21 Dec Trials: Rejoice, be Trained, and Persevere
In this article, based on my book Free Your Mind, we will cover content from chapters 30, 31, and 32, which will help us to learn vital lessons from God on how he uses our trials to bless and help us!
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.
This passage helps us to see how God uses our trials to train us and help us grow in our discipleship. Even though our trials are difficult, God will bring good out of them, and this perspective helps us view trials not only as hardships—but also as blessings.
When going through a hard time in your life, have you ever wondered if it meant you were being punished by God, or wondered if it meant God didn’t love you? Trials aren’t necessarily a result of sin—sometimes they are just a part of life. Even Jesus—the sinless Son of God—was trained by trials. What a comfort that truth is to us! Because Jesus endured heartache and hardship as we do, he is able to be sympathetic and helpful to us in our sufferings:
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Jesus sympathizes with our sufferings and helps us through them. This knowledge helps us to rejoice and persevere in our trials. James encourages us with these words:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
Perseverance through trial is a crucial way that God shapes our character. Even though the trial itself may not bring us joy, the end result—maturity and completeness in Christ—does bring joy. God taught me these great truths in my early life in Christ, and he continues to do so even now. He teaches me through my struggles with memory loss, through the ups and downs of family life, and through the joys and challenges of sharing my faith with those around me. Even now, God is helping me to continue to rejoice and be positive in my trials. Dear brothers and sisters, God longs for all of us to embrace his promise of growth and joy, knowing he loves us and will bring good out of the struggles we face. Let’s all embrace and persevere in his promises, confident that God will graciously fulfill his word.