James 1:2 (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds
Trials are inevitable
I don’t like pain and I want to mute it at first as I can. Just like pain, tough times are a reality that is an equalizer. Everyone faces them. It’s not something that one can wish away. We live in a generation that overemphasizes positive confession as if it’s a magic wand to attract what we want and shoo away what we do not desire. But no amount of positive confession will shield you from trials. To say that ”tough times are not my portion” is like a student confessing that “exams are not my portion.” To never want trials is like desiring to be promoted without undergoing training. The Bible says that “WHENEVER”, not “IF” “you face trials of many kinds.” Before He went to heaven, Jesus promised us that in this world we will have trials (John 16:33). Trials, like any training, are undesirable but necessary.
Trials are diverse
The Bible says that they are of many kinds. Not only will you encounter tough times, you will do so in many areas and seasons of your live. For as long as we are alive and growing we will encounter challenges. They could be related to your health, finances, relationships, ministry, profession, or anything else.
You CAN benefit from your trials – (James 1:3-4)
Trials are real; don’t pretend that they are not there. Many of them are painful, so we shouldn’t pretend to be happy when you are in pain. BUT you can be hopeful (and find peace in Jesus) – Phil. 4: 6-7 (more about attitudes next week). You can be hopeful and joyful because you know that the end will be greater. Any training worth its name is rigorous and tough (Heb. 12:7, 8)
Trials, like any training, are undesirable but necessary.
When people spend sleepless nights during times of examinations, it’s not because they enjoy sleepless nights but because you are looking forward to good grades at the end of the exam and a great career in the future. So, we are encouraged to joyfully endure trials because of the results they bring about in the end.
Trials are a like training institute. But we all know that training, even the best one, doesn’t guarantee success (otherwise only that who graduate from top notch schools would be successful). It is only when someone trains according to the instructions that they can succeed. So, don’t waste your pain; God is up to something.
What trials are you going through now? Trials are the pressure that tests the quality of your character.
Hebrews 12:11-13 (NIV) No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
Are you feeling like trials are pushing you to the limit, that you are being stretched beyond what you can bear? Are your arms becoming “feeble” and your knees “weak?” Do you feel like throwing in the towel? Ask the Lord for strength.
Instead let your response to trials encourage others to trust the Lord Jesus Christ and follow Him. But you can’t do this on your own, God has to help you. Tough times won’t last because God’s grace will sustain you
GOD’S PURPOSE IN TRIALS IS TO MAKE YOU MATURE – TO BECOME MORE LIKE JESUS CHRIST