In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. – 1 Peter 1:6 NIV
Why do we go through trials, yet Jesus rescued us from the kingdom of darkness? Shouldn’t life be more comfortable if not better after we have surrendered all to God? Doesn’t God care about us?
These are some of the questions that we ask when we are going through trials. We do not understand why God allows us to go through so much, yet we are walking in His ways. Some of us are probably so discouraged, and that is why we are here looking for answers.
Hard as it may be for us to accept, trials and tribulations are part of the Christian life. Just the way our Lord Jesus went through trials, that is the same way every believer will go through trials. Understand that the world is under the control of the devil who is keen on destroying the children of God, so he will do anything to cause us to stray from the things of God. (1 Peter 4:12)
What are Trials in the Bible?
Trials are challenges that we go through so that God can refine our character and help us to grow spiritually. Trials come in different forms. They can be short, long, physical, emotional, circumstantial, or mental.
Trials are difficult, and they can be painful, but at the end of it all, they enable us to become more like Jesus. How you handle a trial will make all the difference. Do not run away from a trial; instead, ask God to strengthen you so that you can handle it.
Examples of Trials in the Bible
Hannah wanted to have a child, but God had closed her womb. Though she was her husband’s favourite, no amount of love or attention from him could fill the emptiness of not having a child. Peninah, her co-wife, did not make things easier for her. She was constantly in her face mocking her. All she could do was cry until one day, she poured her heart out to God, and her prayer was answered. (1 Samuel 1:9-28)
You are probably going through something similar. It could be that people are making fun of you as you go through a certain trial.
You’re not alone, run to God like Hannah, and pour out your heart to Him. He will not only lead you through the trial, but He will give you sevenfold blessings after the trial.
It is hard to talk about trials without mentioning Job. Most of us would rather skip this book in the Bible. Reading it means that we have to make peace with the fact that we shall go through trials and tribulations in this world.
After Satan accused Job of only being faithful to God because of the many blessings God had given him, God allowed him, the devil, to bring plagues in Job’s life. He lost all his possessions plus his children. The only person who could have comforted him was his wife. But when she looked at the suffering Job went through she responded with her final three words “curse God and die”. (Job 1:8-22)
Job did not just lose his children and his possessions, but the enemy attacked his body. Yet, Job did not abandon his faith. Though he went through trying times, he still chose to believe in God.
Apostle Paul went through a lot of challenges as he preached the gospel of Christ. He was stoned, jailed, and beaten. Paul was bitten by a snake, people threatened and betrayed him, and he was put under house arrest at some point. (Acts 21:1-25)
Yet, it is Paul who encourages us in his letters to rejoice always. To him, his purpose in life was more significant than all the trials he went through. He found joy in the Lord, and we can also do the same.
Why Do We Go Through Trials?
A more in-depth look into why we go through trials will help us to hold onto the faith and keep on fighting the good fight of faith.
So here are the reasons why we have to undergo trials in this world:
1. To Grow More into the Image of Christ
The ultimate purpose for God in our lives is for us to grow into the image of Christ. He allows us to go through trials so that He can shape our character, and transform us into the image of His Son.
Like Jesus, we need to remain true to our purpose and remain grounded in our relationship with God. It is only in doing so that we can overcome the world. We need to be strong and to keep on holding on to our faith. (2 Corinthians 6:10)
2. It is Through Trials that God’s Power is Displayed
God uses our trials to show the world that He is the one in control, not us. He may be asking you to do something that is beyond your capabilities. You need to step out in faith because everyone around you knows that you cannot do that thing.
When we remain obedient to God even in the midst of our suffering, He is able to display His power in our lives and to show others that we serve a powerful God that is not limited by anything.
3. Trials are a Form of Preparation
It could be that you’re about to walk into your purpose.
Or maybe God wants you to do something new in this season. One of the ways that He will prepare you, is by allowing trials to come your way.
If you want to drive a car, you do not just buy one and then hit the road. You need to, first of all, go for driving lessons.
In the same way, God will prepare you first before He can release you to do His work. See, your purpose in life is going to touch lives. God does not want you to mess with other people’s lives, and most of all, He does not want you to mess up your own life.
4. To Help You Depend on God More
After the fall of man, it became hard for men to be wholly dependent on God. That’s why we find ourselves struggling to remain grounded in the word and prayer. There are times when we do things our own way. Trials help us to see that we cannot, but God can, and this causes us to focus on God and not self. They help us to depend on God and not ourselves or other people.
Your heavenly Father wants you to cling to Him alone. He does not want you to seek completeness in people or the things of this world because they will fail you at some point. That is why He allows you to go through tough seasons just so you can get your heart right and shift your focus from self to God.
