By Bishop Art Ferriol
Trials are a necessity of life. The reason is because we are living in a moral world where good and evil exists. Furthermore, man is a moral being that he must continuously choose between right or wrong. In this process of choosing, one’s true character is tried. On morality, it must be noted that choosing that which is right is not as easy as it may seem. While choosing that which is wrong is easy, choosing that which is right pays a great price. No wonder that such decision is sometimes called choosing the “path of least resistance.” This is the path the weak usually tread but the strong dare to “go against the tide”.
For Christians, trials have eternal values. It is God’s way of increasing our eternal value and worth. Like fire that purge the impurities out of gold to attain its optimal commercial value, so do trials purify the faith of the child of God that he may be of more glory, honor and praise at the appearing of Jesus Christ. But the success of a Christian over trial is not by his own power, but of the Lord’s. Because of this one is assured that the Lord will be with Him in his struggle against trials and temptations so that he may not only become “stronger” but he would be drawn closer to the Lord because of the trials he has overcome. Consequently, there is more intimate and deeper knowledge and experience on the love and power of God.
Consider Abraham’s trial of faith. Hebrews 11:17 says:
“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.”
As a result of his unflinching obedience to the command of God, he received the honor given only to him as “the friend of God” and “the father of faithful” (James 2:23).
Job is another example of a man who was perfected through the trials that came to him. He was tried beyond any mortal man. He was stripped of his possessions, his children were lost, his wife went against him and finally his health was gone. All of these have befallen him just to see if he was serving God because of these things. But his trials proved that his faith in God is genuine. He loved God not for any other reasons, but simply because He is God. His trials brought the best out of Job, his real true trust in God.
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” –Job 13:15
After the trial, Job turned up to be like an invaluable pure gold. He recognized what God was doing to him, he said.
“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” –Job 23:10
The trials of Abraham and Job may be extreme cases. True, but they were humans like us. If they were able to survive trial, it was not by their own power but by the grace and power of God. Notice the words of the great Apostle Paul who himself was tested and tried in so many different ways;
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as in common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” -1 Corinthians 10:13
The wisdom and power of God is always present wherever one is tried. Let us not forget the trials are sent along our way not to destroy us but to make us strong. Let us not be dismayed when we are tried. According to James, we should,
“…count it all joy when we fall into various trials. Blessed is the man that endureth temptations for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”