2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
I want to continue the discussion from yesterday’s post. First, I need to admit that I am not enduring any great trial right now. My life is comfortable and I am at peace. Perhaps I shouldn’t be blogging about the benefits of trials then, for one is surely bound to come my way now! Yet, even though I feel very blessed by God and I see so many undeserved good things poured out into my life, I realize that this is a timely subject to meditate upon. I have been in times of my life where I felt the fire of purging. I think it was probably during those times in life when I came up with the following list of what benefits trials accomplish in our lives. I will list them here for you without much additional explanation.
1) Trials promote humility.
2 Corinthians 12:7 – “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.”
2) Trials bring dependence on God.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – Because we realize we are not in control, we cast ourselves upon God’s mercy
3) Trials cause us to long for God.
The psalmist often cries out to God when in trouble. Sometimes we get too caught up with this world – it is easy. When life becomes painful, we long for heaven and its peace.
4) Trials cause us to examine ourselves and eliminate sin.
Psalm 119:67 – “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.”
5) Trials cause us to learn from the Word of God things which we could not learn otherwise.
Psalm 119:71 – “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”
“Most of the grand truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them.” – Spurgeon
“Read a truth in tranquility, read it in peace, read it in prosperity, and you will not make anything of it. Be put inside the furnace… and you will then be able to spell all hard words, and understand more than you could without it.” – Spurgeon
6) Trials cause us to not cling to the world or its pleasures.
When the sweetness of this world is lost because of the suffering we go through it, we realize what is important – the things of God – and we pursue those with our whole heart instead of letting our affections being seduced by worldly delights.
7) Trials give us heavenly reward.
2 Cor. 4:17-18 – “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
8) Trials give us the experience to comfort our brothers and sisters.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4, v. 4 – “who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Luke 22:32 – “But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
Experience is a great teacher, and it helps us be sympathetic to others who go through the same things.
9) Trials give us assurance that our faith is genuine.
1 Peter 1:6-7 – “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
God already knows whether our faith is genuine or not – but we do not know. God shows us.
Think about it, are there other benefits you see from your trials?