Why does God Allow Trials?
Introduction: "Trial" is defined as "an affliction or trouble " (RHCD). The remainder of the definition is very important: "act of testing or trying " (Ibid.). There are mainly four Greek words translated "trial." The resident action is that of testing. One of the four (purosis) suggests refining or testing by fire (I Pet. 4: 12).
I. The purpose of trials.
A. Difficulties prove our faith (I Pet. 1: 6, 7).
B. Enduring trials produces humility and patience (2 Cor. 12: 7, 10; Rom. 5: 3).
C. The scriptures address what the conduct of the Christian should be while enduring trials.
a. There is to be rejoicing, praying, singing, and working (Jas. 1: 2; Acts 16: 25; I Pet. 4: 19).
II. God's promises to those who endure trials.
A. Regarding Paul's thorn in the flesh he was told, "my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness " (2 Cor. 12: 9).
B. God also promises deliverance in time of trial for his people (Ps. 34: 7).
C. Another promise is the crown of life. Hear Paul, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness " (2 Tim. 4: 7, 8).
III. Trials are part of life.
A. Some of our problems are brought about by our sins (Prov. 13: 15).
B. Some difficulties come as a result of doing what is right (2 Tim. 3: 12).
C. Accompanying each "difficulty," though, God has provided a way of escape (I Cor. 10: 13).
D. Regarding trials James wrote, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience " (Jas. 1: 2, 3).
Conclusion: Even though most cringe at the thought of problems and difficulties, man needs resistance and trials to challenge and make him a better person. Without trials, man tends to be arrogant. Listen to the Psalmist: "It is good for me that I have been afflicted: that I might learn thy statutes" (Ps. 119: 71).