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What Are Trials and Tribulations?

What Are Trials and Tribulations?

Is this even a question? I think we all know what a trial and hardship is. I think the hardest struggle is knowing how to handle them. Let’s start off by defining both of these words. In term, they are different words but essentially have the same meaning. However, they each have slightly different definitions.

One of the English definitions of the word trial means, “the act of trying, testing, or putting to the proof.” The Hebrew definition means “justice, judgment, law, and regulation.” If you put these two definitions together you can grasp that a trial is a testing, trying time of learning to follow and obey the law and regulations that He set before us which can result in judgment or justice. The Hebrew letters that make up this word are Mem, Shin, Pey, and Tet. If you add all of the gematria numbers of each letter you get the number 529. I looked up the Strong’s number 529 and it means faithful. I thought this was really interesting as we are to stay faithful to God’s promises and walk in faith as we go through a trial. No matter how hard it is, our faithfulness in Yeshua the Messiah should not waver. I also put the meaning of each letter together and got this: in the midst of a trial we are to wash (the Hebrew letter Mem, representing water) ourselves with the Word, use the fire (Shin, representing fire) of God to rid the enemy, use your mouth (Pey, representing mouth) to speak out life and the Word of God to do good (Tet, representing good or evil) and to win the battle with God’s help.

I also looked up the same exact findings for the word tribulation. The English definition is “grievous trouble; severe trial or suffering.” The Hebrew definition is similar: “trouble, distress, anguish, narrow.” This word is made up of two Hebrew letters. Tsade and Dalet. The numbers combined from these letters comes out to be 94 which means in the Strong’s “hired”. Putting all of the meanings together we have a righteous, humble, faithful person (Tsade, representing righteous, humble, faithful person) who has been “hired” or chosen to go through tribulation to help further God’s Kingdom and allow more doors (Dalet, representing door) to be opened unto him.

Finding the deeper meanings of these words really helped me understand more clearly the definitions of trial and tribulation even though I already knew the basic meaning. I want to put an encouragement out there that if there is ever a moment of confusion or doubt or difficult circumstance that you are going through, don’t forget that you are going through it for a reason. Don’t forget that He works all things together for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Don’t forget that He promises never to leave nor forsake us through the hard times. A trial or tribulation is not to make you suffer and go through pain just to go through pain. Pain is a feeling. Pain is a struggle. Pain is not easy.

But when we go through something painful, we always come out stronger than when we came in. And that should be our prayer and our desire- to always come out stronger than how we came in. Whenever you enter into a hardship, remember that it is to grow you and make you stronger in Him. He wouldn’t have chose you if He didn’t think you were strong enough to fight the battle. He is training you. Put on the armor of God. Shield yourself with His Word. Use the weapons and swords that He’s provided for you so that you will be ready for war. Our minds are constantly doing battle; sometimes so much that it starts to result in our action. Let us be mindful of what state of mind we are in. Let us be mindful that through the trials the enemy’s job is to steal, kill and destroy. Remind the enemy who you stand for and who you stand against. Remember that a tribulation and hardship is only temporary. You are being prepared of what is to come. God has great plans for you. Walk out right now in a step (or perhaps a leap) of faith.


Jim Staley

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