There’s a scripture in the Bible that says, In the world you have tribulation and trials (John 16:33 AMPC). I believe most people would agree with it. If you read the rest of that verse, you get to the encouraging part where Jesus says we can take heart because He has overcome the world. But the truth is, we all go through hard times and have to learn how to overcome them through Christ.
Sometimes, God allows or even arranges for us to go through difficulties in this life because it’s during those times that we grow in our faith and develop more of the character of Christ. Trials reveal what we really believe and what’s really inside our hearts. They test us. And until we’re in a situation where we have no choice but to face an issue we need to deal with, we don’t really know what we would do.
James 1:2 (AMPC) says we should “consider it wholly joyful” when we experience a trial or face a temptation. Verse 3 goes on to say that “the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.” That sounds lovely to have endurance, steadfastness and patience during trials, doesn’t it?
I remember the days when I would get upset and complain whenever things didn’t go my way. I had no peace and was emotionally unstable. When I was tested by trials, they brought out the jealousy, confusion and negative attitudes that were in my heart. But through the years, as I’ve studied the Word and learned how to trust God, I have developed more of the qualities and character of Christ in my life. Now, I’m much more patient and don’t act much different when I’m in a trial than when I’m not. But it took a lot of trials to get me to this point.
It’s God’s will for us to stay in peace and make decisions with godly wisdom in every circumstance in our lives. We can face our trials and tests with joy when we understand that it’s by going through them that we learn how to live in God’s peace, joy and wisdom all the time—whatever our circumstances may be.