C1: RYM LINKS‎ > ‎

RYM: Wk1 Chapter 4 "Various Trials"

Course 1: RYM LINKS

Day 4, Week 1: RYM Chapter 4

"Various Trials"

 

but first Restored Marriage Testimonies

taken from



It Happened for a Reason – God had a Plan!!


My husband had moved out and was living with the OW, a co-worker. He was not happy and felt unwanted in our 20+ years of marriage. Prior to deciding to fight for our marriage, I had sent him emails quoting Scripture and pointing out his sins and faults. That was the wrong way to handle things! He has since shared with me that it just made him mad and confirmed for him that he had done the right thing by leaving.

After approximately six weeks of separation and moving toward divorce, I realized that divorce did not have to be the answer. I decided to “fight the good fight.” I was doing it alone with my prayers. A pastor friend across the country referred me to the Restore Ministries website. I immediately ordered the “Restore Your Marriage” book and read it within a couple of days.

I did not immediately release my attorney or sign the agreement at the end of that chapter. I had a hard time with the thought of dismissing my attorney, but I prayed about it, and within a couple of days I knew that I needed to follow through. A burden was lifted from me once I released my attorney. Ladies, you have to take that step! My outlook changed immediately.

I knew that God would restore our marriage; it was only a matter of days before I began to see changes in myself and would stop to think about what I had done to change. I realized it was not me—it was God working in awesome ways! The changes came after I began to realize the things I had done wrong, prayed for God to change me, and prayed for our marriage. I had to turn it all over to God and trust Him completely.

My husband began to notice little changes when he stopped by briefly for the kids or the mail. A mutual friend was also telling him how much I had changed. I asked him to forgive me for my contentiousness in the past. Getting past those ways was a relief to me; it is so much better to live a non-contentious life! Life is much more enjoyable, and I am happier too. Of course, this also comes from having the Spirit living within me!

My husband couldn’t imagine that the changes were real and that I wasn’t putting on a front, trying to get him back for the wrong reasons. We did not talk much but would occasionally email to discuss the kids. Just as Erin mentioned in her book, he tested me at times when he talked to me. I felt this happen on several occasions where he would say something to see if I would react. I did not react as I would have in the past, which showed him that I was a new person.

There were several different events coming up over the holidays, and I prayed in desperation for our marriage to be restored so we could attend together as husband and wife. It didn’t happen. The kids and I were with my family in a resort area for Christmas, and I had invited my husband, letting him know he could join us at any time during the week. I prayed that he would show up on Christmas—it was the only thing I wanted! I went to bed crying and praying, but also realizing that it would happen in God’s timing, not mine. Once I acknowledged to God that He alone could know when we were both ready, that’s when restoration happened.

It was December 28 and my husband showed up at the resort. I did not expect it, and my husband didn’t know until 30 minutes prior to leaving our hometown for the resort that he would return home. He wasn’t sure why he was there, but I assured him it was God who had brought him.

Ladies, be sure to turn it all over to God. When you are waiting and having a rough day, pray and pray some more! If it weren’t for my faith, for our awesome God, and for prayer, I would not have gotten through! Do not fight in the flesh—it will only frustrate you and slow your restoration. I found that so many things happened just as Erin said they would in the RYM book. I followed her advice, read the Scriptures, and prayed, and that is what got me through. It will get you through also.

“If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” All of this happened for a reason. God had a plan, and now my husband and I are so much happier. We are living for God, we have a great marriage, and it just gets better every day!

Thank you, Erin, for your ministry. It is so awesome how you have helped so many marriages, ours included! God is wonderful, and what a gift He has given the two of you!

Lydia, RESTORED in New Mexico


Miracle Restoration Deep in the Heart(s) of Texas!

I discovered Restore Ministries when I was looking for answers, stumbling upon the website. It served to confirm to me what the Holy Spirit was beckoning me to do . . . do not divorce, let him go, and believe for your marriage. Erin's book filled in the blanks! Thank you!

God changed me before changing my situation. I first learned how to become humble and keep my mouth shut. I learned to lean on the Lord and the Lord only! I had to learn to submit to my husband, although it was against what my flesh was telling me to do. It took every ounce of faith to lean on the Lord and submit to my husband, especially when it seemed detrimental to my circumstance. Keeping my mouth shut, I ran to the Lord. I also learned about the power of fasting.

