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Lions and Trials and Bears…

Imagine a shepherd boy minding his own business, doing what his father has asked him to do just like he had done yesterday and the day before. Today, however, his faith will be tested. A lion would come that day and take one the David’s sheep.

David was just a boy. How could he defend himself against a wild animal? He could have sat down in the middle of the field and given up. He could have cried out to God, “Why did you let this happen to me? You have given me more than I can handle. I thought you were supposed to bless me for all the things I have done right!” But David did not.

With confidence in God’s strength and assurance that he was not alone, David ran after that lion, killed him, and took back the sheep. Then, David went back to tending the sheep just as his father asked.

A few weeks passed, everything was going smoothly when out of no where a bear came along to take a sheep. David again could have gone home and left the sheep to cry in his bed, “God, how many times is this going to happen to me? You are NOT taking care of me like you said you would! When will I get my blessing??” But David did not. Again, he rose up and, remembering how God had helped him overcome the lion, David defeated the bear and saved the sheep once more.

David could not see the future. He did not know what was awaiting him. He did not know the enemy of the Lord would soon call his name and it would go down as one of the most famous upsets in history.

David and Goliath.Β How could he have known that the whole time he was being tested and God was preparing his heart for what was to come? He didn’t know. He simply trusted, and when Goliath called his name, he had the courage and faith to say,

Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.

And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee. 1 Samuel 17: 34-37

David knew at that moment that everything that God had brought to him, and brought him through was preparation for possibly one of the greatest moments in his life for the glory of God. With each testing of his faith, God was preparing David to reach his full potential. With each trial, David’s faith was made stronger. God alone knew what David could handle in each situation, and David trusted his love and wisdom.

Trials come to all of us. Sometimes right in the middle of doing exactly what God has called us to, God will throw us a curve ball. None of us are strangers to the lions and bears of troubles and trials in this life. When these trials arise, we can sit with our head in our hands and ask God “WHY?” …. or we can trust God’s hand working in our lives.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2-4

God is preparing you for something in the midst of a trial. He wants you to reach your full potential, and he does that through the testing of your faith. Just as exercise tears down muscle to build it back up stronger, God uses our hard life situations to tear down our pride, and self sufficiency, and to build our faith in HIM. When we are patient and trust His hand even when we can not see, we can be made little by little into what he has truly created us to be. We can always trust Him to bring us through every trial and every testing that comes our way, and believe me, they will come.

Looking back one day, you will be able to say, as David said, “God has never failed me before when I have trusted in Him…. and He will not fail me now.”