Trials

<<ordeals>>

As Christians we are not immune or shielded from difficult events because they have the potential for developing godly character and eternal reward. If

For the believer, all trials have a divine purpose

we respond correctly, we can survive and even rejoice in them, realizing they are God’s planned means to fashion us into people who reflect His nature (Rom 8:28; 2 Cor 4:17,18; 1 Pet 3:4). We are destined for adverse situations, for “We must go through many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God” so don’t let them unsettle you, welcome them from His loving hand (Act 14:22; 1 Thes 3:3). God is continually with us and wants to conform us to the image of Jesus, so co-operate with His sculpting of our character and ministry even if at times it is painful (Mt 28:20; Rom 8:29; Heb 13:5). During difficult times look ahead with faith to see what can be accomplished in us through this experience rather than, in self-pity, asking why (2 Cor 8:2; Heb 12:2). Hold on to the promises of Scripture that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle with His help, nor will He ever leave us and the assurance through our Lord, Jesus Christ we will come out victorious (1 Cor 10:13, 15:57; Heb 13:5).  Although we are in a spiritual battle, Satan has no authority over the believer in Christ. God has given us His Word to guide us, His Holy Spirit to enable us, and the privilege of coming to Him anywhere, at any time, to pray about anything.

The Bible states, "Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering" however this should be because you are living obediently to God not as a result of personal wrongdoing and poor decision making, yet even then God uses those sufferings to shape us for His purposes and our ultimate good (1 Pet 4:12-16). We should choose to co-operate with God, not fight against His purposes recognising there are always consequences to our actions. We must recognise our dependency on Him and accept His grace to deal with the situations or else we will grow bitter.

If we respond correctly, trials develop godly character and result in praise and glory and honour when Jesus Christ returns (Rom 5:3-5; Jas 1:2-4,12; 1 Pet 1:6,7). Thus trials have a purpose to refine our character so it more closely resembles that of Jesus, and an everlasting reward "the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him". 

See also: challenges, character, perspective, reactions, response, test/testing, why.

Copyright © 2022 Bible Dictionary. All rights reserved. Website design by fuel.