5. The Trial You’re Going Through Maybe a Spiritual Warfare
The enemy will not go down without a fight. He will not allow you to spread the gospel to lost souls without a fight. So maybe the trial you’re going through is not God trying to teach you something, perhaps it is the enemy fighting you so that you can stop spreading the message of the kingdom of God.
Now you should not fear the enemy; he is a defeated foe. There is nothing he can do to you unless you give him the power. He may try to attack your health, finances, or family, but it is only when you give in to his lies that he will win over you. You need to stand firm and fight back.
Ask God for revelation, so that you can know how to fight this warfare and win. Remember to stand firm in the word of God and allow God to fight your battles. Do not feel discouraged because God is with you all the way. He will not let the enemy win over you.
Okay, now we know why we go through trials, but…
How Can We Rejoice in the Midst of Trials?
1. Develop the Right Mindset
Most people think that being joyful is a feeling, but that is simply not true. You can be joyful even when all odds are working against you because joy is a fruit of the spirit. Having the right mindset during the trial will enable you to rejoice. (James 1:2-8)
Do not wait to be joyful after the trial. Start rejoicing in the midst of it all. Yes, it is hard, but it is possible. Remember, you have the Holy Spirit as your Teacher and Comforter. He will remind you of scripture that will help you to remain joyful and strong irrespective of what is happening around you.
When you feel all alone, remember that God is upholding you with His hand. So you are not alone.
2. Put Your Confidence in the Lord
The only way you can remain joyful in the middle of a trial is by putting your confidence in the Lord. Do not depend on yourself, friends, family, or the church. Put your full trust in the Lord. Other people may help you during this season by praying for you, but they will not necessarily understand what you’re going through.
But God knows what is going on. He’s there with you, and it’s only in Him that you can find the confidence to keep on fighting until the end. When your confidence is in the Lord, you will not fear to stand firm and fight back.
3. Focus on the Prize
However long your trial takes, it is going to come to an end. You will not be in it forever. So stop focusing on all that is happening and start focusing on the prize that lies ahead.
Your trial has an eternal reward. Yes, God has promised that he will reward us for all that we’re going through right now, so do not give up.
Focusing on the prize will help you in those times when everything does not make sense. In times when you are physically and emotionally drained. Remember, we are just here for a season, and after all this, we shall go to be with the Lord. In the new world, there will be no trials, pain, or suffering. So keep holding on. (James 1:12)
Trials are meant to draw us closer to God. If you’re going through such a time right now, this is the time for you to pray more than ever. See, you cannot do this alone. Sitting there feeling sorry for yourself and complaining will not take that trial away. But if you invite God into this, if you allow Him to fight your battles by spending time in His presence praying the process will be easier if not shorter.
Yes, praying during these times is often difficult. It is hard to find the right words to say when you’re going through trials. But your prayers do not have to be perfect. Tell God what is in your heart.
Do not fear telling God that you’re angry, disappointed, or on the verge of giving up. Pour it all out to Him. He can handle everything, including your anger. Prayer will free you up from negative emotions and strengthen you in your inner being so that you can keep on being strong and courageous during the trial. (Romans 12:12)
Prayer – Rejoice in the Midst of Trials
Father, in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, I come before Your throne of Grace today to thank You for my life, my family, and the body of Christ. Oh Lord, this is a tough time in my life. I keep wondering if I will make it out. Part of me is scared that I’ll lose it and just quit fighting. But God, I know that You remain to be King in my life despite all these negative emotions.
Father, strengthen me in my inner being, enable me to fight the good fight of faith and when the enemy comes like a flood, remind me that You’ve set a standard over my life.
Remove fear and discouragement from my heart and help me to be as bold as a lion. Help me to stand firm in Your word no matter what happens and cause me to triumph. Lord, open my understanding so that I can look beyond the disappointments and pain, and learn the lessons that You have for me in this season.
Heavenly Father, I pray for other believers all over the world who are also going through trials and tribulations right now.
Dear Lord, strengthen them in the inner being and remind them that they are not alone for their brothers all over the world are also going through the same trials.
Lord, You remain to be God in my life, and like Job, I stand boldly and declare that I will trust you and continue trusting You, no matter what is happening in my life or around me.
I love you, Lord, and I worship you. It is in Jesus’ Name that I believe and pray, Amen.
We pray the message “How to Deal with Dark Times” by Tim Keller will encourage you and reset your mind to see things differently. May this message will help you to remain joyful and strong irrespective of what is happening around you.