14 Reasons Why God Is Giving You Trials and Tests

by Sister McCook

Trials Are Part Of The Work Of God

God never says, “Oops.” (My Bible teacher used to say this all the time God is in charge of all the trials. God is not on His throne wringing His hands as He waits for the outcome of events. I can be confident that God is working for His glory, even if I can’t see how.

This allows me to stop worrying about the way things will work out. When I remember that God promises are to work for His glory and for our eternal good, my heart is peaceful.

Pain isn’t without reason. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10). “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28).​

2. Trials Put God’s Power On Display

If God allows me to go to trial, He will be able to work for His glory. Historically, that’s how God likes to function. Remember Gideon? He began with an army one-fifth the size of the Midianites—and then God made the odds worse.

“The LORD said to Gideon, ‘The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, “My own hand has saved me”’” (Judges 7:2).

God uses trials to prove that He deserves credit on His own. The trials have made it clear to the world that I am not in charge. Everyone can see that I have no skill or strength to solve the problem. So when God works, He gets all the glory, not me.

3. Trials Prepare Me For Service (Even Little Trials)

Here’s some bad news. When God works in a great way, it often involves one of His servants facing a great trial. But we’re going to have to be ready for major storms and trials. How will we be prepared for this? Little trials, man.

man in coat and hat looking and gazing down

I want God to trust me with His big tasks, but God doesn’t give us the big tasks without checking us in the little ones. Every trial that God sends, even our daily frustrations are meant to test us and make us stronger. If I want God to use me to do great things, I have to pass the little tests. If I don’t pass the little tests, why should I expect God to trust me with more?

“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).

4. Trials Sanctifies Us

Trials don’t make me sin by being impatient, frustrated, or moaning, they just show what’s inside. If you cap the volcano, the lava will fly out of the side.

If you try to put a stop to your frustration by not getting angry with your kids, it’ll probably blow up in another place like shouting at your dog or getting upset at other drivers. Trials reveal weaknesses. 

They’re exposing our inner sin. Only until I see my sin will I allow God to function inside me. The toughest fight is the one inside of me. Because of this, the trials of God have been His greatest instrument of development in my life.

5. Trials Make Me Depend On God

God uses trials to completely turn my dependence on Him. He wants me to cling to Him and find peace in Him alone. The greatest battle that is waged every day for the glory of God is not the one around me, but the one in me.

My sinful heart doesn’t want to give up energy. Trials are God’s tool to break my dependence on self so that I can trust Him alone.1 Corinthians 1:28-29, 31.

6. Trials Show Others That God Is Dependable

Others are watching as I go through trials. They’re watching to see if I’m responding in faith. It is normal to have peace in the midst of comfort. There is no peace in the midst of trials.

Trials give me the opportunity to talk about the hope I have. If I complain or have a bad attitude in the face of trials, I forfeit my opportunity to speak of God’s greatness!

God has entrusted us with trials so that we can be a light. Let’s not waste this opportunity.

Two people holding hands praying

7. Trials Show Us And Others That God Is Infinitely Valuable

As I go through trials or loss of peace and joy, others are watching. They watch to see if I respond with joy. When I have joy in the midst of loss, it shows the world that Jesus is better off.

Unfortunately, the joy of losing is not my default setting. I think I’m complaining about my default, self-pity and seeking sympathy. So before I respond with joy, God has to show me that Jesus is better than everything the world has to give. Through trial and loss, He teaches that He alone is my treasure and my great reward.

Hand on Bible Praying

This doesn’t mean I’m smiling at it. Loss is hurting, a lot. Yet my joy is something that cannot be shaken. At the same time, we can feel an incredible loss and unshakeable joy in God.

God is still sufficient even though we lose anything. “We can say with Job through tears, “the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21).

8. Trials Are An Opportunity For Reward

God has entrusted me with trials as a gift. If I respond to the trials in  faith and holiness, I can have joy in keeping rewards in heaven. If I respond to the trials with fear or complaint, I miss a reward opportunity.   (1 Peter 1:6-7).

9. Trials Could Be For Discipline

God also uses suffering to train and discipline us as his children in order to make us mature in our faith. He wants to return us to communion with Him as a caring parent.

10. Trials Humbles Us

Suffering reminds us of our humanity, our finiteness. When we go through illness or failure, we’re reminded that we’re not in control of our lives.

Man hand crossed on Bible praying

Humility is our best comrade, and sometimes comes in no other means than through pain in our lives.”

In Psalm 119:71, David says what so many of us already know by experience: “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.”

11. Trails Leads Us To Rely On Lord

Suffering drives us to lean on God like nothing else, and it helps us to see that God is enough. It helps us to see that we have something worth more than what the world can afford.

12. Trails Teaches Us That The Planet Is Not Our Home

Suffering and pain make us pine for our heavenly home and live more fully for eternity. Suffering scares us to note that we are “temporary residents and aliens” on this planet (1 Peter 2:11) and this world is not our permanent home; we look forward to a home yet to come” (Heb. 13:14).

When this happens, we redirect our lives with more eternal intent than ever and concentrate more on pleasing the Lord.

Man sitting and praying outside

13. To Show You Growth

When you hit bad, you can start to see the forming of your good. Meaning, you see how less anxious you are, how less worried you feel and how much more you know God will take care of you.  It becomes a cause for praise.

14. To Develop You Into Eternal Gold, Not Rotting Dollar Bills

When delivered, what emerges from the rot of a once selfish body? Praise. Glory. Honor. Things that are worthy, valuable and eternal.

These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Pet. 1:7

God uses what is coming to get you, not to ruin you, but to make you.

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