Trials and trails and are similar in appearance, but they are words with different meanings. The key to understanding the definition of these two words is the location of the “I” within their context.
I have walked many trails that have been pleasurable experiences. I have also encountered several trails in my life that were full of trials.
When a person finds himself on a trail that is suddenly full of trials, life can be rather confusing. This was the case with King David, when he said: I tried to understand all this; it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood . . . (Psalm 73).
Remember what I said earlier about the “I” context and how it can change the meaning of a word? When David tried to understand the context of his life from just an “I” or “Me” perspective, his perception was sadly lacking.
David’s comprehension of the situation changed when he took an eternal perspective on the trials he was facing. The “I” in his context became “not I,” “not me, me ,me,” but instead it became “Thee and Thy will for me.”
There will be times in our life when nothing makes sense. The trail will seem too steep to climb and too long to endure. In times like these, we need to do what David did: We need to turn to God. David realized that God had already walked the trail that was before him: When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path (Psalm 142:3).
When thinking about the trails he had taken and the trials he had experienced, the Apostle Paul wrote: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
If you are presently walking a trail full of trials, let me remind you of a couple of things:
1. God never leads His children down the wrong path,
2. While you may not know where the path will lead you, God does.
3. Even though you may be confused, but God is never confounded.
4. God is present in your trial and will comfort you, and if you will allow Him to do He will use you to comfort someone else.
I hope this is enough to keep you thinking.