3 Signs You Are in a Season of Spiritual Trials and Testing
Our journey with Christ is a beautiful one.
Each of us, as we walk alongside our Creator, encounter situations where our faith must be strengthened, where our hope must be squeezed ‘til the very last drop, and where we are fashioned into a more glorious vessel for the Kingdom of God. We often call this walking through a season of testing.
What Is a Spiritual Trial or Test?
Many of us don’t like testing. It’s one of those things we know we must endure, but we still flinch in our hearts at the sign of trials ahead.
However, spiriting testing is how God does His very best work in us. It’s where we cut our spiritual teeth and sharpen our spiritual knives.
Testing will be present in every believer’s life. It’s simply a matter of when.
With that said, sometimes, the LORD will walk us through seasons of severe testing.
These seasons will seem like the most painful and difficult we’ve ever walked. These will seem like we’ve been sitting in a raging fire for a little too long. It will feel like God has left us to the mercy of our problems.
It will feel like he’s forgotten about us.
I know this place very well. In the past four years, I’ve gone through severe testing in every area of my life. My husband and I have been in a sort of incubator–creating, cultivating, and releasing different aspects of our businesses and ministry, and doing so while undergoing intense spiritual pressure.
I’ve prayed and asked the LORD on several occasions, “Father, when will I see deliverance and breakthrough in my life? I’m just trying to do your will! Why is this so difficult?”
What to Do When You’re Walking through a Season of Spiritual Testing
The wait (and the weight) of seasons of severe testing can be excruciating. For myself, there were many moments where I was convinced that my spiritual knees were going to buckle from underneath me & that I was going to give way.
Here’s the wonderful thing about severe testing, though. That’s what it is purposed to do! It’s supposed to bring you to your knees in complete surrender and worship to the Lord.
It’s supposed to deplete you of all of your resources and all of the ways you believe things should be!
Severe testing doesn’t last forever but is incredibly important because it drives us to the feet of the Father. When the fire is hot in our lives, we don’t walk into the presence of the Lord. No! We run to Him! It’s in His presence that we cultivate a deeper, sweeter, more resilient relationship with our Abba Father.
What Is the Purpose of Spiritual Trials and Tests?
My friend, your tests and trials are never, ever in vain. They are meant to strengthen you in the Lord and draw things out of you that cannot remain on the inside of you.
If you allow the process of testing to have its way in your life, you WILL come out the other side more immovable and unshakeable in your faith.
If you’ve been in a season of severe testing, take heart and be encouraged! You are not alone! Here are 3 signs you are walking an intense test and some things you can do to make it through.
When You’re Being Tested, It Seems as though Everything That Could Go Wrong, Does.
One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible, Isaiah 59:19, reads this way, “So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”
I’ve found in my life that when the Lord is testing my heart, my thoughts, my actions, and what I truly believe, it will be in all sorts of areas. God will test your integrity, your love for others, your patience, your grace, and so much more when you are in a season of severe testing.
God already knows what is on the inside of you, as He knows all things. But He wants you to see what’s on the inside of you! You see, we can fool people, and we can even fool ourselves into thinking that we are one way vs. another. However, we cannot fool God.
When different areas of our lives seem to be getting attacked all at once, take heart! Recognize that God is setting a new standard in your life of righteousness, holiness, peace, love, and justice, and see that He’s using the floods of life to accomplish just that!
If it weren’t for the floods of life, where everything that could go wrong, does, almost all of us would remain stagnant in our spiritual growth. Abba is always wanting for us to come up higher.
When You’re Being Tested, You Will Probably Experience Isolation, Rejection, & Loneliness
Another sign you’re in a season of severe testing is that you will experience isolation, rejection, and loneliness.
If you look all throughout the Bible, every man or woman that was used by the Lord experienced these things.
David experienced them. Joseph. Jesus. Paul. And so many others. It’s almost like these three components are the standard ingredients in the “severe testing cupcake mix.”
My friend, you can’t get around these things. You can only heal through them.
Isolation, rejection, and loneliness all accomplish similar things: They reveal our closeness with God. They show us if He is truly the LORD over our lives, or if we’ve replaced Him with other things.
Think about it. Who do you run to when you’ve been isolated by people? How do you respond when you’re in a situation where you’ve been rejected? What about when you’re lonely? What do you do during those times?
Do you turn to other people to help you find peace and contentment? Do you run to sin? Or, do you desire to do things that you know don’t please the heart of God?
What is your go-to when these things hit your life? Whatever those things are, if they aren’t God, I encourage you to move them out of the way and make room for Jesus to comfort you.
After all, Jesus is the only one who can satisfy your isolation, rejection, and loneliness. I promise.
You Are in a Season of Testing If You Find Yourself in the “In-Between”
There is this theme with God that I like to call the “in-between.” It’s the process or the period of time that is sandwiched between the point of a dream or promised released from God to His people, and then the fulfillment of that dream or promise.
In the in-between is where you will be tested. It’s going to be in that pocket of time (which for us, may seem like forever but for God, isn’t very long at all) where we will need to remember the promise the Lord gave us.
The in-between is difficult, sure. But it’s necessary. Allow the strength of the LORD to be your portion and carry you through.
How to Make It Through a Season of Severe Testing and Trial:
In thinking about my own season of severe testing, there are three important things that I know will get anyone through. They got me through, and they will do the same for you.
1. Obey God’s Voice
Your intentional obedience to the Lord will cause you to abide in the Lord. There is no place better to be than in the arms of the Father when you’re going through seasons of testing. Also, do not neglect the Word of God. The Bible is where you’ll find your blueprint. So, dive deep into it, praying God would give you wisdom to walk the path he has laid out for you.
2. Do Not Despise the Prophetic
2 Chronicles 20:20 says this, “Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.”
The prophetic words and instructions you receive in these seasons are vital. Just like the word of the Lord directed Elijah while he was in the desert, the prophetic word will guide you.
Many people steer clear of the prophetic, and I understand why. There’s a lot of strange stuff out there. However, the true prophetic, the true voice of God through His people, should never be despised.
Take every prophetic word you receive, test the spirit behind it. Any true prophetic word will agree with Scripture.
3. Praise the Lord!
There is no greater thing that you could do than praise God while you’re going through a severe test. God always expects our praise. The enemy of our souls never expects it. It always pleases God when you shout and dance around because of His goodness. When you lift His name on high. & when you bless Him!
King David wrote this in Psalm 34:1, “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Friend, praise God! In the hills and in the valleys, praise Him! Your praises will reach Heaven and will be like a sweet aroma unto the Lord! There is deliverance in your praise! There is a breakthrough in your shout!
Having a grateful heart plus a joyful song in your mouth despite your tests will keep your heart’s gaze fixed on the Lord.
Be encouraged, dear one. & stay in the shadow of the Lord during seasons of severe testing. You will make it through when you focus on the LORD.
Britnee Bradshaw is a free-spirited, Old Navy-wearin', coffee-shop lovin', wife and momma. She serves in the worship ministry with her husband at their home church in Glendale, AZ and writes with the sole purpose of pointing others to Christ. You can catch up with her on her blog or via social media @b_brdshw!
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