There are two major errors we can make regarding trials: The first mistake is the failure to anticipate trials. Jesus suffered trials. Jesus promised us trials (John 16:33). All the apostles suffered trials. Trials are an expected part of the Christian life. And, like all storms, preparation can be critical in successfully enduring them.
A second mistake is to harbor a morbid fear of trials. Remember 1 Corinthians 10:13: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
The Apostle Paul certainly knew sufferings (2 Corinthians 4:7-11, 16-18; 2 Corinthians 11:23-28; Hebrews 11:32-40). And he regarded them as opportunities. There are many reasons why we face trials.
Here are just a few:
- To glorify God (Daniel 3:16 -18, 24-25)
- Discipline for known sin (Hebrews 12:5-11; James 4:17 ; Romans 14:23 ; 1 John 1:9)
- To prevent us from falling into sin (1 Peter 4:1-2)
- To keep us from pride. Paul was kept from pride by his "thorn in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
- To build faith (1 Peter 1:6-7)
- To cause growth (Romans 5:3-5)
- To teach obedience and discipline (Acts 9:15-16; Philippians 4:11-13)
- To equip us to comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
- To prove the reality of Christ in us (2 Corinthians 4:7-11)
- For testimony to the angels (Job 1:8; Ephesians 3:8-11; 1 Peter 1:12 )