The Truth About Humility in Trials

Many say that the true character of a person is most clearly evident in the midst of trials. I suppose it’s similar to when someone is hungry, in physical pain, or even, inebriated. In all cases, a person hasn’t the physical strength nor mental ingenuity to put on airs. But rather, they’re only capable of being genuine and honest about how they perceive their immediate situation.

As a matter of fact, it seems that anytime we’re in a position of various physical deficiencies or discomforts (minor or major, fictitious or true), who we really are, spills out. In these mortal bodies of ours, that is, common jars of common clay, all people either carry within: the life of Christ or the death of sinful man.

In recognizing these truths, we can reasonably assess, that just as the essence of an olive uninhibitedly flows out when its pressed, so also, it is with all people. The heat and pressures of trials from without, will prove the essence of a person, either the Treasure (Spirit of Christ) or tyranny (spirit of self) within. This simple testing from God our Father, helps all people to live in the light of His truth and revelation of how He created each and every one of us. Even in this, our God and Father demonstrates His common grace to His enemies who will not submit to His Lordship, and also His special grace toward His precious and beloved children who have been washed and received by and through the Lord Jesus Christ.

“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works are evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come into the light, lest his works be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes into the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
~John 3:19-21, ESV

We are all too easily self-deceived and deceived by others, believing we are who we simply say we are. If someone claims to be contrite (repentant) or in any way genuinely sorrowful for the sins they’ve committed against God and others, and say all they want is to sow peace, we easily believe them. Especially if they become emotional in any way. But the Lord our God commanded and enabled us to,

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

     "Awake, O sleeper,
        and arise from the dead,
     and Christ will shine on you."

Look carefully how you walk, not as unwise but wise, making best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
~Ephesians 5:11-17, ESV

We are commanded by our God and Father to test, to carefully and thoughtfully and diligently examine all things with the light of His Word. By doing so, He has granted us the strength and wisdom to rightly discern what is presented before us, rather than believe anything anyone says about themselves…or others.

No one is humbly submitted and broken before God, simply because they say so…even with tears (like Esau in Genesis 25:31-34 and Hebrews 12:17; and Judas in Matthew 27:3-5). True humility, true repentance, that is, godly sorrow that leads to life, is easily seen in the visible fruit of repentance, just as Zacchaeus demonstrated in Luke 19:8. Those whom God has granted the gift of repentance that leads to saving faith in Jesus Christ; are empowered by the Holy Spirit to bear the fruit of a humble and grateful heart before God and all men.

“[A]nd my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5, ESV) Only God Most High is able to free us from the captivity of sin, death, and the devil. Only the LORD of hosts is able to grant life, liberty, and happiness to any man, woman, or child. Which is why when someone is truly humble before God Almighty, what immediately flows from them, is a demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit that lasts, and not a demonstration of the power of self-preservation that ebbs and flows with the wave of every emotion.

True humility in trials will exalt and esteem Christ; causing many to give thanks and a desire to serve God our Father. False humility, that is, worldly sorrow in trials, will exalt and esteem the “strength” of a man or woman; causing many to praise and desire to serve the creation, rather than the Creator.