It’s about that time in the semester when professors start to really test your work ethic and it feels like there will be no end and you are pretty sure you will survive but have no idea how. It seems like trials are popping up everywhere in life and you have absolutely no idea how you are going to be able to get everything done. So how are we supposed to view these trials?
Let’s see what the bible says. First of all, I want to be clear. God does not tempt us. The apostle James tells us that God cannot be tempted with evil, nor does He tempt anyone (James 1:13). But it seems as though God does lead us into trials. Matthew 4 says the Spirit of God led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus tells us to ask God to “lead us not into temptation.” But why would we pray that unless it was possible that God might lead us into temptation in the same way He led Jesus into temptation?
Second, then, it seems that God may lead us into situations where our faith will be tested – situations where our own desires will tempt us. It’s our own sinful nature that leads us into trying temptations. But God leads us there for good reasons. He’s not simply like: “looks like little Nik’s life is going great, let’s throw some crap on him and put him back in his place.” Instead, he works all things together for good.
So with those two points behind us, how should we look at trials? Again, James says in James 1:2-4, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Trials make us stronger individuals in every way and we should rejoice over trials! Paul goes a little bit deeper in Romans 5:3-5. Paul says, “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Its like the old saying, “no pain, no gain.” How are we supposed to grow as humans and Christians if we are never stretched and stressed?
If you are currently going through trials (which you probably are), just remember we should count it as joy! God loves you. He would never allow something in your life that will overtake you. You need to remember that your head is still out of the water enough to be surviving and for now, you should be happy with that! Like Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:10, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamites. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Peace of Christ,