Ministry resources I have included How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage and A Wise Woman and the "Be Encouraged!" videotapes. I highly recommend each of these resources. I have already passed the book along to my sister-in-law who is going through great marital difficulties. I have recommended the website numerous times.

One evening, as I sat on my balcony, I reviewed the events in my life over the past year—it seemed as though everything was spiraling downward. My marriage seemed nonexistent as my husband and I, although still living together, were worlds apart. I felt I had fallen out of love with him months ago and vice versa. It had been a long time since we were intimate.

I chuckled thinking that we were like roommates who shared a bed. Who knew where he was and what he was doing? Did I even care? I recounted in the last twelve months how much debt we were in, how little money we had, and that what money we did have I spent club-hopping, drinking, and hanging out with my girlfriends. My parents were often doing our job of raising our son as he stayed with them three to five days a week.

Inside were a huge void and a heavy burden that plagued me every day and night. I remembered how I used to love the Lord with all my heart and here I was feeling as though He were a long lost friend. Then I started to wonder what would happen if Christ came back tomorrow. I knew without a doubt I would be left behind.

I instantly began to think about maybe praying again, but would He listen? Then without hesitation, I got down on my knees and rededicated my life to the Lord, asking Him to change me. As I prayed, I made the decision to stay in our marriage and work it out, but I asked the Lord to please give me "feelings" for my husband again or else I didn't see how it would work. I also prayed that He would change my husband and bring him back to the Lord.

In the following weeks, my hunger for the Lord grew insatiably. I began reading the Bible thoroughly for the first time. I was attending church regularly and tithing as the Bible instructs. In less than a month, my feelings for my husband had returned and I loved and was "in love" with my husband! It was miraculous since I hadn't felt that way for him since we first dated. I was just waiting and praying for the Lord to do the same to my husband. I believed for my husband's salvation.

One day as I was reading the Word and praying for the salvation of my husband and our marriage, the Lord showed me a chapter in Hosea. Briefly, the Lord tells Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman named Gomer. Gomer then leaves her husband to continue her promiscuous lifestyle with a string of men with the promise of greener grass on the other side. She goes through the trenches, eventually being sold as a slave. Hosea, while extremely heartbroken, is then commanded by the Lord to go and take her back as his wife despite her unbridled flaws.

After reading the account, I remembered thinking that it was interesting and amazing that the Lord would ask Hosea to marry and take back this woman who had a bad reputation and was unfaithful. It also ran through my mind that I supposed the Lord would have me do the same with my husband if I was in the same situation. However, I was not—at least that's what I thought at the time. I was sadly mistaken that since I had turned my life back to Jesus that the ball would reverse and begin rolling up the hill again. Boy, was I wrong.

A few months later, not only did our marriage take a turn for the worse, but I finally found out that he had been in adultery for a while. I thought once I confronted him that he would beg for forgiveness and make things right. Still wrong! He left and I was the one doing the begging and pleading for him to please not leave me.

I was stunned, shocked, empty, lonely, crushed, and my heart and self-worth were shattered. I thought, "Now what?" I thought the Bible taught that I had the right to divorce him and some well-meaning friends reminded me of just that. However, deep in my heart I wanted my marriage back, but I also thought it impossible.

My husband was convinced we married too young and we only married because I became pregnant while dating. To this day, although premarital sex is wrong and not biblical, I KNEW that I married him because he was my only love and "my soul mate." I also knew that he would never marry any woman simply because of a child. All in all, I knew it was a lie straight from the gates of hell.

The next day after I found out about the OW, I called an on-fire Christian friend. She shared with me that the Lord had told her that I was NOT to divorce my husband, but to let him go and wait on the Lord. Although I wanted to believe her, I was ridden with doubt, fear, and strong opposition in the spiritual and in the physical realms. I had so many questions: why, when, and how will this work out? Even through torturing emotional pain and anxiety, I committed to continue to trust and seek the Lord with all my heart. I "set my face like flint" and sought the Lord's will. After all, he didn't re-establish my love for my husband for no reason, right?

In the coming weeks and months, the Lord continued to confirm His will for me to believe for my marriage. It wasn't going to be a cakewalk and it would take much changing on my part. I had to learn about unconditional love (like Hosea). I had to banish any self-righteousness and pride on my part. I had to repent for my own mistakes, including premarital sins.

