Reading: 1 Peter 1:6-7
John Willard Peterson once said, “It’s not an easy road we are travelling to heaven, for many are the thorns on the way.” The thorns he refers to are the trials and tribulations that Christians experience though life. Peter speaks of them as “manifold temptations” and describes them collectively as “the trial of your faith.” In considering the trials of life let us remember:
Trials are sent by God. God is sovereign over all people and all circumstances and His sovereignty extends to the trials of His people. Job realized that when he said, “When he hath tried me I shall come forth as pure gold.” It is our loving and gracious God who sends affliction.
Trials are many and varied. God does not try every Christian the exact same way. Peter speaks of “manifold temptations.” The word manifold is used to describe the spotted skin of a leopard, or the different colours in marble. God tries His people in different ways and no two trials are the same.
Trials are for a limited time. The trials we face will not last forever. They are only “for a season.” Clearly, our trials cannot last longer than our life on earth; they are limited to time and cannot extend into eternity.
Trials should not rob us of our joy in Christ. These saints continued to rejoice despite their circumstances. Their joy was in Christ; therefore, even in the trials of life they were glad in Him.
Trials are for a reason. These are needful trials. God has a glorious purpose for us; it centers on our conformity to Christ. Trials are not easy but they are essential for our spiritual good. Let us humble ourselves under His mighty hand and cast our care upon Him (1 Peter 5:6–7).
“We must grow from faith to faith…. we must increase with the increase of God, so that as our difficulties increase, our strength to go through them may increase also.” (Richard Sibbs, Works, 7:350)