There is more than one purpose to the trials we go through. Yes, one of the reasons for the trials we go through is that God’s name be praised, honored, and glorified, but it is not the only reason, nor can it be. Because God is love, our trials’ end purpose cannot simply be one thing which God can readily get from all of His other creation, if it is in our detriment and has no other eternal benefit. Simply put, God will not cause you to suffer needlessly, He will not allow you to go through trials and afflictions just because, but rather, there is purpose in the trials we must endure, and within that purpose our good is always a factor.
Would God be just if the only reason for my trials or afflictions here on earth was to get a passing grade? Would God be just if there were not some other purpose to my trials than for Him to watch me suffer and grade me on how well I did so?
When the Word tells us that all things work together for good to those who love God, it is not being hyperbolic; we were not given an empty promise, nor was this verse meant to bolster our spirits in times of distress without follow through or foundation.
God is not a motivational speaker. He doesn’t simply say things to make us feel good, or give us hope, with no intention of following through, or without a stable, certain, and reliable foundation to that which He promises.
God will never promise something He knows He can’t deliver on, nor will He generalize if His promise did not apply to every circumstance, every situation, and every thing. All things means all things, and there is no diminishing this great and astounding promise.
Just as trials vary in scope and intensity, so too do the purposes for the trials we are allowed to endure. There are varying trials as Peter points out, and there are also varying purposes for the trials.
One of the most common and most profound purposes for the trials we go through is the proving of our faith. Our trials prove our faith, our trials test our faith, and if perchance we happened to be paying God lip service without truly serving Him, the first hint of trial will prove this out more thoroughly than anything else.
Men boast of many things in our day and age. They subscribe to belief structures, doctrines, denominations, philosophies, all until there is a price to be paid for what they believe. It is then that you see the difference between the genuine believer and the pretender who says one thing but in his heart lives another.
Trials prove our faith. Trials prove the genuineness of our faith, and whether or not it is authentic and pure, or a lie we tell ourselves to soothe our burdened conscience. It is in the testing, it is in the flames of trial that all but true and authentic faith burns away.
Not only do trials prove the genuineness of our faith, trials strengthen our faith as well. The strengthening of our faith is yet another purpose for the trials in our lives. The more trials we overcome, the more trials we come through scarred, bruised, even wounded, but unbroken and still standing, our faith will be all the greater, and our dependence upon God will be all the more profound.
If we bring it all together, and realize that our trials prove the genuineness of our faith, and strengthen our faith, we see that trials are allowed in our lives that we may reach the end of our faith, which as we’ve already covered is the salvation of our soul.
We go through trials, we go through afflictions, that our faith might be proven, that our faith might be strengthened, and that we, one glorious day, may reach the end of our faith.
We cannot be fearful or apprehensive in regards to the testing of our faith through trials, knowing that in the end these things bring about the salvation of our souls. What greater good could you or I think of than this?
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.