Growing up I have come to see how hard life can be, not only through my share of experiences but through those of my friends and other people. Tough times come with trials of many kinds that overwhelm us.
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 1:2-4 NIV).
James writes to the early church Christians encouraging them to endure in their trials and more ironically to count it all as joy. Naturally trials come with a lot of pain, fear, doubt and sufferings and yet God calls us to count it all as joy. To do this comes with the knowledge that, trials are not utterly meaningless, God allows them our way for the testing of our faith, which produces perseverance to make us mature and complete. Trials hence are an important part in our sanctification as believers.
The knowledge of what God intends in our trials makes it easier to go through trials with hope and an assurance that God is still for us. God is good! This does not change when we are faced by trials. In fact it is in His goodness and for our good that He allows trials to come.
“For they disciplined us for a short time(our parents) as it seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. For a moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." (Heb 12:11-12 ESV)
It is for our sanctification that the LORD allows trials.
In a world that is so enticing to us we can so easily lose our focus when we turn from God to the world; trials remind us of what is important and eternal.
When we start getting comfortable in our Christian walk that we no longer seek to grow, not yearning for spiritual milk like newborn infants, nothing creates the desire in us to grow as trials do.
When we grow in self-righteousness thinking we are perfected on this side of the earth, trials show us our fallen state and makes us realize that we still have a long way to go in sanctification. For though we may be justified our sanctification is continuous until we are glorified. God uses trials to reveal our hearts, to bring our sin to our attention that He may bring us by His grace to repentance and sanctification.
This calls us to remain steadfast in trials, to count it all joy when we meet trials of various kinds. For;
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12 ESV)
By Julia Kiama and Syprose Gwako