Understanding The Purpose of Trials: Part 1-Introduction

Understanding The Purpose of Trials: Part 1-Introduction

So many in the body of Christ do not have a biblical understanding of what a “trial” is meant to accomplish. There is a general misconception today (and throughout church history if we read many of our spiritual forefathers’ writings) that trials are placed upon us to test our loyalty to God, willingness to suffer, and demonstrate our love and devotion to Christ. This is not biblical. Yes, there are texts of scripture in which this, at surface value, may appear to be the case, but this is because the body does not have a clear, biblical understanding of the heart and nature of our Father.

Our Lord desires, ultimately, only one thing from us: Fellowship. The greatest expression of love is unity… oneness. We are created for His good pleasure (Eph 2:10) and that pleasure is communion with Him in Spirit and Truth.

Understanding the heart of God, who He is, and who we are as His sons/daughters is paramount. All other subjects are viewed through this lens.

Trials must be seen through the lens of His intense love for us.

The following is not even close to being an exhaustive study.. rather an appetizer for which to take the concepts outlined here back to God in prayer and the word and meditate on. 

I pray this blesses you.


(taken from August 2015 blog post titled “Purpose and Reality…”)

My children are growing up literally as I look at them..  Just yesterday, I came home to look into my 3 year old, Rachel’s eyes and saw some unknown cognition had clicked inside her. She was… older.

This morning, Daniel conveyed to me a dream he had where he and his siblings  were looking for black bears to hunt down in some wooded location. Not yet five, he displays a courage and gentle fierceness often overlooked due to his tenderheartedness. As I got ready to leave for work, my own mind began to think on young David. He too chased down such animals… and I wonder if it started in his dreams as well.

Someday I shall ask him myself.

“But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock,  I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.”   (1 Sam 17:34-36)

There are some very old rites of passage in some cultures. Each one of them holding to certain traditions that once completed, officially announce the passing of boy from child into manhood.

These events  are specific, singular acts that can be reflected upon as one grows older. Within those cultures, there is never a question after that point in time as to whether or not that person is considered a “man” or not.

A certain old Indian ritual is to have a boy’s father, uncle and some older men of the tribe walk the boy deep into the woods at night, to a predetermined location where he is to sit. He is then blindfolded and told he must remain that way until he feels the morning sunlight on his face. At dawn, having braved the entire night in complete isolation, the boy returns to the village, then being introduced and forever welcomed by the community as a man.

With a final hug and reassurance, his father’s eyes are the last thing the boy sees as the cloth covers his sight. Then the branches and underbrush can be heard being crushed and snapped as the small company of men retreat back to the safety of the village, leaving the boy to his solitude.

The blindfold must never come off.

As he hears the sounds of the jungle all during the night, he must draw upon all his courage and mental fortitude.  All his father’s teachings and life lessons are brought to bear on this very singular moment.

How many of those lessons were squandered?  Which ones were allowed to be sown deep within the child’s heart?

Every sound seems amplified, which serves to magnify what the child is thinking, believing and drawing upon.  Sleep comes to some, not so much for others. One thing is constant in every event though. As the boy, moments away from now officially becoming a man, feels the morning warmth, hears the nocturnal sounds give way to morning activity…

He lifts the blindfold…

The first thing he sees is his dad sitting directly across from him, less than a dozen feet away. His father was there the entire night, making sure he was safe. His son was never alone. Ever.

The sons and daughters of the living God walk through similar experiences that are created by the hand of our Heavenly Father. Their purpose is to allow us to draw upon all we have been taught on that subject, and galvanize it forever through our own experiential rite of passage.

“For when for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food. For every one that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Heb 5:12-14)

We are not meant to re-live the same fears, expressed in numerous and different circumstances.  They are meant to be used to draw upon what we learned in the prior encounter. Disappointments, rejection, insecurity and pride.  These are signal flares lighting up the darkness of the carnal mind. They are beacons, encouraging us to get away from the rocks of  “dark” thinking. They let us know  we are not resting in the new mind we have through the Holy Spirit living in us.

“The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Sam 7:37)

Many of us are going through seasons of pushing through hurts, pains, and above all fear. These circumstances are intended to transition us from an aspect of spiritual immaturity to maturity. From childhood to manhood in whatever arena these trials touch. I want to remind you of two main aspects of these trials.  

The first is understanding the Purpose. You are meant to enter into a deeper, richer, fuller aspect of His nature. This is the purpose of a trial.  Said another way, a trial is an event or experience, singular or seasonal that is being used to refine our faith. (2 Peter 1:1-8, James 1:3) You are meant to walk in a deeper revelation of Him as a result of this trial. Do not squander it or contend with the season. Recognize it. Agree with its purpose. It is hand forged by Father out of His love for you.

