Spiritual maturity isn’t only determined by hours spent on your knees or the number of passages read, it’s also measured by the size of the trials we make it through. The Bible states in Romans 5:3, “We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulations works patience.” James says this about patience and trials, “The trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:3-4). Wow, Perfect!
So why does God use trials?
This is the question that has so many of us perplexed! Peter put it so well when he compared it to the process of refining gold. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” (1 Pt 1:7). Job pointed out another thing that is so unique about trials when he said in 36:15, ” He delivers the afflicted by their affliction.” There is always pain as wounds heal. Doctors have to inject small amounts of a virus into our bodies to prevent diseases from hitting us in a truly devastating way.
How long will my trial last?
Paul addresses this in 2 Cor 4:17. “Our light affliction which is for a moment works for us a far more exceedingly and eternal weight of glory.” Peter also let us know that trials have seasons, and reasons. “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations” (1Pet 1:3).
Is this trial due to God’s anger or disappointment with me?
That is a good question. There are always two main reasons we go through the trials we do. The first is due to our bad attitude. Now before you go telling yourself that this isn’t you, consider this. Have you walked away from God telling him, “I don’t really care what the Bible says, I’m going to do what I want!?” Have you been displaying a bad attitude to your authority, whether it be spiritual or carnal? Have you been purposely hurting somebody, mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually? If you’ve said yes to any of these, then the possibility of you bringing the current trial or even past trials on to yourself is very likely.
However, if you are thinking, no, not really. Or, maybe sometimes but I do my best to make it right as soon as possible. Then you need to see the trial for what it is. God is only making you a stronger individual, Christian, and companion. For those of you who have brought the trial upon yourself, it’s still the same reason, it’s only that God had to bring it to you or you would have destroyed yourself.
Take heart, God is on your side. He says in Heb 13:5, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”