Accomplishing this feat truly required the ultimate essence of Jesus—love, sacrifice, obedience, and total humility! Wow, it was like the show "Extreme Makeover" (in the spiritual sense) where it takes a lot of pain to come out a brand new person. God was performing an extreme makeover inside of me.

In the meantime, my husband was off in fantasyland, free from the constraints of a wife and child waiting for him at home, vying for his attention. He called from time to time to check on us. He often asked for financial favors. I was working and supporting our child and myself while he was unemployed and living "the life." He would visit when the OW was at work. Although he would go out of his way not to lead me on, I would every once in awhile catch "a glimpse of what I saw in his eyes" when we were first dating.

The devil attacked spontaneously and suddenly when I least expected it after I had found my calm in God during this great storm. Once I found a burn hole in his underwear while doing laundry. I realized that it was from a candle. The devil allowed my emotions to do the rest.

Another time as I was looking for some tax papers, a love poem fell in my lap. It was from the OW to my husband. Again, I felt my very breath get knocked out of me and instantly I felt nauseous. I could go on and on and on, but my testimony is about victory and not about shame!

Finally, as was prophesied by a woman in a church revival, my breakthrough came! My husband moved home for the first time. I say first time because in the next six months was the most powerful spiritual tug of war yet. He was confused and literally moved in and back out with the OW, in and out, in and out, but more out than in, at least a half dozen times. I have to admit; it was the most painful part of the struggle, even more painful than the beginning when I first found out.

I faced rejection like a broken record; it played over and over again. Each time it felt like a painful blow in the stomach and a stab to my heart. However, I continued to believe in all the Lord had taught me through fasting, fervent prayer, and reading/reciting the Word. I probably shed the most tears and ate fewer meals at this time in my life than ever before. I often liken this last part of my trial as the "final exam." While my husband was being pulled back and forth by good and evil, it was as if the Lord allowed this critical time to test and stretch my stamina, my faith, and my perseverance. I felt much like Job as he underwent his last set of traumas or like the three boys in the furnace as the fire was turned up seven notches.

Praise God, while it was excruciatingly painful, I came out refined, pure, and consecrated! The whole storm was over a year and a half. Keep in mind though your test, in actuality, is a lifetime.

In the beginning, I had Christian counselors advise me to divorce him. I had a handful of supportive friends and prayer partners. In the end, I had one or two faithful, unwavering prayer partners, but in His wondrous mercy, I had Jesus before, during, and after the whole ordeal. Only God was able to restore an impossible situation!! He called something that was dead back to life!!

It has been almost two years since my husband came home permanently. It definitely took at least a full year to heal and overcome the damage done, but it is worth a new marriage in Christ and a broken divorce curse. Neither of us could be happier in our marriage.

My husband tells me daily that he loves me and he says he misses me when he's at work. I praise God for all that he taught me during my trial and now what seemed a curse was truly a masterpiece of a blessing from the Lord. He makes all things new!!

Kery, RESTORED in Texas


Impossibly Restored (by God Alone) and More!

After three years of praying and praying with Restore Ministries, my husband not only came home to our children and me, but received Jesus and was baptized and now is growing by leaps and bounds in Christ!! We are both renewed and restored, thanks to God!

The Lord had a lot of work to do on me so that I could learn how to love and how to pray for my husband; I had to get rid of all the hate, resentment and pain, first, as did my husband. We are both in love with the Lord and with each other now and want to work in a marriage ministry.

Throughout my trial, the principles from God's Word and RMI resources taught me perseverance, to never give up, endurance, and to KNOW that the Lord hears our prayers.

The resources I would recommend are: Restore Ministries and The Holy Bible!

Even when we do not realize it, God has heard our prayers and continues to work on our hearts. He is a faithful God Who keeps His promises to us when we are faithful. He is so worthy of our praise and worship!

There is no way our marriage could have been restored without God. We had been married 21 year when my husband left. He was angry, disillusioned, depressed and full of animosity. At the time, he said he was "done," but thankfully, the Lord had other plans. Thank You, Jesus!

Diane, RESTORED in California


God Moved So Quickly that I Didn't Get to Hear the Tapes!

