Summary: God uses many different kinds of trials in our lives in order to mold, awaken, and mature us, i.e., to make us lovely, Christ like people
Consider It All Joy? You Must Be Joking!
God uses many different kinds of trials in our lives in order to mold, awaken, and mature us, i.e., to make us lovely, Christ like people
Many times we balk at the very thought of suffering it. It’s unthinkable to us that our heavenly Father would even permit, let alone design suffering into his plan for our lives.
Scripture clearly teaches us that God creates both light and the darkness, peace and calamity, though only for our good.
James 1:2-4 NIV
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Why should we consider the trials in our lives with all joy?
Answer: Because we know what trials accomplish in us. We are being tested so that we might look more like Christ in terms of patience/endurance. In short, we are being tested so that we might become mature and complete, with a pure and undefiled faith. We go through testing so that we might not lack anything!
I. Trials produce Joy
1. Our Christian joy is produced by the Holy Spirit and is not dependent on circumstances.
a) There is actual joy in the heart and life of that person during the most intense and unpleasant trials because the Spirit is producing it. Joy also is a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22, and if you’ve been a believer very long you’ve experienced it.
2. Christian joy is produce by our relationship with God!
Hab 3:16-19 NIV
16 I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.
3. Joy is produce because of our confidence in God.
"Great is my confidence in you; great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction."
II. Trials produce perseverance (enduring faith)
1. 2 Tim 1:12-14 KJV
12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
2. This patience produces proven character - that which has been tested and found to be pure gold (1 Pet. 1:6ff)
a) 1 Peter 1:3-9 NIV
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
3. Patience is joined with joy. "Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, for all patience and long-suffering with joy" (Col. 1:11).
a) You see, it is the strength that God gives us that helps us endure with joy. Jesus had to endure the suffering of the cross. Yet he did so because of the joy that was set before him (Heb. 12:1-2).