Question: Why does God allow trials?

    Answer: "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 (1 Pet. 4: 12).

    The purpose of trials. Difficulties prove our faith (1 Pet. 1: 6, 7). Enduring trials produces humility and patience (2 Cor. 12: 7, 10; Rom. 5: 3). The scriptures address what the conduct of the Christian should be while enduring trials. There is to be rejoicing, praying, singing, and working (Jas. 1: 2; Acts 16: 25; 1 Pet. 4: 19).

    God's promises to those who endure trials. 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). God also promises deliverance in time of trial for his people (Ps. 34: 7). 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).

    Beloved, trials are part of life. Some of our problems are brought about by our sins (Prov. 13: 15). Some difficulties come as a result of doing what is right (2 Tim. 3: 12). Accompanying each "difficulty," though, God has provided a way of escape (1 Cor. 10: 13). 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). 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).

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