There aren't words enough to praise God for who He is and what He alone can do! He is the God of the impossible! His love for us is deeper and wider and higher than we could ever imagine. He loves blessing us and asks so little in return. Obedience with faith and repentance bring healing.

This is my second marriage. I had been married once before (when I was not a believer) and left that marriage in hatred and anger. This time was completely different, because of God's grace!

When my husband was gone, the Lord continually encouraged me and showed me through Scriptures and through others that our marriage would be restored. He reminded me that it would be He who would soften my husband's heart as I sought and obeyed.

From the beginning, I was seeking and God was showing me what to do. Months before my husband left, I began praying for his brokenness. Six months later he lost his job and eventually, decided to leave. It was at this time that God impressed upon me to wait on Him, to let my husband go—that like the prodigal he would return. God encouraged me to trust Him and let go of all control. He woke me and told me to fast and pray. He showed me that I was to be loving and gentle whenever we spoke. The Lord gave me His agape love for my husband, despite the circumstances. I didn't get angry with him but fell more in love while he was gone!

I never asked about the OW, but God woke me to pray every time there was temptation for him. My husband said he was physically faithful to me, and I know that's true because of what the Lord showed me. Early in my crisis, the Lord also showed me not to get a lawyer and to let the finances go, which was hard coming from a wealthy family who was pushing me to go after him. The Lord did lead me to write my husband one love letter, asking for his forgiveness.

During our separation, the single women's Sunday school class kept asking me to join them. I shared with them that I wasn't single but married, and—God willing—always would be! I found out about RMI when I was at church talking to a divorced woman; she gave me your pamphlet and shared her situation with me. I came home, immediately researched your website, and ordered the materials the very next day.

I ordered the first resource packet and right away I read the book on restoring your marriage, which is excellent. Although the Lord had impressed upon me that our marriage would be restored, my husband had filed for divorce, so I ordered the book on divorce as well. I responded without a lawyer, and—praise the Lord!—it is no longer in the court system! I have yet to listen to the tapes because God moved so quickly!

I again fasted and prayed for a week, as your book says to do. This just happened to be the week before I met with my husband for the first time in three months! I was the first to speak when we saw each other. I asked him for forgiveness, which really opened the door, and he cried.

Within twelve hours of our first conversation (a three-hour talk), he called and asked to return home! Twenty-four hours later, he asked all four of our children for forgiveness! He is now a changed man, always putting my needs first. I know now that the Lord used these trials to refine us so that we could both be the godly husband and wife He intends us to be.

It was your book that the Lord used to convict me of all my sins—playing my husband's Holy Spirit, being the leader in the home, being critical and judgmental, etc. I already had a close walk with the Lord, but these were areas that I had neglected, and I needed to put God first in all things. God spoke daily to my heart and gave me the strength and faith to obey. I have watched a miracle unfold, and I give Him all the glory!

God continues to change me daily. I am working through "A Wise Woman" and am in agreement with everything it teaches. As a Bible Study leader, I would love to offer it to other women as a study. I am excited to see God continue to move, and I hope and pray someday my husband (who hates that sort of thing) will ask to do the men's A Wise Man.

The two resources that I would most recommend are How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage book and A Wise Woman. I'm sure your other resources are just as valuable, but those are what I read. I know God is going to use your ministry in incredible ways—in fact, He already has! My neighbors, who were missionaries for 20 years, have a restored marriage after the wife read your book in just one day!

I have already shared your website with at least ten women and want to tell the world about it. I am recommending your resources to friends in both difficult and good marriages—I think every woman should do the workbook no matter the state of her marriage! I am buying a copy for our son and daughter-in-law, as well as for our daughter who is falling in love. I wish every woman could have your workbook before she gets married!

He is the Healer and Restorer and Redeemer and Lover of our souls. I praise Him day and night, always and forever!!! Thank you, and God bless you and your ministry always.

Shelia, RESTORED in Colorado


Disastrous Circumstances, Yet God Delivers!

While I was looking for Christian websites for marriage restoration, not divorce recovery, because I believe God wanted ours and all marriages healed.

I had practiced the occult for most of my life, but after my husband left, God revealed Himself to me, delivering me from that bondage.

When I accepted Christ as my Savior, He changed me into the woman my husband wanted and needed all along. He led me to your site to show me He had not given up on my husband or marriage, and that He wanted me to stand in the gap.

