Summary: Here are sciprtural reasons why God allows us to endure many trials, rather than removing us from them.
God’s Role In A Christian’s Trials
1) God wants us to trust His judgment as to the best way and the best time to help us.
Trust begins with faith:
Heb. 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists, and that he rewards those who seek him.”
2) God uses trials primarily to add virtue (character) to our lives.
Heb. 5:7-9 “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.”
James 1:3-4 “For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
(Greek word for “steadfastness” means not able to be crushed by circumstances)
3) Adding virtue to our lives makes us more like Jesus. This is the primary way God “blesses” us.
Ephesians 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.”
4) God’s overall plan is to have a personal father/son relationship with him, not physical comfort.
Rom. 8:14-18 “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, "Abba! Father!"it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
II Corinthians 12:8-10 (about a chronic malady Paul had) “Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, 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.” (spiritually strong, not physically strong)
5) God promises to provide everything we really need in life.
Matthew 6:31-33 “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or’What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”
I Timothy 6:6-11 “There is great gain in godliness with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world; but if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs. But as for you, man of God, shun all this; aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.”
6) God doesn’t promise the removal of our trials, but the strength to hang in there.
I Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (Greek word “temptation” means a test, an analysis)
7) A secondary reason for allowing ongoing trials is to later help others.
II Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”