“‘And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock’” (Matthew 7:25).
Faithfulness in discipleship will mean we are prepared for the worst possible adversity and trial.
People are often unprepared for life’s unexpected upheavals. This was vividly illustrated by the once-in-500-year floods that struck the Northern Plains of the United States in the spring of 1997. One community on the Red River in North Dakota was especially devastated by the surprising events.
After working diligently for days to fortify levees against the swelling river, people in Grand Forks were hopeful. But one early morning in mid-April 1997, the relentless Red River broke through the earthen and sandbag flood barriers and inundated the entire town of 50,000. Few deaths or serious injuries occurred, but practically the entire population had to abandon homes and property to the muddy waters. It was one of the largest mass evacuations in the history of American disasters, and it will take many months, even years,before Grand Forks and surrounding towns can repair all the flood damage.
For believers, facing such an utterly unexpected trial can help them learn to grow closer to the Lord. And they can prepare themselves by resting in the truth of the prophet’s words: “The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock” (Isa. 26:3-4).
Jesus emphasized the need for total self-denial by His followers and complete preparedness to face any challenge, even death (Matt. 10:38-39). If we are living daily as His disciples, no trial will catch us totally unprepared. We might be temporarily surprised and feel inadequate initially, but we won’t remain that way. We already know from our studies this month that a sovereign God has the right to bring certain trials and tribulations into our lives, and He is also more than able to give us every resource we need to endure (Phil. 4:11-13; 1 Peter 5:6-7).
Suggestions for Prayer
Thank God for the strength and wisdom He gives through His Word so that you may be prepared for whatever trial He sends.
For Further Study
- Read 1 Peter 5:6-11, and spend some extra time meditating on or memorizing one or two of the verses.
- Write down one key thought that relates to being spiritually prepared for trials.
From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997.