God revealed His truth to me through His Word—you MUST know God's promises to claim His promises! NOTHING is impossible for our Lord to handle! Your resources helped by teaching me that your actions show God that you believe in Him. By wearing my wedding ring, letting my attorney go, and telling others my husband WOULD return, I affirmed that I trusted what God told me!

I only used your website as my only resource. The information led me to search God's Word and grow strong in it.

After being gone for eleven months, my wayward husband returned home! God was faithful to His Word and promises to lift me up when things looked hopeless, giving me the hope and strength I needed to stand in the gap for our marriage restoration. He gave me great peace and joy, and my husband said he saw in me "a new light."

My husband thought he had wanted the OW, but he didn't want her anymore. Furthermore, he saw himself being with our children and me, being truly happy. He knew God was calling him—you must put Him first.

I prayed for God to restore our marriage while my family was here, and God did more than I asked for by gathering my whole family one Sunday evening. My Mom and sister came from Alaska to visit my brother, who has brain cancer, and my husband's mom came from out of town to be with us!

Then my husband gathered everyone together and broke down before us, pleading forgiveness and said he was coming home! Just an hour before, my mom and brother had told me he was NOT coming home and that it was time to let him go! I told them that God told me otherwise and that I was to wait for His perfect timing. Within an hour, they witnessed the mighty hand of God working right before their eyes! Praise God—He is so awesome!

My husband asked to pray as we joined in a big circle. He came to "godly sorrow" right then—what an amazing thing for a family to witness!

My husband had told me all those months that he was happy with the OW, didn't love me, was NEVER coming home, and we would be divorced as soon as he could afford it. When he said those things, it hurt, but the Holy Spirit told me they were all lies, and to focus on Christ and His truth instead.

Don't ever give up! You may not see what God is doing with your husbands while they are away, but know that He is working! My husband revealed to his mom just last month (the first we started to see him changing) that his year with the OW was the most miserable he had ever had. He said he had made a huge mistake and wanted to come home, but didn't know how! He had been sleeping on the sofa at their home for a long time!

See, nothing is too hard for the Lord! Keep your eyes on Him, not on the circumstances around you. Be persistent in prayer, and believe it so you can receive it! Let God mold and make you into the person He wants you to be; then He will do the same for your beloved husband!

Thank You, heavenly Father, for loving us so much and hearing our cries! Your truth really does change men's hearts and sets them free! All glory goes to God! May He bless you and bring your one-flesh mate back home to you soon!

Darla, RESTORED in Ohio


Amazing Successes to Restoration and Thereafter!

I was desperate for years before finding Restore Ministries—since 1995. I found you through another ministry that listed RMI as an alternative.

I realized how I had degraded my husband and myself with my mouth by telling everyone to pray and about our business. I told everyone all the bad things he was doing, and did not realize I was blind, poor, mean and domineering. I began to see my actions and sin. I was truly that Abigail wife; I was clean on the outside, but a liar and a manipulator on the inside.

God began to show me myself and continues to this day. I began to be kind and stand back and be grateful. Except for a very chosen few times in the beginning, I kept quiet. I watched the videos repeatedly. It hurt to realize that my mouth was a pair of scissors.

I dishonored God and my husband and our family. I was a true hypocrite. I began to shut up. I wrote letters to all the people I had talked to and told them my own shortcomings and sins. I began to build my husband up in our daughter's eyes, and to love unconditionally.

I learned that all I ever had was Jesus Christ. I learned and read and reread How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage. I also learned what a treasure my husband and family truly are and you can win the whole world, but if your family is not with you, it is hollow. Mostly, I realized not to deride nor ask questions of him.

I learned, through prayer, that God turned the situation around. I did not have to beg, nor did I have to threaten, nor did I have to scream. I had to let go, be kind and pray. I had serious changes to make and God is still making serious life changes in me. Truthfully, I have a long way to go.

As I started to change, God turned the situation around. When my husband came home, I had to visit the places and do the things he had done with her (the OW). I wanted to die on the inside. It was very painful. If I did not have RMI's videos, I would have cracked under the pressure.

I have the tapes, but I have passed some along, and have done the same with your books. A "Wise Woman" workbook just found a new home two weeks ago. All of them were much needed! The videos and How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage were vital. My advice—"Get as much as you can!"

