Trials never seem right when we experience them. And yet the believers who have gone before us by 2000 years were encouraged by words like “Count it all joy when you meet trials” (James 1:2).
In more recent years a Christian woman, after the loss of a child, contemplated the Biblical perspective on trials. For believers, there are no less than 7 distinct perspectives on trials.
1. Trials confirm genuine faith.
1 Peter 1:6-8 … you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith … may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ … you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.
2. Trials humble us.
Job 42:2-4 I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. … I had heard of You … now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself …
3. Trials strengthen faith toward maturity.
James 1:3-4 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. … that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
4. Trials refine by bringing sin to the surface to be dealt with.
Isaiah 48:10 Behold, I have refined you, … in the furnace of affliction.
5. Trials remind us that our home is not here and intensify our longing for heaven.
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
6. Trials give opportunity to serve one another (and accept others’ service).
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 Blessed be 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, … If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation;
7. Trials give opportunity to be comforted by God’s promises.
Lamentations 3:21-23 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
Psalm 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.
As the song by Fernando Ortega reminds us so beautifully:
When dark trials come and my heart is filled
With the weight of doubt, I will praise Him, still.
For the Lord, our God, He is strong to save
From the arms of death, from the deepest grave,
And He gave us life in His perfect will,
And by His good grace, I will praise Him, still.