The second is just as wonderful. It’s a revelation of a deep, beautiful Reality. He is with you always. When young David ran toward that Philistine, though no one saw it, David knew this already. The bear and the lion taught him this truth. David grabbed hold of it. He took possession of that reality for himself. The trials served their purpose. David had already entered into a deeper rest in his God as a result of them.

Realize this: the confrontation with Goliath was NOT a trial.

The trials were somewhere out there on that lonely grazing pasture. Somewhere between that first lion and the last bear that dared roar against a child of the living God. By the time that young boy entered the Hebrew camp and stood before King Saul, his brothers, and all the other quaking soldiers, David had already accepted the invitation, and entered into the deeper walk that was invited him through those challenges. The confrontation with the giant represented only one thing to David. A slaughter.  Please, remember this.

“See, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. “ (Matt 28:20)

You are never alone.


3 thoughts on “Understanding The Purpose of Trials: Part 1-Introduction

  1. Fighting Leviathan, With a Puny Wooden Sword!
    By Robert Winkler Burke
    Book #8 of In That Day Teachings
    Copyright 5/25/11 http://www.inthatdayteachings.com

    Notes from Nelson’s Quick Reference Bible Dictionary:

    “The book of Job is not only one of the most remarkable in the Bible, but in literature. As was said of Goliath’s sword, ‘There is none like it,’ none in ancient or in modern literature.” – Kitto. “A book which will one day, perhaps, be seen towering up alone far above all the poetry of the world.” – J. A. Froude. Nelson’s comments say that the true identity of who wrote Job has remained throughout time: a mystery.

    “Do not break the person, break his desire to attack you. Provide the illusion that your opponent still has control, but make sure he does not.” – Mikhail Ryabko, Russian Martial Art Systema Master

    I must not hurt huge Leviathan,
    As it swoops down on me!
    Dragon’s flame kills and maims,
    I’ll soon be history!

    Oh, woe is me! Oh, woe is me!
    I have but a wooden sword!
    From the cross, that victory tree,
    Of Christ, my humble Lord!

    Yet, I must not hurt Leviathan,
    Its skin is tough and brittle!
    His pride is ridiculous big,
    And I am less than little!

    We fight for hours,
    Oh, we fight for days on end!
    Then, when it’s over,
    The beast gets up again!

    My puny wooden sword damages it not,
    I’m like a grasshopper against a giant!
    Then it lays down, coughs up its heart,
    Upon its tongue, now on me: reliant!

    Leviathan now relies on me,
    To treat its heart with care!
    No longer enemies, but fast friends,
    I approach on God’s dare!

    Oh, woe is me! Oh, woe is me!
    I have but a wooden sword!
    From the cross, that victory tree,
    Of Christ, my humble Lord!

    With my too-small wooden sword,
    I walk into the danger zone, such biting teeth of dread!
    To the heart, now on the tongue,
    I gently touch my sword, out gush bright drops of red!

    From the sword come good drops,
    Of God’s ancient-wisdom self-sacrifice,
    Then Beast wakes up changed,
    Swallows heart and renews its old vice!

    Cruelly taking advantage of my nearness,
    Leviathan scorches me in full-blown rage!
    I fight him off again with wooden sword,
    Behold! Beast doth weaken! says my Page.

    For my Page greatly knows what’s going on,
    Not long ago, HE was THE bad Leviathan!
    You see, we fought for years! Way too long!
    His dual was an excruciating marathon!

    But after a thousand drops from God’s cross,
    My Page was, of Beast, set free!
    Now he’s learning to be God’s Man-of-War,
    Who fights evil, just like me!

    Oh, woe is me! Oh, woe is me!
    I have but a wooden sword!
    From the cross, that victory tree,
    Of Christ, my humble Lord!

    After days and months and years,
    My Page and I have succeeded!
    Leviathan whom we fought,
    Is full humble now: defeated!

    My Page has become a Swordsman,
    That Leviathan: HIS own Page,
    I have left off sword for pen,
    That you understand this age!

    So then, pride of religion and its blinding selfish-rigidness,
    Is killing man!
    Just as loving kindness, humility, patience and flexibility,
    Kills Leviathan!

    Job learned this In That Day,
    Of his: long ago!
    Now we must all learn the same!
    You do not know?

    Holy flexibility,
    Is where Christ-in-You is at!
    You’ll remember the fight,
    When the Rigid lose all that!

