We may have different circumstances in life, but there’s one thing we have in common – we all experience trials. Trials are the bumps and roadblocks in our otherwise smooth life journey. When these difficult times come, more often than not, our automatic response is to seek instant relief and immediate escape. We clench our teeth, shut our eyes tight, and hope for the pain to end the next day. However, trials are a significant part of life’s journey. If we sleep through the experience, we will fail to learn and miss the growth that accompanies it. Responding better to trials starts with knowing and understanding more about them. Here are three things you need to know about trials.
Experiencing Trials is a Natural Thing
Our time on Earth is our preparation to meet God (Alma 34:32), and this process involves uncomfortable and difficult times called trials. They may come due to sin, unwise choices, or as a natural result of living in a “fallen world.” Or they may come for seemingly no reason at all. No matter the origin of our trials, one thing is sure – they are there to mold us and refine us to become the person God expects us to be. Trials are, in fact, part of Heavenly Father’s Plan of Salvation. Therefore, as the Apostle Paul said, we should not think of them as something strange (1 Peter 4:12).
Accepting and embracing trials will likely not result in a special immunity to them. We will be subjected to them as much as everybody else. But, in the process, we will gain a different perspective, and we will respond better to circumstances that seem to take our breath and our hopes away. We may even experience joy in the midst of our difficulties.
Trials are Temporary
When trials come, it might feel like time has slowed down – or even stopped altogether. Our pain and negative emotions sometimes make what really are short times seem like an eternity. Don’t let yourself be fooled! Experiencing trials is just a phase of our lives that will soon pass. They are as temporary as our time on Earth, and, when compared to the eternity ahead of us, they are but a twinkling of an eye. Hang in there, my friend! As God promised the afflicted Prophet Joseph Smith, your trials “shall be but a small moment,” and God will bless you if you endure it well (Doctrine and Covenants 121: 7-8).
All trials can be overcome with God’s help
While it’s good to have a positive mindset about trials and a better understanding of their temporary state, trials are best addressed through proactive efforts on our part. However, our trials sometimes seem more than “we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).” Despite our efforts, our burdens are still sometimes heavy, and we feel far from any relief. With our limited capacity as human beings, we cannot bear our trials alone. We need the help of other people and especially help from God.
When Jesus Christ was performing the most difficult task of all, atoning for our sins, He prayed to His Father in Heaven for help. If someone as grand, great, and divine as Jesus Christ needed help, how much more should we ask heaven to help us bear our trials? Like Jesus Christ, may we not just ask our Father in Heaven to help us in our trials, but may we also be humble enough to accept the Father’s will and utter “…nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done (Luke 22:42).” I know that our loving Father in Heaven will not abandon us or leave us comfortless. He will sustain us in our times of difficulty. He knows well that we can rise above it, with the help of His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ. All trials, even the most difficult trial of the Atonement, were made to be overcome.
With this increased knowledge of trials, may we respond to trials more positively. May we hold on more to our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ for solace. I promise in the eternal view, it will be over in the twinkling of an eye, and as long as we stay true to our Heavenly Father, He can and will make everything eternally alright again.