A hard truth in this life where sin is still present is that our kids will face trials and suffering. They will get hurt and they will hurt others. People and circumstances will disappoint them. Things won’t always go their way. God’s timing will not always be in sync with their timing.
As parents, we can pray for our kids as they face – and will face – trials and hurts in life. We can pray and teach them to forgive when they are hurt, and humbly ask for forgiveness and when they hurt others. We can pray for them to persevere in times of waiting and disappointment.
When our kids are in the thick of hard times and seek God, He is there. God is good. God is in control more than we can even fathom. Revelation and deeper relationship spout from suffering more than from abundance. The pain isn’t always caused by God, but it can always be used by God. We can pray that our kids see hurt and disappointments as a way to learn and grow, rather than rebel and retreat.
God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains.Pain is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
God, please protect ________________ from unnecessary harm and suffering. If there is ever any other way to accomplish Your will, let trials escape (him/her). Please be a shield of protection around (him/her). Protect (him/her) physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Protect (him/her) from illness and injury.
When hard times and trials come (his/her) way, God, please be so very near to _________________. Let (him/her) feel Your presence when (he/she) feels hurt, alone, scared, confused, and impatient over circumstances in (his/her) life. Guide (him/her) to Godly Christian counseling and support.
God, help ___________________ to grasp what You mean when You say that (he/she) can rejoice in trials. In the thick of difficult times throughout (his/her) life, help ___________________ see You. Help (him/her) believe that You are growing (his/her) character; growing (him/her) in ways that You will use mightily in places (he/she) can’t yet see.
God, draw _______________ to Your wings of refuge when (his/her) heart is broken and path feels unclear. Please help ________________ know You more deeply in these times.
God, help ____________________ to be patient in times of waiting. In those times when things aren’t happening the way (he/she) is praying they will or in the timeframe (he/she) is expecting, let (him/her) rest in the assured belief that Your timing is perfect and that You are in control. Give ___________________ confidence that You see…You know…and You are making a way that is for (his/her) good and Your glory.
God, teach ______________________ that Your plan and presence are far greater than temporary ease or comfort. Do not let one ounce of pain and suffering go to waste, but instead help _______________________ use it for Your good and Your glory.
God, help _________________ assume the mindset of a warrior on Your team, rather than a helpless victim. Remind __________________ to put on the full armor of God and know when to be still and let You fight for (him/her). Remind ____________________ of the power of Your name and the power available to (him/her) in talking – praying – to You. Remind _______________ that You offer a peace that surpasses all understanding, even when – especially when – things seem impossible and out of control. The impossible is Your wheelhouse. This is where You shine brightest.
God, please help _____________________ forgive and accept forgiveness. Be (his/her) strength when hurts are deep and forgiveness is hard. Help (him/her) to know that forgiveness isn’t just for the other person; it is for (him/her) too. There is freedom in forgiveness.
Let (him/her) acknowledge the profound forgiveness You have given and to do likewise. And when _________________ is the one who has messed up, help (him/her) ask for and humbly receive forgiveness from others and from You. Help (him/her) be quick to repent and ask for forgiveness. Help (him/her) know that the blood of Jesus washes everything clean and there is no condemnation for those how have put their faith in Jesus.
Tips for Parents
As parents, we can help our kids learn how to endure trials and suffering with grace. When our kids are going through a hard time, here are a few things to consistently do with them, and as they grow older and face more trials, hopefully these will become habits they come back to during difficult times.
Jesus has overcome any trial the world throws at us.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Better days are coming.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18
We can get through hard times with Christ.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Trials can have a valuable purpose.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
Trials help us learn to rely on God’s strength.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Trials can give us empathy to help others.
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Trials can help refine us.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7
Our trials can be used by God for good.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Trials and suffering have a purpose.
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
Believe that God can help you through your trials.
And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23
God is near to you in your trials and suffering.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:17-18
Trust God to guide you in your trials.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Trials give us a clearer vision of God.
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; Job 42:5
Find rest in God in your trials.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
There is a reward for enduring trials.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
After suffering comes restoration and strength.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10
Grow in love and faith during difficult times.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Forgive one another
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
God forgives us when we confess
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15
Forgive those who repent
So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” Luke 17:3-4
Be kind, compassionate, forgiving of one another
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32
Don’t delay forgiveness
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25
Wait on the Lord
“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.” Psalm 130:5-6
Strength will come to those who wait on the Lord
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31