Why does God allow trials to happen in our lives?
By Jonathan Howes
Lead Pastor Graystone Church
Do you ever wonder why God allows trials to happen in our lives? As Christians, shouldn’t we be immune to pain and suffering?
God is our Heavenly Father after all. And since He is in control of all things, it seems like He would keep bad things from happening to His children.
James, the half-brother of Jesus, gives us a little insight into why God allows us to go through difficult times. He says in James 1:2-4, “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 says consider it joy when we face trials. He doesn’t say, “If we face trials”. He says, “When we face trials”. We will all face trials. It is a part of life. In fact, he says, “Whenever we face trials of many kinds.” Well, that’s not very comforting. Throughout our lives, we will all face many trials. What is the purpose of these trials?
James says that trials are an opportunity to test our faith. When we read the Bible we see that all the great heroes of the faith from both the Old Testament and the New Testament went through difficult trials in life. God tests their faith. And when they passed the test, God used them to do great things for Him.
Sometimes God allows us to go through difficult times to test our faith. When the storms of life come, we have a choice to make. Are we going to stand firm in our faith? Are we going to run to God or are we going to run away from God? If we stand firm in our faith, it will produce perseverance in our lives.
Why is perseverance so important? God uses perseverance to develop our character and grow us to spiritual maturity. God is at work in our lives. He is the potter, and we are the clay (Jeremiah 18). God is molding and shaping us into the person of God that He wants us to be. When we persevere, it develops our character (Romans 5:3-4). God develops our character to make us more like His son, Jesus Christ, and grow us to spiritual maturity.
When we are going through a difficult time, we need to remember that it is happening for a reason and a purpose (Romans 8:28). Our job is to persevere through the trial and keep the faith. So, what trial are you going through right now? In what area of your life to you need to persevere? Do you need to persevere in your marriage? Do you need to persevere in your parenting? Do you need to persevere in your current job situation? Do you need to persevere in your battle with cancer? In what area of your life do you need to persevere and not give up?
Let me close with a couple of practical things we can do to persevere through a trial. First, let’s draw near to God (Hebrews 10:22). We can run to God by spending time daily in His word, the Bible, and prayer. God’s word comforts us and gives us the strength and courage we need to make it through any difficulty in life. Secondly, let’s make sure we are connected to a good local church. When we are going through a trial in life, it’s so important to have the love and support of other like-minded Christians. We all need good Christian friends who will walk with us through the valleys of life and encourage us to keep the faith (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Jonathan Howes has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from Jacksonville State University and a Master in Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the lead pastor for Graystone Church. Locations include the Ozora Campus: 1551 Ozora Road | Loganville, GA 30052 and the Walton Campus: 723 N Broad St Monroe, GA 30655.