Trials are a test of the performance, qualities, or suitability of someone or something.
When new medications or medical devices are being developed they are put through rigorous trials. Putting aside any potential frustration with pharmaceutical companies or insurance companies, what is the point of the trials? To test its performance, qualities, and suitability of something. They want to know for sure that the medicine or device is going to do what they say it is capable of doing.
Professional athletes, especially Olympic athletes, will endure strength and endurance trials for the same reason. Are they going to be able to persevere? Is there physical and mental ability enough to push through when they are encountering the toughest competition?
Think of our amazing military men and women of this country. Boot camp is a trial! Their bodies are pushed beyond the limits they ever expected possible. They have to will their minds to keep going. Why? So that they are able to protect themselves, the soldier next to them, and complete the mission for OUR safety.
The same is true for police officers, firefighters, and all first-responders.
The entire book of Job was a trial. It was a test of his faith through suffering. There is an important distinction in the first two chapters of Job. God did not cause Job’s suffering. He allowed them, but Satan actually caused the pain. So then the question becomes why did God allow it? No one can fully answer that.
But we know, trials are an ability to test our performance and qualities as a Christian when life becomes hard. Beyond hard. And on the other side of trials, when we stand in faith, our relationship with God grows, strengthens, and deepens.
I don’t want to endure trials anymore than a marine wants to complete his physical training. But like the marine, I want to know that I am strong and capable to endure ‘come what may’. I want the benefit of the deepened relationship with God!
Let’s also look back all of the examples of trials above. Trials does not equate to discipline!
Jesus, himself, spoke out against the idea that suffering implied sin and thus discipline. In John 9:1-7, Jesus and his disciples come upon a blind man and they asked Jesus who had sinned, the man or his parents. He replied in verse 3 (NIV) “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
Take the time to read the below bible scriptures and truly focus on what they are saying to you. Some passages may touch you differently than others. Writing down the verses in your own hand is helpful for some individuals. Possibly looking up the verses in your own bible may be beneficial. I use a NIV bible translation. Or reading them over and over to commit to memory. Whatever method works best for you to experience God’s words and feel closer to Him.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
1 Peter 1:6-7
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in 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. 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, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.
I pray that these verses meet you where you are today and help you to understand that your trials are not the same as discipline.
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