– Woodrow Kroll
He Refines Us
First Peter 1:6-7 shows what God does with trials: “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that 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.” Gold is more precious and valuable when it is refined, having all of the impurities removed. That is what trials do for the believer. We are all tested so that we “may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” and if it glorifies Jesus Christ, and that’s always good.
He Makes Us Reliant on Him
Paul tells us that God wants us to rely on Him for all things, as he writes to the church at Corinth, “For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead” (2 Cor 1:8-9). The point is clear: He wants us to “rely not on ourselves but on God.”
He Corrects Us
We know that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). Here is why: “that the man (or woman) of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17). God wants us to be doers of His word (James 1:22) and not just listeners, which is really an act of love, as “the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son (and daughter) whom he receives” (Heb. 12:6). We are to be rebuked by the Word, trained in righteousness, reproved when wrong, equipped for every good work, and disciplined as a parent disciplines their own child out of love to make us or remake us into His image, the image of Christ.
He Renews Us
Paul tells us that we shouldn’t be conformed into the world’s image but “be transformed by the renewal of your mind” for the purpose of “testing you [so that you] may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). After I was saved, I remember being told by my family and friends that I was being “brainwashed.” I said, “Yes, my mind needed washing from all the fleshly, carnal, sinful things that my mind used to dwell on” and to have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). We need this renewal so we can discern what God’s will is and to know that which is acceptable and good, for in our own carnal minds, we can’t do that.
God is making us, or really remaking us, into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ, by using trials and refining us to make us rely on Him for everything; to correct us as a parent does a child, whom they love; and to renew our minds to become more like Christ.