusting His faithfulness and remembering how He’s been with us in the past we can get through the trials with grace.

  5. Trusting God through trials and not whining when he does not take away our problems, now that’s hard!

    But God with us, will make all the difference!

    “Pray for God to give us our ark in the flood, our fourth man in the furnace, our angel to shut the mouth of the lions that want to devour us!”

    Thank you Diane!

  6. This is definitely one of the hardest things to do and to explain: trusting God through trials. But the rewards are also the greatest in these times if we can accomplish it. The fiery furnace has always been an amazing story to me because of their willingness to die. And yet they didn’t have to.

    1. Yes! I do love that as well! They were so willing to risk everything to not offend God! Thank you so much Lisa!

  7. I love reading about people in the Bible who trusted God. Thank you for the beautiful examples. I have found I need to put my trust in God before I hit the trials. Then I only have to remind my myself I have already decided to put my trust in God. Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth Link-Up.

  8. Meditating on the real lives, stories and struggles of the people in the Bible is so important in times like these. Actually, it’s always important! It’s so helpful to know that while God didn’t remove Daniel and others from difficulties, He was right there with them. Thanks for sharing.

  9. There are such amazing examples of trusting God through trials in the Bible. Thank you for putting these thoughts together. This truth is so relevant for us in this season.

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