“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” – 1 John 5:4
Nobody is exempt from trials. We all go through things at times that weigh down heavy on us and push us to the limits. Even Christ endured temptations and the greatest trial of all – the cruel cross of Calvary. Many people ask “Why?” of God, but the Scripture tells us to not be surprised when we go through troubling times.
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.” – 1 Pet. 4:12
The psalmist reminds us that those who live upright lives have many afflictions, but the Lord delivers them from them all (Ps. 34:19). We’re going to have trials – no matter who you are, what degrees you have, or how much money you make. So, let’s take a look at trials and the purpose of these challenging circumstances in life. Maybe then, we’ll be able to better face them.
1. Trials prove the depth of our faith.
We know that God tests the heart and is pleased with uprightness (1 Chron. 29:17). Moses brought this to the Israelites’ memory when he said, “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not” (Deut. 8:2).
God wants to know that our true loyalty belongs to Him and that we will follow and serve Him no matter what the circumstance. Remember Job’s example; he lost everything he had and loved, but he remained faithful to God. And God had that trust that Job would not abandon his faith in Him. God has that same expectation of us when we experience trials. He knows the kind of faith that we have and what we are capable of enduring (1 Cor. 10:13).
2. Trials test our spirituality.
Recall the parable of the sower. The sower sowed seed. Some fell by the wayside; others fell on rocky places. And some seed fell among thorns, while others fell on good ground and actually yielded a crop. All the seeds that did not fall on good ground were unfruitful and represent people who hear the Word of God but do not have a good, lasting result from it (Matt. 13:1-9, 18-22).
Jesus explained, “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (Matt. 13:23). The person who does not hear the Word, understand it, and bear fruit does not do so because “when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles” (Matt. 13:21) and “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Mat. 13:22).
Trials come to determine how spiritual and spiritually-minded we are. If we read, hear, and understand the Word of God, and let it take root in our hearts, then we will be able to endure when trials come.
3. Trials produce patience and prepare us for heaven.
When we go through trials, it allows us to better be able to endure life. James said, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:3).
The apostle Paul said that the faith that one has during persecutions and afflictions “is a clear evidence of God’s righteous judgement that you will be counted worthy of God’s kingdom” (1 Thess. 1:3-5). When we go through trials and continue to have a strong faith it, in essence, says that we are worthy to be a part of the Lord’s kingdom.
The person who endures trials and temptations is blessed. James put it this way, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12). A crown of life is ready for those who endure the trials of their faith.
Lastly, when we go through trials, we’re not going to be all-smiles all the time, but we can have inner joy because we know the end result. Trials will come, but they produce in us patience and get us ready for the blessings of heaven. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:6-7).
We all go through hard times in life. How we approach them makes a big difference. We must remember that our trials determine the depth of our faith, they test our spirituality, and they produce patience and prepare us for heaven. There really is purpose in pain and persecution.
When you experience trials, you don’t want to go through them alone. You need a Savior – just like I do. Christ will be your Savior if you will obey Him. Believe that Jesus is Lord, repent of your sins, confess His name, and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins. Then, the Lord will add you to His church, and you will have comfort in knowing that there’s purpose in your trials.
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