None of us seek out trials. We work hard to avoid them. But as John MacArthur pointed out in a recent Podcast sermon, they serve many purposes.
Trials test us so we know how strong our faith is, for good or bad. God already knows how strong our faith is, but we may not know. Thomas Manton said, “The worth of a soldier is never known in times of peace.”
They teach us that we can still have joy despite being unhappy.
They humble us and keep us from thinking too highly of ourselves or our personal ministries.
They increase our focus on more important things rather than trusting on our money or success.
They increase our focus on heaven.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
They help us see whether we love God more than ourselves.
Deuteronomy 13:3-4 The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
Enduring trails enables us to help others. How many of you have gone through something difficult that then helped you minister to others? My wife had 5 miscarriages before and after the girls were born and that has made us much more sensitive to infertility issues.
Luke 22:31-32 Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.
0 thoughts on “The value of trials”
I just stumbled upon John MacArthur on a radio broadcast and will be listening to him more. I like his message calling for Christians to not be so wimpy, to stand up to evil, to denounce relativism, to LIVE the instructions of Jesus.
I think enduring trials definitely does help us increase our empathy and compassion for others. Great post.
I am always reminded of Phil. 1:29:
“For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,”
Good point, Jay. Ever notice how the prosperity gospel (small “g”) preachers never refer to that verse?