Why do Christians have trials?

Why do Christians have trials?

Since the first of the year, we all have had trials, facing cancer, surgery and chemo treatments, deaths in the family, family problems, other personal sickness, work, travel, political, etc. 

Why are some of the reasons Jesus allows us, His Saints, to go through trials in our lives, since tomorrow is the Feast of Pentecost.

The Scriptures are filled with people of God facing trials, so it is very clear that just because we serve God, we are not exempt from trials, storms and many tests along the way. That is what the faith chapter is all about, Hebrew 11.

Why do we have trials in our lives?

Remember, We are being led by the Holy Spirit

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning’s which cannot be uttered.

1 Peter 4:12-13 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;  (13)  but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

In trials we glorify God

1 Peter 4:15-17 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters.  (16)  Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. 

Isaiah 48:10-11 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.  (11)  For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; For how should My name be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another.

Jesus disciplines the Ones He loves

Hebrews 12:5-7 You have forgotten the encouragement that is addressed to you as sons: “My son, do not think lightly of the Lord’s discipline or give up when you are corrected by him.  (6)  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he punishes every son he accepts.”  (7)  What you endure disciplines you: God is treating you as sons. Is there a son whom his father does not discipline?

Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, for those who have been trained by it, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace.

Revelation 3:19 I correct and discipline those whom I love, so be serious and repent!

Proverbs 3:11-12 My son, do not reject the LORD’s discipline, and do not despise his correction, (12)  because the LORD corrects the person he loves, just as a father corrects the son he delights in.

We should cherish God’s correction in our lives, because God disciplines only those He loves.

Suffering prevents us from falling into sin

Suffering teaches Christians to live in such a way that they honor God. Christians are to be serious and joyful as they reveal through our lives the love and spiritual abilities that God has given to them.

1 Peter 4:1-2 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, (2) that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

The focus of the lives of those who suffer for Christ is on doing God’s will, rather than on living according to sinful passions. 

Trials keep us from Pride, Conceited.

Romans 2:6-7 For he will repay everyone according to what that person has done:  (7)  eternal life to those who strive for glory, honor, and immortality by patiently doing good;

Romans 2:8-9 but wrath and fury for those who in their selfish pride refuse to believe the truth and practice wickedness instead.  (9)  There will be suffering and anguish for every human being who practices doing evil, for Jews first and for Greeks as well.

Apostle Paul kept from pride and becoming conceited by his “thorn in the flesh”    We all some type of thorn in our flesh       

2 Corinthians 12:7-8 To keep me from becoming conceited because of the exceptional nature of these revelations, a thorn was given to me and placed in my body. It was Satan’s messenger to keep on tormenting me so that I would not become conceited.  (8)  I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me,

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 but he has told me, “My grace is all you need, because my power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most happily boast about my weaknesses, so that the Messiah’s power may rest on me.  (10)  That is why I take such pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for the Messiah’s sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Thorn can be a physical ailment of the flesh, or to a temptation, sinful nature.

Was the thorn for Paul, his eyes?

Galatians 4:15 What, then, happened to your positive attitude? For I testify that if it had been possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.

His eyes, blindness happen on the road to Damascus or being stoned at Lystra.  This could explain the reference to his own eyes, as well as the size of Paul’s handwriting,

Galatians 6:11 Look at how large these letters are because I am writing with my own hand!

Trials to build faith. growth and Godly Character

There will also be trials because of the pressures and difficulties of life, these trials refers to ordeals that we encounter in life rather than those things that would induce us to sin.

1 Peter 1:6-7 You greatly rejoice in this, even though you have to suffer various kinds of trial for a little while,  (7)  so that your genuine faith, which is more valuable than gold that perishes when tested by fire, may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus, the Messiah, is revealed.

Romans 5:1-2  Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus the Messiah.  (2)  Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace by which we have been established, and we boast because of our hope in God’s glory.

