As Christians, how are we to respond to the various trials of life?
Trials WILL Come
James 1:2 reads, “Count it all joy, when you meet trials of various kinds.”
Notice, the verse above doesn’t say, “If you meet trials,” but it says, “When you meet trials.” Trials will come, and when they do, we need to be ready to meet them head on while maintaining joy.
Here are five things to count on during trials that should help us count it all joy when we meet trials of various kinds:
1. Every trial is Father-filtered
Romans 8:28 reads, “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
The verse above is a great reminder that all the trials we face are pre-approved by God and that He will somehow bring good out of them. The Book of Job is a great example of this promise being demonstrated in the life of a believer.
A modern example of somebody who has faced many trials is Joni Eareckson Tada. If you don’t know who she is, look her up right now! Here is a quote of hers that shows her belief that her trials are Father-filtered, “When I received the unexpected news of cancer from my surgeon, I relaxed and smiled, knowing that my sovereign God loves me dearly and holds me tightly in His hands. What good is it if we only trust the Lord when we understand His ways? That only guarantees a life filled with doubts – I TRUST MY FATHER”
2. Trials give us a chance to back up our faith
Any fool can be happy and have faith when the sky is blue, but what happens when the sky goes dark?
Trials take us from theory to reality. Trials give us a chance to show the faith that we say we have.
In the Book of Job, Satan makes this declaration, “God, Job only loves you because of the stuff you give Him!” God challenges that declaration and takes back many of the gifts He had given Job. Do you know what Job had to say after losing virtually everything, apart from his life? Job 13:15 reads, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.”
If that type of trust in a trial isn’t putting meat on the bones of faith, then I don’t know what is!
3. Trials give us a chance to show we grieve differently
You may have heard it said before that there is no wrong way to grieve, well, for the Christian, that advice is actually wrong!
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, “We do not want you to be uninformed about those who have passed away, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.”
We must respond to trials as people with hope. We must still worship while we grieve.
John Piper puts it this way, “Occasionally, weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have.”
4. God will bring us out of our trials
2 Corinthians 4:17 reads, “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”
Did you catch that? “Our present troubles are small and won’t last very long.” Although our troubles might appear big to us, they always are small compared to God. Likewise, our trials may seem never-ending, but God will bring us out of our trials at the best possible time.
Remember this, what we think the best possible time is may not be what God thinks the best possible time is, and God’s timing is always the best timing. Think of it this way. If you had a child/teen that was going to the movies on a Friday, would you dare give them money for popcorn on Monday? No way! They would probably lose it or spend it on something else. God doesn’t bring us out of our trials early, but He brings us out at His perfect timing.
5. God wants to turn your mess into a message
2 Corinthians 1:4 reads, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.”
Now, I want to speak directly to you individually. What you are going through (and have gone through) is not just for you. Your struggles are also for you to help others with there struggles, and to comfort them as you have been comforted by God and others.
One of the best ways to show that our God cares is by being a people that care.
When you face your next trial, remember that in order to be memorable, you have to be miserable. People will notice, remember, and model how you face your trials, therefore, face them with joy that can only be found in Christ and His promises.