Finding Perseverance through Trails
What is the secret to joy in trials? What’s the secret for a Christian to have joy while suffering through bankruptcy, cancer or even a lost child? Is it realistic that both joy and anguish can exist together?
We can rejoice in trials because they have purpose. They are not haphazard; they are not by accident—and God has not forgotten about us. Look at what Peter says: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to (emphasis mine) suffer grief in all kinds of trials” (1 Pet 1:6).
What does Peter mean? He means that God is in control of our trials and they do not happen by accident. As a father, he only allows us to go through things that are necessary for us. He doesn’t waste anything. Understanding this reality is one of the major reasons we can rejoice in the midst of trials.
It is this way with any good father. A good father only allows his child to go through trials if they are necessary. The child wants to quit Little League Baseball because he’s not very good, but the father knows that the discipline and perseverance he is developing is needed for whatever career God leads him into. The father makes the child finish the season only because it’s necessary for his growth. The child may cry and complain, and it is not that the father is immune to the child’s tears, but it is because he knows what’s best. Our Father knows what’s best as well. The book of Hebrews says about trials: “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father” (Heb 12:7)?
In this passage, the writer says to endure “hardship” as discipline—God is treating you as sons. Now there are those who struggle with this and say, “What about trials that come from Temptation or my own failure?” Yes, God is in control of those trials as well, let’s look at 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it (emphasis mine).”
Paul says not only is He in total control, but He is specifically controlling the temperature gauge on every trial. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. He knows exactly what you need and how much you can handle. Believers can rejoice in trials because of this–they have purpose.
Trials are ultimately needed in order for us to grow in character and strengthen our walk in faith. So rejoice in your trials, allow them to bring you closer in your relationship with God, your Christian fellows and allow those lessons to shape and define you purpose here in THIS world and the next.
2 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. — James 1:2-4 [NIV] – Laurie Faith Gibson