Trials and Afflictions Can Rock Your Faith.

This article series shares Pastor Erik’s latest Twitter posts as articles for anyone to read, whether you have access to Twitter or not. You can find Erik's original Twitter thread here.

Trials and afflictions can rock your faith.
Our first child, Kaleb, had a surgery to remove his bad kidney and the surgeon accidentally removed both. I was never discipled or trained theologically to be ready for this. God taught me 6 life-changing lessons from Daniel 1-3:

1. God is over our afflictions. In Daniel 1, God gave over Israel to the Babylonians and King Nebuchadnezzar. Whether you believe He actively decrees it or passively allows it, you cannot escape acknowledging that God wills it to happen.

Suffering and afflictions are never outside of God’s sovereign domain. This comforts believers because we know nothing whatsoever can come to pass outside God’s wisdom and love for us. Just because it’s painful doesn’t mean God isn’t at work (see Joseph’s story in Genesis).

2. God can rescue us from trials. In Daniel 3:17, the three Hebrew boys whose lives completely changed after the invasion, never turned away from the LORD. The refused to worship the king. When threatened with death, they declared by faith that God could rescue them.

I read this with my son fighting for his life post surgery. I needed to see that passage. It looked hopeless for us, but it wasn’t. God has the power to heal, restore, and do all things. The Bible shows us from cover-to-cover that nothing is impossible for God.

3. God may not remove us from our trials, yet we must still follow Him. The words of these three young men in Daniel 3:18 opened my eyes forever. They declared that “even if He doesn’t” rescue them, they aren’t going to bow down.

They possessed a theology that had room for God choosing not to save them from harm. I had never encountered a theology that accepts God’s non-action in worshipful submission. It echoes Job’s words, “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away, blessed be the name of the LORD.”

4. God is in our fires. The LORD appears in the fire with the three Hebrew boys after the king threw them in the furnace (Daniel 3:25)

Yes, He preserves them and they are not harmed. But the greatest encouragement to me is the reality of His presence in our pain. We are never alone in our trials. Christ is with us always. He provides all-sufficient grace to us in our afflictions (2 Corinthians 12:9).

5. Community is essential in our pains. These three Hebrew boys are never mentioned in isolation. They were together throughout the ordeal. They gained courage to stand against a tyrant as they stood together.

We need the same thing. The greatest tendency of those in affliction is to isolate themselves. The Lord taught me quickly that we would need community to endure through our suffering. And we found that in the local church. It’s truly irreplaceable.

6. God uses our pains to make Himself known to others. Everyone in the king’s court, including the king, saw the fourth figure in the fire. They witnessed the presence of God through the three boys’ trials.

I knew while in the hospital with Kaleb, and throughout his life, that even as we were learning to walk with God through devastating pain, God was going to use our story to make Himself known. And we’ve seen that be true over the last 18+ years since this incident occurred.

For all who are facing trials and afflictions today, turn to the Lord. Don’t waste your energies asking the wrong questions. Instead, fix your eyes on the Lord. That’s where your help comes from.

Tweet This!

If you haven't heard the story of my son, here is an article that explains it in more detail. 

Erik is the Pastor of The Journey Church in Lebanon. He also founded Knowing Jesus Ministries, an organization which exists to proclaim timeless truth for everyday life. He is married to Katrina, and has three children: Kaleb (who went to be with the Lord), Kaleigh Grace, and Kyra Piper. 



  • Anxiety,  Death,  Depression,  Discipleship,  Grief,  Worry