Glory In The Swamp: God Is Redeeming Those Trials

Have you ever been reflecting on the picture of your life or ministry and it seems as though there is a maze of trials, problems and opportunities to work through?

There are times when we cannot see how God’s plan fits together.
And sometimes, it even feels as though we are caught in a swamp, and we are not sure how to navigate our way through it!

The key is revealed when we see that God, the Master Designer of our lives, has been intimately involved all along.

When Life is Like a Maze, Check the Signposts

God_in_the_TrialsWe have a jigsaw puzzle at home that depicts a maze set in a swamp.

Completing the jigsaw is only half the challenge. The other is to locate a trail through the maze that will take canoeists from one side of the swamp to the other. [1]

Eventually we discovered that the designer of the maze had hidden an unusual key to solve the puzzle. The correct route, the only one that that led through the maze, was lined with pelicans.
Upon review, the maze was easy—if only you knew about the signposts.

Your Life’s Purpose

 ‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’ (Eph 2:10)

The Bible tells us that God designs us for a purpose that He has prepared ahead of time. Today I believe He wants to encourage you in your call from Him, regardless of what is taking place right now.

You are destined and appointed by God to be a history maker, to make a difference in this world. Living out your life’s purpose is not only about some distant goal or destination, though. It is about partnering right now with God.

As you reflect back on your life to date, there are many things that God has used—and will continue to use, to help equip you to fulfil His purpose:

  • Natural talents as well as skills developed along the way
  • Your unique personality, interests and passion
  • Trials and wilderness periods allowed by God, as He did with many of His people in the Bible. These have refined your character and prepared you for fruitfulness. [2]
  • Pain, problems or tragedies. Redeemed by your Heavenly Father, these become part of your life message as a testimony or ministry to others
  • Positioning—that when you look back, you see God enabled you to be in the right place at the right time for His purposes
  • Divine appointments and relationships, as people have been brought into your life for a reason. The input of some people has equipped you to grow spiritually, sharpen different skills and impart wisdom.
  • Connecting you with a local church and calling you alongside people to be part of a community of faith
  • Opportunities and circumstances that when you have said yes to them, you have grown

Today, God may be speaking to you about an event or issue that has been in your life, saying “Give that into My hands, put your trust in Me and I will redeem it. Know that I am faithful.”

The story of Joseph stands as an encouragement to us. (Genesis 30-50) None of the trials Joseph went through were wasted. God used everything to prepare and equip him for what was ahead in the call of God on his life.

Maybe you are reflecting on a vocation or ministry, and you are not sure how it fits together. Perhaps it even feels broken.

Today, take a fresh look at God your Redeemer. Put the pieces of that puzzle in His hands and allow Him to do His work of grace. Ultimately, you will see that things fit together in some way, unforeseen by you but ordained ahead of time by God.

Postscript: Jesus is with you

Immediately after I wrote the above analogy about the swamp, I was taking a break, enjoying some British TV. In the episode, a bride and groom became caught in a muddy swamp, at night. The bride’s white gown was becoming covered in mud. Eventually they found their way out.

It was a vivid parable of what I had just been writing.

Someone needs to be reminded, Jesus is with you in the circumstances—He has been with you all along. And He knows the way out. A couple of verses come to mind:

‘Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor [trouble] a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ (Hosea 2:14-16, NIV)

‘I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.’ (Ps 40:1-3, NIV)


[1] Google’s dictionary definition of swamp is ‘an area of low-lying, uncultivated ground where water collects’

[2] For more of how God uses a wilderness season, see Going Through a Testing Season In Your Spiritual Gifts

Related Posts:

When Ministry Doesn’t Work Out The Way You Expect

Your Prophetic Word and Spiritual Warfare

© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

Enliven Ministries: in the David McCracken Ministries family

22 thoughts on “Glory In The Swamp: God Is Redeeming Those Trials”

  1. Wow… that encouraged me so much… crying… Today I had a really bad day and Jesus just encouraged me to go on. This post was like another encouragement: “Go on…”.

  2. addition… I just found out why some certain people are attacking me.. now Jesus showed me WHY and that He wants me to bless and forgive them. This really helped me a lot

  3. Hi Julia, sounds like it’s been a difficult time. I pray for an outpouring if God’s grace and a reversal of the situation. May the next day be one of breakthrough for you, breaking down of walls and the refreshing of the Spirit pouring in.

  4. Jacki van der Burg

    Thank you for your encouragement, I really appreciate your blogs and ministry. This has really blessed me today and I have shared your blog with others who I know will be strengthened and built up. Bless you

  5. Thank you for your blog Helen! I praise the Lord for using your words to encourage me.
    I went through a long “wilderness season” and though it took some time, I began to realize and see that the Lord was still at work…looking back over the last 2 years I see how much I have grown – I experienced the “seed falling to the ground and dying, so that it could bear much fruit”. The Lord used (and is still using) that season to develop and grow me in character and even my relationship with Him. Now I can also encourage others going through a tough season – indeed, there is a reason and purpose for it even though it may not seem that way when you’re in it, and the Lord will use it for your good and for His glory!

    God Bless!

    1. Hi Tracey, such rich wisdom emerging in your life, that will bless many others! I love the analogy of the seed… losing the outer husk, the self-protective casing, in order to grow, knowing His grace is sufficient. May you continue to experience His resurrection power. Thank you for leaving the comment!

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