A Reflection on How to Overcome Trials and Tribulations From a Story

By Xiangnan

Editor’s Note: In our life, we’ll encounter hardships and refinements. In hardships some people are negative and develop complaint. Some temper themselves in refinements and finally achieve success. In fact, trials are blessings from God. There is God’s good intention behind hardships and setbacks. So how can we Christians overcome trials and tribulations in life? To help shed light on this question, we are here to share a story with you …

A farmer had an old mule, and one day the old mule accidentally fell into a deep well. Because the well was so deep, the farmer thought there was no way to save the old mule, and he decided to abandon it. But he didn’t have the heart to and, seeing the old mule struggling inside the well, he then decided to use dirt to bury the mule inside the well. When the farmer began to shovel dirt into the well, one spade at a time, the old mule shook off the dirt on its back and then began to climb up onto it. The old mule kept shaking off the dirt and, in the end, because of the old mule’s persistence, the dirt that had been intended to bury it inside the well became the steps it took toward a new life!

How to Overcome Trials and Tribulations

There will always be many unfortunate things that happen in life, and we can meet with adversity, setbacks and suffering at any time. When we do, we will always highlight the weaknesses in our human nature: Some people will refuse to go any further and will not dare to carry on; some will fall down after one setback and will not have the willpower to pick themselves back up; some will even sink into despair and will lose the courage to go on living…. To us, tribulation is the dirt that is intended to bury the old mule. If we do not have the spirit and willpower to “shake off the dirt and climb up,” we will only end up buried beneath it.

But there is one type of person who can always face tribulation positively and who, when tribulations befall, can toughen themselves through experience, make up for their shortcomings and steel their willpower. As the saying goes, “When backed into a corner, one fights for one’s life,” their failures, falling down, setbacks and suffering all become the stepping stones for their success. And after they have undergone all these things, they will all sigh and say, “Tribulation is the greatest blessing that God gives to us!”

Sometimes life can be very strange, and the true wealth of life is obtained after undergoing trials and tribulations. No one can gain the truth when circumstances are in their favor, just as Job said when he was undergoing his trial: “But he knows the way that I take: when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Job did not flee from God’s trial, for he knew that this trial would toughen him through experience and enable him to understand even more truths. During his trials and tribulations, his faith, obedience and reverence for God were all raised to a higher level.

A truly meaningful life is inseparable from the trials and tribulations God arranges for us in every stage of our lives! As long as we rely on God’s guidance and use our hearts to undergo and experience them, we will surely reap a harvest that beats all others!


» Further reading on Sermons on Trials and Tribulations page, or in the articles below:

How to Keep Faith in God During Trials

• Bible Verses About Suffering

• What Should We Do When We Face Trials? Learn From the Story of Job

• As Christians, How Can We Face Trials From God Audaciously and Calmly?

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