Why All the Trials?

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4

How we frame the difficulties of life may be very important. Trials, temptations, and the hardships of life are not anything that we look forward to. For many of us, we think of the trials of life worse than a root canal at the dentist. At least with a root canal, we know we will have pain and discomfort, but we know it is temporary. With the trials and hardships of life, we don’t know when they will come or how long they will last. We would rather not have any at all.

Yet, James, the biblical writer, says that we ought to consider trials as great joy. “What? Joy?” we ask. How can we take joy in the trials and tribulations in life when they seem so painful at the time? It is important to know at these times that God is still with us and has not forgotten us. As we lean on Him, we are learning patient endurance. As James tells us, we become more mature and complete in God. As we look to Him, we can pray and ask for wisdom through it. James says that when we do, God will give wisdom to us without finding fault.

Remember that God can take anything in our lives, whether good moments or really difficult times and make a beautiful story out of our life. We need to understand that God has a bigger picture that we don’t always see. He wants us to take all of our experiences and mature us so we can help others struggling with similar things. God wants more than just comfort for our lives, He also wants to develop our character to go through the trials. The joy comes when we trust God through the trials, we see Him and ourselves more clearly. He brings us to a place of introspection. Our faith deepens and we grow closer to Him. God often brings people into our lives that encourage us unexpectedly.

There is often a spiritual battle that we are not seeing. Our enemy wants to keep us absorbed in ourselves and our failings. We find it hard to look outside of ourselves. We sometimes sit in self-pity. This is where the enemy wants to keep us. God has something much bigger for us. When we put our trust in Him, God wants us to see the grace and love in Jesus Christ and how He has saved us from our sin. Not only that, He also saves us so that we can be instruments for His good and glory in this world. God even takes the evil we experience in this world and uses it for good in our lives. It would be good to ask yourself every time you are feeling low or are experiencing trials, “what is God teaching me?” What good and glorious and wondrous things has God done in my life, even in my lowest of times, that I can praise Him for?  How can I use what I have learned to encourage others? You will begin to see your purpose and why God has brought you through the trial. There is a song by Michael Gungor with the words, “You make beautiful things out of the dust...You make beautiful things out of us.” Trust God. You will see.
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Pastor Mark Anderson