Glory In The Swamp: God Is Redeeming Those Trials

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)


Notes:

[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. Julia Berndt

    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. Julia Berndt

    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. Helen Calder Post author

    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. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Jacki, great to hear from you. Be blessed with His ‘…ever increasing glory’ (2Cor 3:18) 🙂

  6. Tracey Stewart

    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. Helen Calder Post author

      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!

  7. jose ramos

    Gracias por escribir…decia en mi nota,que conoci el evangelio en una denominacion cristiana tradicional,esto conlleva a pensar que no creen en los pasos que por la gracia de Dios he dado.No creen en los Dones espirituales,menos en los ministerios de Efesios 4:11 y 12.Esto me confundio al principio
    y gracias a Dios ya sali de este perido.Hoy avanzo con una nueva perspectiva acerca de los Dones de la ascension.Pase
    tiempo con muchas confusiones ,respecto a quien me ayudara a salir de todo esto,Dios me hablo al corazon y me dijo que espe
    rara,asi lo hice.Hoy nueve años despues mis dudas desapare
    cieron,el profeta aleman que por primera vez me ministro dijo que habia que esperar para iniciar un Ministerio apostolico y pro
    fetico a las naciones.Mientras tanto me decia Dios te da dones de sanidades y de milagros,en ocasiones cuando me
    invitaban a ministrar ponia manos sobre hermanos enfermos
    desahusiados,algunos sanaban.En ocasiones ministraba profecias personales y despues de profetizar despues analizaba si lo dicho era verdad o exagere,o hasta donde fue
    la Palabra y hasta donde yo le habia aumentado .El profeta me habia dicho que no tuviera contacto con hermanos de la
    iglesia, que me metiera para convivir en oracion con el Señor
    y pedir la guia del Espiritu Santo para todo aquello que habia
    de hacer,durante todo este tiempo he tenido sueños y visione
    nes,en los sueños aparecen muchas aguas,templos inundados por aguas cristalinas,en ellos podia respirar paz,vi
    siones de sucesos raros en el mundo,las cuales me daban
    temor de hablar de ellas.Persepciones mentales que con fre
    cuencia venian a mi,acerca de rostros de personas de diferentes paices algunos sufriendo,veia ciudades de climas
    frios,por las calles caminaban personas y veia que entraban
    a grandes edificios y que ocasiones me decian espera aqui…
    Sueños y visiones siguen manifestandose y debido a que e
    ran tan continuos ,yo decia al Señor si me las das,por favor da
    me las interpetaciones para saber que hacer…sobre esto si
    go en lo mismo.He adquirido libros que me ayuden,sobre el
    tema,pues usted sabe que en Mexico,es dificil encontrar un Ministro acerca de lo apostolico y profetico,como los hay en
    USA.Decia tambien en mi nota anterior que he tenido que lu
    char con la falta de paciencia,aunque el profeta me dio una un
    cion de paciencia,en ocasiones como que me quiebro,trueno,
    y quisiera acabar ya…Porque actuo asi:en cada ocasion que el profeta me ministraba decia,espera,espera un poco mas y
    saldras para iniciar tu ministerio,puertas se abriran y haraz lo
    que el Señor que hagas y seras testimonio a milies de personas por mi y miles se salvaran…ESPERA!,con la ayuda
    del Señor vere al profeta en este año en el mes de junio en u
    na ciudad de mi pais.Lo que me ha sostenido en fe,obediencia y paciencia es el escuchar las profecias acerca de mi llamado,aun no comisionado,a traves de mi grabadora.
    Le ruego a usted sus oraciones porque Dios cumpla en mi su proposito.
    Quiero decirle que mi situacion es la de miles de mexicanos
    que han sido llamados a un ministerio especifico,pero que carecen de maestros ,para que los enseñen y entrenen y los
    activen.Gracias por leer mis notas.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Jose Ramos, thank you for sharing.
      Some of the translation is unclear, so I am sorry if I have not got it all. Thank you for sharing your journey about the call of God on your life, the prophecies and the ministry on your heart.
      I believe it is very important for anyone with a call from God to prophetic ministry, or any ministry, to stay in community and under leadership. So that if even a ‘Prophet’ says to you, that you should be in isolation, and be set apart from church or community or leadership and just wait directly on God, that this is a contradiction to Scripture. Although we do see some prophets in isolation in the Old Testament, this is not the case in the New Testament.
      Also, any ministry call given through a Prophet (in fact any prophetic word given) needs to be weighed up carefully.
      Here are a couple of articles that I have written on this subject:
      http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2011/09/13/differences-between-old-and-new-testament-prophetic-ministry/
      http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2013/01/29/the-power-of-prophetic-accountability/
      Hope this helps 🙂 Sometimes the journey of God takes time while He is growing our faith.

      I understand that it can be difficult to get good mentoring or teaching about prophetic ministry in many situations. This is why we have put a lot of free training materials on this blog. I could send you an eBook if you can translate a PDF document that is written in English. Let me know.

  8. David

    My wife and i where in a season of financial hardship when i had no job. We where running a bible study home group at the time and shared our burden with others in our group.After weeks of prayer there was no breakthrough.One night while in bed we where listening to a teaching on finance and the speaker gave a testimony of a couple who had no money and they prayed and said to God it would be nice to have chicken for dinner.That night out of the blue a friend came to the door with a chicken.A few days later it was bible study time and we wanted to call it off and quit,why has God not answered,have we sinned or done something wrong.We pressed on as people began to turn up for bible study.One lady from the group knocked at the door rather than just come in.She said this might sound strange, but while at the supermarket just now God told me to buy you this, she gave us a bag and we opened it to find a chicken inside.Not long after i started working. Galatians 6:9

  9. Helen Calder Post author

    Such a great testimony, David. It seems that often before our breakthrough, there is a stretch of time in which our faith and perseverance is being tested.
    Our God is faithful!

  10. arie

    Thank you, I will take this post as an encouragement. Not much is making sense in the last 5 months, Even got laid of my work. Even find it hard to hear from God whereas I used to hear Him at the drop of a hat. David McCracken prophesied over me about 25 years ago that I was going to “make”it. That combined with this post I am hanging on to that I will make it, althoughI have no idea where what and how. It’d be nice to have a mountain top experience and hear Gods whispers again as well as knowing where I am going. 🙂

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Arie, sending a prayer your way for your breakthrough. Thank you for leaving the note. 🙂

  11. Conny

    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!
    Conny

  12. Helen Calder Post author

    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)

  13. Wilma Straight

    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.

  14. Beatrice

    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. Helen Calder Post author

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

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