My husband has been home a little over a year now. It has been very difficult because the tests are harder. Ladies and men, do not give up. When I tell you it is harder, it is. However, it is only by the grace of God and everything that I have learned to remain at peace most of the time.

I praise God because my husband sleeps with his arms around me and holds my hands and constantly says he loves me. I praise God because there was a time when he never said those things.

I praise God because my husband has expressed a desire to work here at home in a converted garage shop, to start our own business. This is a gift from God because he did not even want or care about his tools anymore.

I can only give this exciting detail—I have been married for 25 years now. I used to beg my husband to read the Word of God with me. He now wakes me up sometimes, but he insists on reading the Bible and praying with me every morning since this past October!!! He reads and explains the Word to me.

I praise God because in past I would have corrected him. Now he corrects me! It is a joy. I still have a hard time with the reality of everything because it was so hard for 24 years. I can only thank Jesus Christ publicly. I can only thank God.

I had to stay home and not go to church for a while because I was waiting on God to lead my husband. That was most difficult. Before his return, I was in church and the Christian school almost daily. I was very agitated, but the Lord once again showed His goodness in the land of the living as seven months later He led my husband to church!! We have been there now one year!!! I give all of the glory to God.

Kelly, RESTORED in New York



 



— Chapter 4 —

Various Trials

“Consider it all joy, my brethren,

when you encounter various trials,

knowing that the testing of your faith

produces endurance.”

—James 1:2–3

What is God’s purpose for our trials and tribulations? There are too many Christians who have no idea why God allows our sufferings. Without this understanding, is it any wonder that Christians today are so easily defeated? We will see that there are many benefits that come from our trials and tests, especially the building of our faith and the endurance needed to finish the course set before us.

The most important thing we need to realize during our trials, tribulations, tests, and temptations is that God is in control! It is His hand that allows these trials to touch us or not touch us. When He does allow it, He sends His grace that enables us to endure it.

Permission for adversity. The most comforting thing to know is that Satan cannot touch us without God’s permission. “Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him’” (Job. 1:12). Satan not only needs permission, but he is also given specific instructions on how he can touch us. “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat . . .” (Luke 22:31).

Temptations. The temptations that we experience, Scripture tells us, are common to man, yet God does provide a way of escape. “No temptation has overtaken you but that which is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13). He is not going to take you out of the fire until you are willing to walk in it, walk through it, and endure it!

Temptations are brought on by our own lusts. Lust is simply what we want. Also, God cannot tempt us to do evil. Instead, it is our lusts that tempt us to do what we know we shouldn’t! “Let no one say when he is being tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust” (James 1:13–14). Women are caught up in condemning their husbands’ lusts (adultery, drugs, alcohol, or pornography), yet they fail to see their own lusts for food, buying, or even their marriages! Lust is lust—a desire for what we want!

We are in His hand. “For I have taken all this to my heart and explain it that righteous men, wise men and their deeds are in the hand of God” (Eccl. 9:1). We make the mistake of foolishly trying to get things from others, especially from our husbands, when all that we receive will be from the Lord!

“Many seek the ruler’s favor, but justice for man comes from the Lord” (Prov. 29:26).

“The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the Lord” (Prov. 21: 31).

“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (Prov. 16:33).

“The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Prov. 21:1).

Repentance and salvation. “I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Cor. 7:9–10). God allows us to be sorrowful to bring us to repentance. When we try to make our husbands (or others) sorry for what they have done, it will not bring true and genuine repentance, but instead will harden their hearts toward us (and God)!

We need grace. “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:9–10). You will never see restoration until you exhibit contentment in your trials.

 

Amazing Grace

How do we get the grace we need to make it through our trials? We gain grace through humility.

“God hates the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14).

“Blessed are the humble for they shall inherit the earth” (Matt. 5:5).

“A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor” (Prov. 29:23).

Boasting about our weaknesses, confessing our faults, and being humble will enable the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. Then we will learn contentment no matter what our circumstances. Once we are content, God can give us what we’ve been seeking—our husbands back!

Learning contentment. We see that we must learn contentment by the difficult circumstances that God has allowed. “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am . . . In every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need” (Phil. 4:11–12).

Learning obedience. Even Jesus learned obedience from His suffering. “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered” (Heb. 5:8).

He will perfect us. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). Once He has begun a good work in you (your husband or loved ones), He will complete it. Please don’t try to play “junior holy spirit” with your husband!

