Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. James 1:2
I’m sure you know people with amazing stories of the way God has worked in their lives. I always love to hear a great testimony, but I also know that behind every extraordinary account of someone’s life lies some kind of challenge or difficulty. No one ever has a testimony without a test.
We must pass all kinds of tests as we go through our lives, and passing them is part of never giving up. It’s vital for us to understand the important role that tests and trials play in our lives, because understanding them helps us endure them and actually be strengthened by them.
Everything God permits us to go through will ultimately be good for us—no matter how much it hurts, how unfair it is, or how difficult it is. When we encounter tests and trials, if we will embrace them and refuse to run from them, we will learn some lessons that will help us in the future and make us stronger.
One reason we must go through trials is to test our quality (see 1 Peter 4:12). Often, we find ourselves wishing we had the faith of Sister so-and-so or Brother so-and-so. I can assure you, if they have a strong and vibrant faith, they did not develop it easily. Just as muscles are strengthened through exercise, firm faith comes from the furnace of affliction.
Sometimes people say to me, “Oh, I wish I had the kind of ministry you have, Joyce.” Well, I did not get it by wishing. These people didn’t see when I was feeling I couldn’t hold on one more second, begging God to help me to not quit or give up. They don’t know the tests and trials I’ve faced along the way.
No one who does anything worthwhile for God has traveled an easy road. Doing great things for God requires character, and character is developed by passing life’s tests and staying faithful to Him through the trials.
Prayer Starter: Father, help me to trust You through all of life’s tests. Strengthen me when things get difficult, and help me to never give up so I can develop Your character in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.