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 you knew about the signposts.

When Life Resembles a Maze, Check the Signposts

Sometimes we reflect on the picture of our life or ministry and it seems like a jumble of trials, problems and opportunities. We cannot see how it all fits together. It 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.

And He wastes nothing.

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

Do you have any testimonies of God’s guidance through difficult times? How has this post ministered to you? Leave a comment in the box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.

Related Posts:

When Ministry Doesn’t Work Out The Way You Expect

Your Prophetic Word and Spiritual Warfare

© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

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

  1. Dear Helen,
    thank you for this inspiring blog. I am grateful for every word, because I definately needed to be reminded that Jesus is with me in my circumstances and knows the way out, because I don’t at the moment. I would like to ask you to pray for me, if possible.
    God bless you!

  2. Hi Conny, thanks for leaving the comment. I do pray that you receive the clarity you need and the strong sense of Father’s loving arms around you in your circumstances. Bless you.

    ‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ (Jer 29:11)

  3. Thank you for the word about the maze/swamp, and especially the postscript including the Hosea passage. I’ve been unemployed for almost 2 years, and the unemployment benefit ended in December 2013. This is very much a boggy swamp, but you have encouraged me to remember Jesus is with me and to look for Him and signs He is here.

  4. I’ve been in that wilderness and trials more than I can count. And, I used to ask God to take me out of them. But I’ve learned that each time I’ve gone through, overcome and gotten victory with the Holy Spirit. Someone comes along that may be going thru a similar trial and I usually minister to them out of that situation. It’s never failed. Whomever He sends for me to minister to, whether the’re going thru past or present issues, I have a testimony that ministers healing and freedom. I’ve gotten to the point of being thankful for the testings. Not only that, but they’ve changed renewed my thinking.
    I appreciate all the articles because they touch so many areas that I want to grow and serve the Lord.
    Thank you

    1. So true, Beatrice, our tests become the testimonies… and a powerful tool to help us minister to others.

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