March 25, 2020

Why are We Going Through this Trial?

Throughout our life we will experience various trials that will yield personal, spiritual maturity if we persevere through them and do not give up.

It's never pleasant to go through any time of bad experience and for everyone it's quite difficult in a number of different ways.

Many people who are now working from home are facing a new trial of how to productively work from home.

Some are facing a trial of how to teach their children while schools remain closed during the Stay-At-Home directives by state governors. That's quite a challenge if someone has never taught school subjects before.

And we're all facing an economic, financial and employment trial unlike any time in our history. It's a global trial that can either be viewed as an obstacle to growth, or an opportunity to grow further.
What should our attitude be?

TRIALS ARE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE ENTHUSIASTIC. What?? We’re to have joy in our lives when a trial happens to us??? Are you serious? Yes, I am. It's not easy to do, but it must be our attitude if our faith is in Christ alone. Is it?

While Christians are not excluded from expressing emotions of sadness, frustration, discontent, or feeling unhappy overall, we should have a feeling of joy that God is giving us an opportunity to praise Him in the trial that has now come.

Trials should be an occasion of genuine rejoicing in, and to God because He will not allow anyone to go through a trial without the benefit of growing stronger and more mature because of it.

Other translations might use the word 'consider' instead of count and it means that we should think closely, or regard it, but more importantly not to dismiss what is happening.

So pay attention to what’s happening and think carefully and thoughtfully about it too. Don’t be reclusive about the trial, rejoice in it that you will grow stronger spiritually and personally, you’ll mature more too because of it.

What should we realize about trials?

TRIALS ARE TO BE EXPECTED. It is important to note that James says that trials are not a possibility in our lives. He didn't say they might happen. They are an expected certainty. They may surprise us, but they are not a surprise to God.

Surely, maybe you have been part of an occasion where someone was being surprised for a birthday party, or bridal shower, and those are certainly joyous moments.

But when it comes to trials, no one actually thinks that they are going to get themselves ready for the diagnosis of a terminal disease.

No one expects to go through an incredibly distressing time that impacts them financially like a foreclosure on their home, or when the stock market crashes and more than half of their retirement savings is gone.

How many people expected that our economy and social interactions with others would become so restricted as they are now, and even to where our financial lives have been completely upended. Who ever expected that to happen?
What is the purpose?

TRIALS ARE A TEST OF OUR FAITH. Who has really ever enjoyed taking tests? Taking tests in high school were worrisome for most, but not for those who have prepared for the upcoming exam.

The purpose of going to college, graduate school or beyond is to, in the end, be tested on what has been taught throughout the semesters and pass the final exam.

Reading the Bible is like studying for an exam and when the tests come will a person be rooted firmly in the knowledge of Scripture, trusting in the sovereignty of God and trust that His will is being done for a purpose that may not be fully understood, yet God will still be praised anyway?

Will a person abandon their faith because difficult times have come. Loss has occurred. Or, will a person see that this is an opportune time for their lives, to seek God and understand His sovereign will?

Since trials are eventually going to happen, as it is happening right now to everyone, it is important to prepare our faith when it is tested through the continued reading and study of Scripture. A disciplined life of prayer goes right along with reading and studying Scripture too.

Just as we must persevere through current trials, and future trials, we must also persevere in prayer and the reading and study of Scripture.
He's waiting for Jesus 
In closing, approximately four years ago, I was visiting with a man from the church I was pastoring and he did not have a good prognosis about the cancer that had taken hold of his health and his body.

He had been given very little chance of survival, yet his attitude was unlike any I had witnessed from many of my past pastoral hospital visits to those who were sick, or who were sick and dying at home.

The cancer had affected his strength significantly and he held himself up by holding on to the sidebar of the hospital bed in his home. Scripture was still the anchor of his soul though.

When his wife and I had informed him that someone else had just died from cancer and had gone home to be with the Lord, Dennis turned and looked at me and said, “I can’t wait for Jesus to come and get me.”

I couldn’t help but smile, laugh a little bit, but also cry because this man’s faith was so secure in Jesus and he wasn't afraid of dying, but happy that he would soon meet his Savior. His joy was Jesus despite the cancer that taken hold of his body.

He didn’t expect to get cancer, but he held on to Scripture to carry him through and he was certainly carried through the gates of heaven on December 26, 2015.

I'll never forget Dennis, or how his faith was secure despite the trial he and his family faced.

His faith was tested greatly and so were others because we had wanted to see a miracle from God, yet we did not realize that such a trial was not for Dennis alone, but for everyone who knew him and had their faith exclusively in Jesus Christ.

It's a short season that we all have to go through. This trial won't last forever though it may feel like it. Eternity is forever, but not this. This is only a season and seasons change.

It's a trying time for all of us and if there is anything I can pray for you about, please send an email to me at

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