We are to be a comfort to others. We are not merely to accept God’s comfort—we are commanded to give that comfort to others, no matter what their affliction! “The God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Cor. 1:3–4).

Our Father’s discipline. Many times our suffering is discipline for disobeying God’s Law. “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives. It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons . . . He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness” (Heb. 12:5–10). When a trial comes into your day, ask yourself, “Is this God disciplining me, or is He testing me to see how I am going to react?”

Discipline is a blessing. We must follow the examples of the prophets in the Bible to help others to endure their adversity. “As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful” (James 5:10).

To receive a blessing. When evil is done to us or insults are cast our way, we must endure them, without returning them, to receive our blessing. We need to remember that insults and evils are brought into our lives to give us an opportunity to receive a blessing. First Peter 3:9 says, “Not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead, for you were called for the very purpose that you may inherit a blessing.” “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidations and do not be troubled” (1 Pet. 3:14). If you continue to respond with an insult or another evil, don’t expect to be blessed.

Discipline may be sorrowful. Discipline is never joyful when you are in the midst of it. Yet, those who have been trained by His discipline know the rewards of righteousness—peace and a restored marriage. “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11).

It begins with Christians. Why must suffering first begin with Christians? It begins with Christians first because sinful, disobedient Christians will never draw others to the Lord. Again, it is the “will of God” that we are put through sufferings. We need to allow ourselves to suffer (usually at the hands of another, even our own husbands) by entrusting ourselves to God. “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right” (1 Pet. 4:17, 19).

The power of our faith. It is our faith that opens the door to miracles. You need to believe that He is able to restore your marriage, and not doubt, in your heart. “And Jesus answered saying to them, ‘Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, be taken up and cast into the sea, and does not doubt it in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray, they shall be granted unto you’” (Mark 11:22–24).

God in His Word has told us that we will suffer. “For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know. For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor should be in vain” (1 Thess. 3:4–5). What has happened in your marriage is not a sign that it is over. It is what God used to get your attention and is now using to change you. Don’t give up! Don’t let Satan steal the miracle that God has for you when you have endured and prevailed!

With God. “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). “Looking upon them, Jesus said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God’” (Mark 10:27). Nothing (not a thing) is impossible with God. Work with God. Don’t have your plan and expect God to bless it. He is not going to work with you; instead, you must work with God.

What you speak. “. . . Let us hold fast our confession” (Heb. 4:14). “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account of the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Pet. 3:15). “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not       . . .” (Dan. 3:17–18). We need to speak what God says in His Word, without wavering, with hope on our lips. Wait until you are asked to give an account. You will be asked if you are filled with the joy of the Lord in the midst of your adversity! When asked about your hope regarding your marriage, be sure that you answer the other person with reverence, respect, and gentleness. Never use Scripture to argue with anyone!

Note: If it is your husband who asks, remember, he will be won “without a word”!

Gird your mind and stay fixed. “Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:13). (Sober means clear thinking.) Be clear in your mind about what you really believe to avoid the consequences of double-mindedness.

Be joyful. We are to be joyful in our trials because we know they are producing endurance that will enable us to finish the course set before us. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:2–6).

Be prepared—your faith will be tested! Fears and doubts come into everyone’s mind; just don’t entertain them! Instead, think only good things. If you doubt, you will have trouble believing and the trials will become harder. Remember, we will have a “variety” of trials, some major and others mere irritations. We need to thank Him for all of our trials. This is our sacrifice of praise.

Rejoice! “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near! Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute [report], if there is any excellence or anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace will be with you” (Phil. 4:4–9).

Clearly, most battles are won or lost in the mind. Follow the Lord’s advice for peace during your trials to gain victory over them—praise the Lord in the midst of them! Rejoice for what you know He is doing. Then think on this, speak of this, and listen only to this. Many times close friends call to tell you what your husband is up to. These usually are not “good reports” and most of the time they are not lovely, pure, or right—so don’t listen!

Faith is not seen. So often, women write to me because they are looking for signs of improvement in their marriage or in their husband’s attitude toward them. You must remember that Scripture is very clear—faith is unseen!

When others ask you about your situation, answer them with, “Praise the Lord—God is working!”

“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For our momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:16–18).

