Recently, I attended a conference put on by four local ladies. Three of them, Ingrid Lochamire, Connie Gochenhaur, and Donna Bontrager spoke about a difficult trial in their life. Two were still in the midst of the trial and one was on the other side. Yet, it could be noted that all of them were walking in victory because they saw Jesus at work in their midst and they had chosen to trust Him with every outcome. Yes, it is possible to live a victorious and triumphant life while in the midst of a painful trial. II Cor. 2:14, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”
Connie had learned to praise and thank God that He was working even when no outcome was yet visible. This is what walking in faith is all about, believing in the unseen and expectantly waiting on and trusting the Lord. She went on to relate that we don’t need to pray like a beggar. When we know who we are in Christ, we can boldly approach God and bring our requests with confidence.
The concept that most struck me was when she said, “Satan wants to define us by our trials but God wants to design us through our trials. (I’ll let you chew on that for awhile.)
Brenda Yoder finished the evening with a compelling teaching from Genesis 22, the story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Brenda expressed that worship is more than singing on Sunday morning. It has more to do with a lifestyle of giving God the sacrifice of what’s most precious in our life. Are we willing to worship by laying down what we most desire? She challenged us to think about what is most valued in our lives. Just as Abraham was willing to lay his only son on the altar of sacrifice, we, too, are called to do the same with relationships, finances, heart desires, pleasures, trials and difficulties, the things that we tend to cling to. It starts with a heart to lay it all before God and to trust Him. Then, just as God provided a ram for the sacrifice at the last minute, our trust leads to His provision in our situations. Phil. 4:19, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”