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Why Believers Experience Trials

My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9)

There is much confusion and misinformation about why believers experience trials. A person relying on emotion rather than Scripture will always get it wrong! Some feel a believer should never experience anything “bad”, that God has left them, or is punishing or judging them. Others blame or credit Satan, for their afflictions with the belief they are being “attacked” by the Evil One. Still others suggest the reason a believer is “caught in the crosshairs” is because of a world full of sin, and those “bad” things are consequences of sin.

These often misguided beliefs suggest the person does not believe God is in control and misses the entire purpose of God working in their lives.

God clearly provides the reasons why a believer experiences trials. First, remember that a trial is not a “temptation” — something that is from Satan for the purpose of wanting the believer to sin against God.

The Bible clearly teaches that just as Jesus was “persecuted”, believers will suffer persecution for His namesake. Persecution for one’s faith can certainly be a trial or test. Regardless, it comes with the same outcome and with the same instruction — to count it all joy, to rejoice to be found worthy of experiencing in Christ’s sufferings. That is far different from believers whining or blaming God for having trouble in their lives. Worse yet, is to blame or credit Satan for those troubles when God calls us to be joyful in our testing and experience the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness in our lives through the process of perfecting/completing us more into the image of Jesus.

Using Scripture, the Biblical reasons why believers experience trials are:

  • for correction or discipline — to correct our course, get us back on the right path, to restore our fellowship with God — Hebrews 12:5–11; Proverbs 3:11–13
  • for ministry — to experience something that will allow us to minister to others in the same or similar circumstances — 2 Corinthians 1:3–4
  • for exercising our faith, growing the fruit of the Spirit, to get us closer to the image/likeness of Christ — Romans 5:3–5
  • to ultimately bring glory to God and to test our faithfulness to Him (such as Job) — 1 Peter 1:6–7

What should be the believer’s response?

  • Rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4 — Paul)
  • Count it all joy when experiencing various trials (James 1:2–4, 12 — James)
  • Count it as worthy of sharing in the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 4:13 — Peter; 2 Corinthians 1:5–7)

Trials work for our good (Romans 8:28) to bring us closer to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). If the trial is from our wrongdoing, identify it, confess it, and restore your fellowship with God (1 John 1:9). Or prepare for ministry as God prepares you to show Him to others. Of course, without trials, we never would see God work and there would be no strengthening of our faith. And when we cannot reach any other “reason” for the trial, rejoice in that God counts you worthy to bring glory to Him.

Going through a difficult trial is not easy. When you acknowledge, however, that your trial comes from God and is for a purpose, you can experience the joy and peace that comes from knowing that trial brings glory to God!

Stop living a defeated Christian life. Stop blaming Satan for all your troubles. We cannot attain Christlikeness without trials and sufferings. We cannot know God’s goodness and faithfulness unless our faith is tested.

Rest in God’s grace, knowing He is in control, and that He loves you. Trials are always for the believer’s good!


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AuthorRandy DeVaul | BCWorldview.org 

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