Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:3-4
Trials and temptations are words which are often used interchangeably but they do not connote the same thing. While trial is concerned with building our faith in God, temptation aims at destroying the Christian’s faith and relationship with God.
Trial means test. It tests our faith and dependence upon God especially during challenging periods. It is practical. Just like students are tested at the end of each term to ascertain their knowledge of what they’ve been taught, so are Christians tested to weigh their stand in The Lord.
How can you recognize a trial? It comes in forms of a challenge or difficulty, to test your patience and comportment. Trials exposes you to new things and give you better understanding of life so that, you will help others in their times of distress. If you are passing through a trial, you will have a sense of comfort from the Holy Spirit. See how the bible explains it in 2 Corinthians 1:4, 5. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our trials, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Trials come in different forms at different levels. The higher you get in your Christian experience, the higher you will be tried. Let us analyze this practically, using the process of acquiring knowledge in the academic sphere. Reception– Nursery – Primary – Secondary – Undergraduate – Masters – Doctorate – Professor.
From the above, we can see that, the stages of academic pursuits are in hierarchical order. The type of assignment a secondary school student will be expected to solve cannot be the same with an undergraduate’s project. Neither will a research student be encountering same academic challenges like that of a pupil in the primary school. This is an explicit representation of the trials a Christian faces in life. That means, the higher you grow in your experience in God, the higher you are expected to confront challenges with ease.
The good news is, for every trial you find yourself in, there is a commensurate grace available to see you through it. Trials are never meant in any way to destroy your life, but to fortify and prepare you for greater heights. In the academic world, there are exams for every stage. When a student passes a particular examination, he is happy and excited because, he is being promoted to the next class. Therefore, the promotion accompanies a reward; a change in status, increase in salary, influence etc. Here, failure to pass the prescribed exams keeps the student in the same level. This brings discouragement, disconnection and feebleness.
God does not leave His children alone during trials. He comforts them through His Spirit; knowing that, trials are only for a while. We have the bible as our textbook to prepare us daily for life’ challenges which will surely come. Students who wait for the examination date before preparing for their exams will fail. So child of God, don’t wait for trials to knock on your door before you will start praying in frenzy and be thrown off balance.
Always be prepared. Read your bible and pray daily. Remember, those trials are not there to swallow you; they are designed to lift you higher.