– John Newton
They Humble Us
If nothing else, our trials should humble us before our God because we know that we cannot go on in this life without God strengthening us. The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians that God’s purpose for his “thorn in the flesh” was “to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited” (2 Corinthians 12:7). Paul concluded, “I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (1 Corinthians 12:9-10).
They Grow Us
A faith that’s never been tested is a faith that cannot be trusted. We test drive cars to see if they’re good cars, or we test out a new home before we buy it to see if the plumbing and wiring work. But God tests us to grow us. A test or trial can stretch our faith and allow us to grow in the faith. God doesn’t test us to see how much faith we have, as He already knows. God tests our faith to reveal to us how strong or how weak it is. God never has learned anything, but we learn from every test or trial we endure; and these can grow us.
They Strengthen Us
Sometimes trials make us take a personal inventory of our lives or to make sense of something that’s happening to us. It may be that God is trying to tell us something. Either way, trials can humble us and make us stay close to God. When Abraham was told to sacrifice the son of promise, Isaac, Abraham must have known that God could raise him from the dead if necessary (Hebrews 11:17). Abraham trusted God because “he considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back” (Hebrews 11:19).
Every trial has a purpose and every pain a reason. If you’re going through a trial right now, think about this: God is going to use that for His glory and for your best. We just have to understand that trials are sometimes meant to humble us before God; trials are often ways that God can stretch and grow our faith; and trials can actually strengthen our faith or trust in God. So “trials are medicines which our gracious and wise physician prescribes because we need them.”