    You’ll remember the fight,
    When, as rigid Leviathan, you with great enmity: hated your betters!
    Who took your blows nobly,
    And with kind, wooden, bloody swords, removed your blind fetters.

    How you’ll hate that forgiving blood of Jesus,
    Applied drops at a time on your stony heart!
    Until you see it is not the end,
    But the Christ-in-You: Page-Warrior start!

    You’ll then, Rigid Ones, be on the,
    Other side of the sword!
    You’ll say, as Job did, I repent!
    In dust and ashes, Lord!

    And if you were particularly mean,
    And hurtful to your dear-brave Warrior-Savior,
    God will give you a willow-wimpy sword,
    To fight Leviathan, inside of your neighbor!

    Oh, woe is me! Oh, woe is me!
    I have but a wooden sword!
    From the cross, that victory tree,
    Of Christ, my humble Lord!

    You might say,
    Well, it serves me just about right!
    Rip me up,
    Leviathan! It’s time to fight!

    I shall not return evil for evil,
    From proud, religiously-rigid man,
    He may hurt me, but me never: him,
    He’ll get what I have in me: I AM!

    The great I AM,
    Wants to live in us all!
    In That Day it’s,
    A strange work: yet not small!

    It’s a BIG thing,
    When Leviathan pride dies!
    And Christ-in-You,
    Trumpets: loud victory cries!

    Yet and even much so,
    Your pride in all this will be choked: by your own reins,
    By the smallish sword,
    You’ll be given, to do the large work that remains!

    Oh, woe is me! Oh, woe is me!
    I have but a wooden sword!
    From the cross, that victory tree,
    Of Christ, my humble Lord!

    You might ask me, where did I learn all this?
    That it’s a pride-fight and that Leviathan isn’t a dinosaur true!
    I learned it by reading the Book of Job,
    From the Warrior-Prophet, not a Page, whose name is Elihu!

    This great, but young, Warrior-Prophet,
    Had heard so much talk of churchy-religious pride,
    Elihu wrote all of Job’s book,
    Yet pride in work: egoless, he did prodigious hide!

    Elihu hid his authorship,
    And prophetic voice with Job!
    That following Workmen,
    Would put this in their brain’s globe…

    Religious-Pride is Leviathan! (It’s a smallish issue with beginners!)
    Leviathan is Religious-godly-Pride! (Clericalism makes biggest sinners!)
    I write this, as your proud author,
    Oops! That beast is hard to hide!

    Where is my bent, old wooden sword?
    God, I lay my heart upon my swag tongue!
    Knowledge puffeth me up… in pride,
    Touch me now, oh blood of God’s Son!

    Oh, woe is me! Oh, woe is me!
    I have but a wooden sword!
    From the cross, that victory tree,
    Of Christ, my humble Lord!

    But you protest,
    Only Jesus! Jesus alone! He alone (ALONE!) is your Savior!
    Never you’d let,
    Yourself acknowledge: He can be greater in your neighbor?

    Can you, then, see now,
    What has been your, and all of milk Churchianity’s, problem?
    Sub-taught leaders vow,
    To never slay their damnable, supercilious, god-pride goblin?

    Even tho you say: just reading the bible sans leaven,
    And listening to, or becoming, another Milk-way, Mandarin Madman,
    And with Jesus, stuck somehow (by you?) in heaven,
    Works to expunge pride? Nope! It makes naught but bad-bad bad-men.

    So swallow your pride, oh religious daughter or son,
    Prepare to meet your shorter, younger, older, taller… Much Betters,
    Where dead body is, vultures on you will pick on,
    Your religious pride. So honor who removes necrotic, hubris fetters.

    You know, only Christ-in-You (in one) can do it,
    Almost kill a soul, non-violently, to get rid of religious pride… to move it,
    Eyes to see, ears to hear… are a better shoe fit,
    Pride kills. Humility heals. Hear ye, All pride-bots so ill-begot… get to it!

    Oh, woe is me! Oh, woe is me!
    I have but a wooden sword!
    From the cross, that victory tree,
    Of Christ, my humble Lord!

    Isaiah 27:1-4 (MSG) – “At that time (a time in the future when conditions are ripe) God will unsheathe his sword (ITDTs?)… his merciless, mighty sword… (and) he’ll kill [Leviathan – religious pride!] that old dragon [debauched clericalism that lives in harmony and support of Progressive Slavery or Tribal Slavery] that lives in the sea.”


    The sad but extremely typical early Twenty-First Century Milk Church Leadership meme: “You have everything to learn from us; we have nothing to learn from you!”

    Liked by 1 person

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