Trials – Part 2 ~ The Reasons for Trials in the Life of Believers

Trials In the Life of Believers

 Faith only grows when it is stretched by tribulations (problems, hard times, difficulties, calamities, trials, and testing; they’re all synonymous concerning the “trying of our faith”). Faith can only grow incrementally, as more and more is demanded of it.  This is because trust is a process contingent upon experience, as someone proves they are trustworthy situation after situation, we trust them more and more. In this way faith is analogous to a muscle which must be torn before growth can occur. Therefore, we must always realize and therefore understand that testing is not done simply as a process whereby God attempts to validate the existence of our faith, or its degree, which might appear cruel on the surface; but that these trials are necessary for faith to grow, and that without these trials, it is impossible for faith to mature.  Thanks to Chuck Missler for much of the following.

 1. To glorify God The most important for us (Dan_3:16-18, Dan_3:24-25)

 2. To build faith. The most important to us (1Pe_1:6-7; Jas_1:2-4)

 3. To cause growth (Rom_5:3-5)

 4. To prove the reality of Christ in us (2Co_4:7-11)

 5. To testify to Angels (Job_1:8;Eph_3:8-11; 1Pe_1:12)

 6. To equip us to comfort others (2Co_1:3-4)

 7. To prevent us from falling into sin (1Pe_4:1-2)

 8. To keep us from pride. Paul’s thorn (2Co_12:7)

 9. To teach obedience & discipline (Act_9:15-16; Php_4:11-13)

10. To Discipline for known sin (Heb_12:5-11; Jas_4:17; Rom_14:23; 1Jn_1:9)

Two Possible Errors Concerning Trials

(synonymous with temptation and tribulation):

1) Not anticipating trials

2) Holding a morbid fear of trials

We Need a Divine Perspective

Remember Job, & his 3 friends
Remember Paul, and his “Thorn in the flesh” & how he measured “success” (2Co_4:7-18; 2Co_11:21-28)

Trying of your Faith

“… count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations…” (James 1:2)

“…the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold…” (1 Peter 1:7)

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you…” (1 Peter 4:12) 

“… giving all diligence, add to your faith…” (2 Peter 1:5-7)

“…be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope…”  (1 Peter 3:15)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”  (Romans 8:35) 

Romans 8:35 suggest “7 Difficulties” for the believer (all Paul experienced – 2 Cor. 11:23-28)

Tribulation  (thipsis): “pressure or distress(Paul used frequently in 2 Cor)

Distress (stenochoria): “narrowness,” as in being “pressed in,” “Hemmed in,” “crowded.”

Persecution (diogmos): “chased or pursued(10x in NT, always about Gospel)

Famine (limos) (12x in NT, the God of Elijah looks after His own)

Nakedness (gunnotes) 1Cor. 4:11

Peril (kindunos): “in jeopardy or danger(8x in one verse = 2 Cor. 11:26) (1x  1 Cor. 15:30)

Sword – The world hates the Saints, and this is the easiest way to eradicate them.

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