Summary: Trials teach us patience, test our faith, train for service, testify to others and help us to triumph through Christ
Trials---What Are They Good For?
I. THEY TEACH US PATIENCE.
A. James 5:10-11 – “Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”
B. James 1:3-4 – “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
C. Illus. – Wanting so bad to get to Germany / U.S.
1. 10 days before our scheduled day to come to Germany
a. Christopher has chicken pox.
b. 8 days later, Susan came down with it.
c. 20 days later, Jonathan.
d. Ended up being about one month late.
2. Returning to U.S.
a. We have not been totally unpacked for six years.
1. Before going back we had recently moved.
2. Susan not ready yet.
b. One week before leaving, Susan sick with one of her eye headaches.
1. Had to reschedule.
2. We rescheduled our flight about three times.
c. The day we were supposed to leave, Jonathan fell out of bed and had a concussion which put us back four more days.
d. Finally, going to leave Saturday, but when I called, the plane was full!
e. Ended up a week late!
3. Returning to Germany again.
a. Tell about Allen stopping breathing in Florida.
b. Tell about us packing boxes ready to go on container.
1. We arrive at Padgett’s house and he says he’s full.
2. We had to repack everything for mailing.
3. Baby sick for one week – us up all hours of night.
c. One week late!
II. TRIALS TEST OUR FAITH.
A. 1 Peter 1:7 – “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
B. Illus. – Susan’s eyes - blindness
C. Purpose to test our faith.
1. Not for God’s sake – He knows our faith.
2. For our sake – for us to see where we are spiritually.
III. TRIALS TRAIN FOR SERVICE
A. Hebrews 5:8 – “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;”
B. Illus. – My leg operation
2. I needed to learn compassion for service.
IV. TRIALS TESTIFIES TO OTHERS
A. 1 Peter – “4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”
B. Illus. – Basement flooding
1. All our troubles and trials
2. A testimony to others of the grace of God.
V. SUFFERERS TRIUMPH THROUGH CHRIST
A. 2 Timothy 2:12 – “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:”