God’s hand in every trial, small or great


In every trial, small or great: first of all and at once recognize God’s hand in it. Say at once “My Father has allowed this to come; I welcome it from Him; my first care is to glorify Him in it; He will make it a blessing.” We may be sure of this; let us by faith rejoice in it. (Andrew Murray)

A trial came my way this morning. As trials go, it fell into the small category. But even so, its arrival brought a sadness. A sorrow. Unexpected and unwanted it came, and even though not fiery, my heart responded with fear at its announcement.

God’s so kind, though. He reminds us of truth. In the hours that followed, the words from this quote kept coming to mind. The fearful listing of my heart was buoyed, righted by its truth-encapsulating comfort. God, by His Spirit, gave me the ability to believe His goodness, and to trust.

During the 1800s, while a missionary in South Africa, Andrew Murray wrote the words, and a dear friend, herself facing confusing and pain-filled days (of the larger variety) sent me his quote just the other day. She’d read last week’s when God says no, and been reminded of Murray’s poignant words about God’s hand in trial.

My friend’s been praying and yearning for a certain something for a very long time. Last week, God answered with a firm no. As she mourns the loss of her dream, she wants to trust God and His never-changing goodness. She wants to heed Murray’s admonition to at once welcome her Father’s answer, yielding to God’s sovereign hand. She wants to glorify her Father in this trial.

You may have days like that.

Days when you need to remember that:

  1. Jesus told us we’d have many troubles in this life. (John 16:33)
  2. We shouldn’t be surprised when those trials, small or great, come our way. (I Pet. 4:12-13)
  3. Nothing comes our way that the Father has not allowed. He reigns in sovereign power and no purpose of His can be thwarted. All decisions are His — Satan must ask permission.  (Job 1, esp. v. 12; Job 2, esp. v. 6; Job 42:2)
  4. He purposes blessing for His child through each trial: the greatest blessing being that we’d more wholeheartedly rely on Him. And as we wholeheartedly rely, we know the blessing of being conformed to the image of Christ. (Rom. 8:27-29)
  5. We can rest, therefore, in His good purposes — not with back-braced stoicism, but in pliable trust. (Gen. 45, esp. vs. 4-8; Gen. 50, esp. vs. 19-21)

Knowing these truths this morning, when my small trial came along, I didn’t spiral downward. My eyes filled with tears, and my heart fluttered with fear, but God in His grace, led me to pray:

“God this scares me. And I feel really sad. But I want to welcome this. I know you are good, and you will make this for my good. In my fear, don’t let me dishonor you. I want to glorify you in it, and see you make it into a blessing.”

This morning, He righted my anxious and fearful heart.

Future days will also debut with trials, some short-lived and some fiery and lengthy. Whether small or great, let’s pray that we’d at once recognize God’s hand in each one.  Let’s pray that our Father would work a miraculous change in each of us, that we’d be able to at once say with Murray,

“My Father has allowed this to come; I welcome it from Him; my first care is to glorify Him in it; He will make it a blessing.”




About Jill

I'm a wife, mom to three beautiful children, and work as children's ministry director at Redeemer PCA in Athens, GA, a place our family treasures as our church home. It's been thirty years since the Lord saved me, and to this day I'm astounded at His steadfast love shed upon unfaithful me. My hope would be that I might speak and write in ways God would use to soften hearts toward Him, that we would together be enamored by the glorious beauty of Jesus and awakened to His love unimagined. Thanks so much for reading!
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2 Responses to God’s hand in every trial, small or great

  1. Kitty says:

    Jill, I want you to know that our Heavenly Father has used your writings to minister to me so many times. Keep that pen flowing. I love you.

    • Jill says:

      Oh Kitty, my heart bursts with happiness that God used this post to minister to you! I love you, too, dear friend, and still miss you so very much!

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