Both trials and temptations give us a chance to grow. Every time we say ‘no’ to temptation, we grow stronger in our ability to do so. And the more we declare truth when the enemy tries to lie to us and deceive us, the better we are at recognizing His lies in the first place. Trials help us to grow as well, but they are much different than temptations. Trials must be endured, and unlike temptations, God doesn’t always provide a “way out.”
I’ve heard it said that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. But unfortunately there’s no real biblical basis for this statement. It stems from 1 Corinthians 10:13 which tells us how God is faithful to not let us be tempted beyond our ability. But the key here is that this verse is talking about temptations, not trials. If we look throughout Scripture, we will find countless examples of those who faced trials that they couldn’t handle on their own. The early Christians, for example, were heavily persecuted, even to the point of death.
God will often allow trials in our lives to show us our need for Him. In this way, we can expect to encounter trials that we can’t handle apart from Him.
- Trials produce spiritual growth.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)
- Trials grant us the opportunity to experience true joy and peace from the Lord that is beyond our understanding.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4 (NIV)
- Perseverance through difficult times always brings great reward and spiritual blessing.
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. – 1 Peter 4:12:13 (NIV)
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12 (NIV)
Trials come in all shapes and sizes. Maybe you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one. Or perhaps a chronic illness is weighing you down. Or if you’re like me, simple day-to-day stress tries to steal my joy. In every trial, God is faithful to help us endure. He comforts and strengthens us as we grow in our faith.
Trials will come. The Bible says so. But the Bible also tells us that we can choose joy in the midst of these trials. We can view them through the lens of eternity, and we will always be victorious because Christ has already overcome the world.
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