A test match in the game of cricket can be grueling. Competitors play from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with lunch and tea breaks, but the games can last up to five days. It’s a test of endurance as well as skill.
The tests we face in life are sometimes intensified for a similar reason—they feel unending. The long search for a job, an unbroken season of loneliness, or a lengthy battle with cancer is made even more difficult by the fact that you wonder if it will ever end.
Perhaps that is why the psalmist cried out, “How long, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my precious life from these lions” (Ps. 35:17). Bible commentaries say that this was speaking of the long period in David’s life when he was pursued by Saul and slandered by the king’s advisors—a time of trial that lasted for years.
Yet, in the end, David sang, “The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant” (v. 27). His testing drove him to deeper trust in God—a trust that we can also experience in our own long seasons of testing, hardship, or loss.
As time drags on and answers seem faraway, teach me, Father, to find my help in You and Your presence. Enable me to endure, and empower me to trust in You.
When your burdens overwhelm you, remember that God has His arms underneath you.
David found strength to endure his trial by reflecting on and trusting in the character of God (Ps. 35:9–10). Three young Hebrew captives in Babylon—Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, whose names were changed to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Dan. 3)—are other examples of trust during difficult circumstances. The Babylonian ruler commanded them to dishonor God by bowing before a giant idol. They faced this challenge with hope because their past experiences with God taught them that He was worthy of their trust and confidence. Dread and apprehension turned to sure confidence and expectation because God had shown Himself faithful. Adapted from Hope: Choosing Faith Instead of Fear.