– John Newton
The Crown of Life
Trials certainly don’t feel good. In fact, they can be very painful, however everyone who has trusted in Christ will be in the kingdom and trials have their part in this. James writes “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). If we stand the test, there is apparently a crown of life for all who do.
The Reliance upon God
We cannot endure trials by ourselves, or at least we shouldn’t be trying to do this on our own because it is “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the Day of Judgment” (2nd Pet 2:9). The Lord knows how to rescue us out of our trials. We don’t, so we must admit that. Notice that the Apostle Peter said “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly” and not the godly know how to rescue themselves, so God wants us to rely on Him. If a trial makes us lean on Him more, then the trial has been for our own good.
The Genuineness of Your Faith
One of the hardest things we do as Christians is to praise God while we’re in the storms of life. In the first place, we should “not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1st Pet 4:12), because these trials are necessary. In fact, Peter says that “if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,” (1st Pet 1:6), so it might be necessary if God thinks it is since “the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1st Pet 1:7).
When John Newton wrote, “Trials are medicines which our gracious and wise physician prescribes because we need them,” he spoke from experience. He knew that a man or woman who endures trials will be blessed and receive the crown of life; God knew that trials would make us rely on Him more; and, God wants to test our faith so that we will know if it’s genuine or not. That’s why trials are actually good for us, even if they don’t feel like it.