August 29, 2008
The Trials of Life
1 Peter 1:6-7
Most likely, you have heard the age-old question, “If God is good, how can He let bad things happen?” Since the fall of man, life has always included hardship. Though trials are painful, understanding the Lord’s purpose can bring joy and hope.
The Word of God is clear that suffering is purposeful. Primarily, the Lord is conforming His children to be like Him (Rom. 8:29). When a person is newly saved, he or she still has many “rough edges.” The journey ahead, called sanctification, involves the process of becoming holy—and few things build character like sorrow. Unfortunately, people rarely mature during pleasant times. Instead, pain brings impurities to the surface and forces people to see the reality of their lives.
Another reason the Father allows trials is to test the faith of His children. Of course, He doesn’t need this for His own information—it is the believers who benefit. Tested faith is stronger and more reliable than untried faith.
Furthermore, God allows hardship in order to reveal His character, love, and power. During life’s storms, people who cling to their heavenly Father will find Him trustworthy and real. When the next difficulty arises, they’ll remember His faithfulness during the previous trial and will rest confidently in Him.
While no one wants to suffer, experience and sorrow will mature the believer. We can learn certain things from books and other people’s stories, but most growth occurs during trials. So, when problems occur and sorrow seems piercing, thank God for His purpose in your suffering.
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