On Painful Trials

1. Consider trials as pure joy

Consider the many kinds of trials that you experience as pure joy. Through trials, our faith is being put to the test and this develops our perseverance—and those who persevere until the end will be justified before God and worthy of receiving salvation.As the Bible teaches, “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, NIV)

2.  Remember that God never abandons His children
God’s love and concern for you are all the more shown in times of trials. Just do your part—pray to God and ask Him for your needs. The Bible reminds us, “… he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord.”(James 1:5-7, NIV)

3. Never doubt the goodness of God
We should not be like the wife of Job who, when confronted with unpleasant experiences, urged Job to stop serving God and curse Him. But Job proclaimed that we should receive not only the pleasant things from God, but also those that seem unpleasant (Job 2:10, TLB). In the midst of bitter experiences, we, like Job, should not stop in our services and faithfulness to God.

4. Believe that ‘God will change trials for your own good’
Believe that all things are for the better. Even the bitter experiences will be turned by God into experiences that are for your good. Remember that Christ was stricken, beaten, insulted, and killed on the cross. But what happened to Him was for the good of His servants. He had redeemed their sins and He is now in heaven at the right hand of the Father.The Bible says,“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NIV)

5. ‘Hardships are great boost for us to fulfill God’s will’
When Apostle Paul’s persecutors imprisoned him for performing his holy office, he considered his bitter experience as “a great boost in getting out the Good News concerning Christ.” (Philippians 1:12, TLB). Because of his imprisonment, many had witnessed that he had been chained for Christ. Thus, many Christians at that time became more active and courageous in spreading the words of God.

6. ‘Sufferings prepare us for God’s Kingdom’
Apostle Paul teaches, “This is only one example of the fair, just way God does things, for he is using your sufferings to make you ready for his kingdom.”(II Thessalonians 1:5 TLB)
      This is so true as our experiences teach us that we become more diligent in obeying and serving God when we have overcome sufferings and tests in life.

7. ‘God knows what is best’
When God led Israel in their journey toward the promised land, He did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though it was shorter. Instead, He led them on a desert road toward the Red Sea which was not only very long and winding through the desert, but was also filled with obstacles. God knew that if the Israelites would take the road through the Philistine country, they would immediately be faced with war against the Philistines. The Israelites then had no good skill in battle since they were just slaves and workers in Egypt. God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” (Exodus 13:17 NIV)
      Therefore, we should not doubt the way chosen by God or the road He directs us towards, even if it is not in accordance with our own views.

8. Do not worry about economic trouble
In these times when economic difficulties are widespread, we should not be worry. Our Lord Jesus Christ commands us thus: “So do not start worrying: 'Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes?' 32(These are the things the pagans are always concerned about.) Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. …So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings…Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things.”(Matthew 6:31-32, 34, 33 TEV)
      Thus, what should be seen in us is dedication in serving and worshipping God and our resolve to enrich our spiritual lives.

9. Ask God
Instead of worrying or losing hope when experiencing difficulties we should ask God for what we need through prayer. How much can God do to help us find our needs? According to Apostle Paul, His wealth is abundant and He is more than able to supply all our needs. We have the right to ask God and receive our needs, especially in times of adversity.
“Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart…And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs.”(Philippians 4:6, 19, TEV)

10. Believe that God helps those who are in trouble
Believe that God will hear our cries, protect us, and, most of all, He will give us salvation. Thus, let us always love God, fully hoping and trusting in Him and in what He can do for us. Trials are allowed by God so that we will always approach Him and remain in need of Him as the One who will help us in our journey through this world and lead us to His glorious home.
            “He helps those who are in trouble; he lifts those who have fallen. All living things look hopefully to you, and you give them food when they need it. You give them enough and satisfy the needs of all… He is near to those who call to him, who call to him with sincerity. He supplies the needs of those who honor him; he hears their cries and saves them. He protects everyone who loves him, but he will destroy the wicked.” (Psalm 145:14-16, 18-20, TEV)
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