Turning Trials Into Triumph
It seems that trials come in waves with short breaks in between. They sometimes leave people asking the question, “Where was God when I needed Him?” or “Why does God allow such things to happen?” Recently, my pastor delivered a sermon on the matter. His chosen scripture passage was James 1: 1-12. My pastor outlined four points taken from those verses that help answer the question, “Why am I going through this?”
Triumph Involves Attitude
Consider it pure Joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1: 2-4
What? People should be joyful in the midst of trials? Absolutely! This does not mean that we have to be happy about the trials we face, but the Bible makes it clear that Christians should consider it a joy because God does have a purpose. Verses 2-4 proclaim that the trials we face serve to test our faith. Testing leads to perseverance. Perseverance leads to maturity.
Other verses to support the need for a good attitude toward trials include:
Job: 1:20 – Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped.
Acts 20:22 – And now, behold, bound by the [a]Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.
Romans 8:18 – For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Triumph Involves Faith
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like the wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think that he will receive anything from the Lord, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all that he does. – James 1: 5-8
The Bible never promised that Christian people would not suffer trials. He never promised to remove trials from our lives. He does promise that He will lead His people through trials. However, he expects his children to pray and seek Him during those times. When His people seek Him, they must have faith and believe that God will be with them.
Other verses to support the need for faith through trials include:
Proverbs 3: 5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
Hebrews 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please Him for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Triumph Involves Humility
The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. but the one who is rich should take pride in his low position because he will pass away like a wild flower for the sun rises with a scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business. – James 1: 8-11
Triumph from the horrors of tragedy would be impossible without God. We live in a sinful, destructive world. When acknowledging triumph, God must be exalted for it is only through His grace and power, not human strength, that His people persevere through trials and tragedies.
Another Bible passage that supports the need for humility through trials is Proverbs 23.
Triumph Involves Blessing
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. – James 1:12
God’s people suffer trials so that God will be glorified. The next time trials overwhelm you, think about this phrase, “It is not about me.”
Though God’s people learn valuable lessons through trials, God’s ultimate purpose is to bring glory to Him so that others will know Him. Therefore, consider trials a joy and a blessing.
Another verse that supports the result of blessing through trials is John 11:4 – But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.