"Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations." James 1:2
I’m sure you know people with amazing stories of the way God has worked in their lives ~ I do and I have a few of my own! 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, just as mine is. 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 (1 Pet. 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.
Some people say, “Oh, I wish I had what you have.” Well, we don't get what they have by wishing AND we don't see what these people went through to get it! We don’t know the tests and trials they’ve faced along the way. Everyone's journey is different and 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.
Father God, I put my trust in you and know that you have a unique plan for my life. I trust that when I go through tests, you are using them to strengthen and prepare me for the great things you have planned specifically for me. In your Holy name I pray, Amen.