Faith is the conviction of things not seen. When you are experiencing what Paul calls “light affliction,” it may still be breaking your heart and may be very painful. Remind yourself of the most important truth: these afflictions are meant to be only momentary! These same afflictions are not only temporary but they are producing something wonderful for you—they are getting you ready for a new and wonderful marriage. Remember, the suffering is temporary but the benefits will last an eternity! “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).

Walk by faith—not by sight. Most people start believing when they begin to “see something happening,” but this is not faith! “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7).

Looking at our circumstances. When Peter looked at his circumstances, he sank—and you will too. “And He said ‘Come!’ And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’” (Matt. 14:29–31).

For our testing. Probably the most important lesson in our stand for our families and our marriages is being able to pass our test—the test of our faith in His Word and not being swayed by emotion or false statements made by others. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2). When you are perfected and your refining is complete, then you will see your husband home!

Tested by fire. “In this you greatly rejoice, even though for a little while, if necessary you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:6–7).

So many have failed their test and have continued to walk in the desert as the people of Israel did because they lacked faith. They murmured and complained, which led to rebellion. The proof of your faith, which is a heart full of faith and contentment in your present circumstances, is more precious than gold.

Keep the faith. Do not turn to another plan when things get tough; do not compromise what you started out to do. Satan is known for bringing new (and wrong) solutions to our trials. Discerning and deciding to stay on the right path is the test we must continue to pass. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness . . .” (2 Tim. 4:7–8).

A cord of three. If you have been walking with the Lord for some time and have become weary, ask God to send you one other woman who will help you not bend from your commitment. “Two are better than one for they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart” (Eccl. 4:9–12). Here are some three-cord examples found in the Scriptures:

Moses, Aaron, and Hur: “But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set” (Ex. 17:12). Also see Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the book of Daniel, chapter 3. You, just one friend, and the Lord are a powerful threefold cord!!


A Quick Reference to Trials and Tribulations

God is the One in control, not man and not the devil!

1. Justice is from the Lord (Prov. 29:26).

2. An answer is from the Lord (Prov. 16:1).

3. The heart is turned by the Lord (Prov. 21:1).

4. Their deeds are in God’s hand (Eccl. 9:1).

5. Thou (God) has done it (Ps. 44:9–15).

6. He (God) raised the storm (Ps. 107:1–32).

7. He (God) removed lover and friend (Ps. 88:8, 18).

 

What do our trials do for us?

1. The power of Christ will dwell in us (2 Cor. 12:9–10).

2. We will learn to be content (Phil. 4:9).

3. We will receive a reward (2 Tim. 4:7-8).

4. We lack nothing (James 1:2–4).

5. He will enable us to comfort others (2 Cor. 1:3–4).

6. He will perfect what He started in us (Phil. 1:6–13).

7. We will have our loved one back (Phlm. 1:15).

8. We will receive mercy (Heb. 4:15).

9. We will learn obedience (Heb. 5:7–8).

10. They will produce endurance (James 1:2–4).

11. We will receive the crown of life (James 1:12).

12. We will prove our faith (1 Pet. 1:6–7).

13. We will follow in His steps (1 Pet. 2:21).

14. We will share in His sufferings (1 Pet. 3:13).

15. We will be perfected, confirmed, strengthened, and established (1 Pet. 5:10).

 

Ask God for guidance through every trial. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:5–6 KJV).

Let us call on Him for strength and draw close to Him in our time of need. Let us allow Him to discipline us, try us, and test us. Let us rejoice always in all things, not just in the good but also in the troubles that come our way. Let us keep our hope close to our lips and stay steadfast in our minds. Let us always remember that it is His will that we face these hard times and that they are for our good!


“Let us rejoice that He considers us worthy to suffer for His name!” (Acts 5:41).

“She smiles at the future” (Prov. 31:25).

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, 

to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).


Personal commitment: to consider it all joy when I encounter various trials. “Based on what I have learned from God’s Word, I commit to allowing the testing of my faith to help produce my endurance. And I will let endurance have its perfect result, that I may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”



If you are ready to make this commitment to GOD, by CLICKING HERE you've agreed, and are ready to document this part of your Restoration Journey in your "My Daily Journal" form.

Also, if you want to be paired with a LIKE-MINDED ePartner after your Rebuilding, be SURE to pour out your heart in EACH lesson.