In many respects, the Christian life is a life of testing. We can expect trials because God, through adverse situations, takes out of our lives things that are not pleasing to Him. But trials should not always be viewed as punishments.
Lets take a look at what the scriptures have to say about it.
James 1:2-4 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
No, James is not insane. James knows that the trials in our lives act as a sort of faith exercise. There is no gain with out pain, and with each choice, we either exercise or we fail.
Romans 5: 3-4 – Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Here the apostle Paul says something similar to James, in that when we experience the things that our flesh would tell us are terrible, we believers realize that these are instead great blessings in disguise. They are in fact opportunities to see God work, and to receive from God the rewards He is offering.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
ALL things will work for our good. Not most. Not only the good stuff, but the bad stuff is exempt from this promise. ALL things. For the good of those who love God. This promise is not extended to all mankind. Not everybody can say “some good will come out of this”. While I appreciate that optimism, only faithful believers can be guaranteed that no matter how hard or troubling the trial is, it will absolutely be for your benefit in one way or the other.
Job 1:21 – Job said “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
Job, always the example of how to handle trials. When he first realized in chapter 1 that life as he knew it had been ripped to shreds, he fell on his face and worshiped the Lord. (Job 1:20). This shows us that we do not have to be filled with joy to worship our Lord, and in fact we will be blessed when we remember to glorify God in our trials instead of only doing so when we are getting things our way.
Job 23:10 – But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
The same way metals are refined by fire, and diamonds are made with pressure, so we are “tested” and made pure or into something more valuable.
2 Corinthians 4: 8-9 – We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Let us not forget, that while we are fighting in this spiritual war, we are not alone. We have THE GOD of this universe fighting for us.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
No matter how big the trouble may seem, we still get to go to Heaven! There is nothing so bad on earth that can outweigh the value of the reward we will receive as we endure.
For more on this topic, please referance these sermons.
I hope this has encouraged you in your walk with the Lord.
Pastor CJ Counts