“TRIAL—4. Experience; suffering that puts strength, patience or faith to the test; afflictions or temptations that exercise and prove the graces or virtues of men.” —American Dictionary of The English Language
Since God is at work in all of our trials, we should always count it a joy when we walk through trials.
- We are commanded by God to count it all joy when we meet trials in this life.
“James is commending the conscious embrace of a Christian understanding of life which brings joy into the trials that come because of our Christianity. James says, ‘Consider it pure joy,’ which means to make a deliberate and careful decision to experience joy even in time of trouble.” —R. Kent Hughes
“The greatest discovery that I have made in the midst of all the difficulties is the I can have joy when I can’t feel it—artesian joy. When I had every reason to feel beaten, I felt joy. In spite of everything, God gave me the conviction of being loved and the certainty that nothing could separate me from him. It was not happiness, gush, or jolliness but a constant flow of the Spirit through me. At no time did he give the easy confidence that everything would work out as I wanted it on my timetable, but that he was in charge and would give me and my family enough courage for each day; grace. Joy is always the result of that.” —Lloyd John Ogilvie
- We can trust that God is working through our trials to grow us in our faith.
“Here is how this works: we develop toughness or fortitude by repeatedly being tested and prevailing. The more tests we pass, the tougher we become.” —R. Kent Hughes
“The difficulties of life are intended by God to refine our faith: heating it in the crucible of suffering so that impurities might be refined away and so that it might become pure and valuable before the Lord. The “testing of faith” here, then, is not intended to determine whether a person has faith or not; it is intended to purify faith that already exists.” — Douglas Moo
“Life on earth would not be worth much if every source of irritation were removed. Yet most of rebel against the things that irritate us, and count as heavy loss what ought to be rich gain. We are told that the oyster is wiser; that when an irritation object, like a bit of sand, gets under the ‘mantle’ of his shell, he simply covers it with the most precious part of his being and makes of it a pearl. The irritation that it was causing is stopped by encrusting it with the pearly formation. A true pearl is therefore simply a victory over irritation. Every irritation that gets into our lives today is an opportunity for pearl culture. The more irritation the devil flings at us, the more pearls we have. We need only to welcome them and cover them completely with love, that most precious part of us, and the irritation will be smothered out as the pearl comes into being. What a store of pearls we may have, if we will.” — Dick Seume