Romans 5:3-5 Not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  (4)  endurance produces character, and character produces hope.  (5)  Now this hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

2 Corinthians 10:15 We are not boasting about work done by others that cannot be evaluated. On the contrary, we cherish the hope that your faith may continue to grow and enlarge our sphere of action among you until it overflows.

We learn Obedience from sufferings

Hebrews 5:8  Son though he was, he learned obedience through his sufferings

Acts 9:15-16 But the Lord told him, “Go, since he (Paul) is my chosen instrument to carry my name to the gentiles, to their kings, and to the descendants of Israel.  (16)  For I am going to show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”

In trials we learn to comfort others

Luke 22:28 “You are the ones who have always stood by me {Jesus} in my trials.

Jesus recognized that the disciples had been present and had suffered with Him during His ministry.  We all have a physical problem and later on we were able to help someone else with the same problem.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  (4)  who comforts us in all our suffering, so that we may be able to comfort others in all their suffering, as we ourselves are being comforted by God. 

Trials take our minds off of things of the world and put them back on the Lord

Colossians 3:1-4 Therefore, if you have been raised with the Messiah, keep focusing on the things that are above, where the Messiah is seated at the right hand of God.  (2)  Keep your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.  (3)  For you have died, and your life has been safely guarded by the Messiah in God.  (4)  When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you, too, will be revealed with him in glory.

Through trials we become a witness to unbelievers

Acts 20:19 I served the Lord with all humility, with tears, and with trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews.

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before people in such a way that they will see your good actions and glorify your Father in heaven.”

1 Peter 3:14-15 But even if you should suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. “Never be afraid of their threats, and never get upset.  (15)  Instead, exalt the Messiah” as Lord in your lives. Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you to explain the hope you have.

1 Peter 3:16-17 But do this gently and respectfully, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak evil of your good conduct in the Messiah will be ashamed of slandering you.  (17)  After all, if it is the will of God, it is better to suffer for doing right than for doing wrong. 

Trials brings Heavenly Rewards

2 Peter 2:9 then the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials and to hold unrighteous people for punishment on the day of judgment,

Matthew 5:11-12 “How blessed are you whenever people insult you, persecute you, and say all sorts of evil things against you falsely because of me!  (12)  Rejoice and be extremely glad, because your reward in heaven is great! That’s how they persecuted the prophets who came before you.”

  • We as God adopted children, like it or not, we represent The King wherever we go; at work, at home, at church, and in the community. 
  • We are reflecting Him to other individuals every day as Jesus Ambassador.
  • Do we see our trials as an opportunity and not as an obstacle.
  • Whether it is physical, illness, financial, spiritual, a relationship, persecutions, distresses, temptations, tribulations, fiery trials, work, reproaches or some other crisis,
  • We need to learn to trust and have faith in God.
  • We have such short memories.
  • After a trial, we forget it and move on to our normal habit of our lives.
  • The real secret of survival in any trial is recalling the many times in faith that God has always brought us through before and because of God’s promise, He will do it again.

Do we love God?  Here is one of Jesus’s promise for encouragement.

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

  • We still have to suffer the natural consequences in this life for our sins and bad choices.
  • But God uses even those sufferings to mold and shape us for His purposes and our ultimate good. 

To prove the reality of Christ in us

2 Corinthians 4:7-11 But we have this treasure in clay jars to show that its extraordinary power comes from God and not from us.  (8)  In every way we’re troubled but not crushed, frustrated but not in despair,  (9)  persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed.  (10)  We are always carrying around the death of Jesus in our bodies, so that the life of Jesus may be clearly shown in our bodies.  (11)  While we are alive, we are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be clearly shown in our mortal bodies. 

God has given us His Word to guide us

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Finally, what does James tells us

James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  (3)  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  (4)  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

The bottom line, we understand and believe it is God’s purpose to build holy, righteous character in human beings by the trials we go through.

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