Rejoice Through Trials

We all desire joy. No one desires going through trials and suffering. But we all—young or old, rich or poor, male or female—will face suffering and trials as we journey through life. We can neither avoid nor escape them.

The Bible tells us that trials will be part of our lives. In John 16:33 Jesus says, “‘. . . In this world you will have trouble. …’” In Romans 8:17 Paul says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” And, again, in 1 Peter 4:12 the author tells us: “. . . do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.”

Each of us has tasted, seen, touched, and experienced trials. Many of us are experiencing them right now; many of us will face suffering in the future. But if we cannot escape these hardships, what should we do? James encourages us to rejoice—yes, we need to rejoice through our trials!

We often see hardship as something negative. For us to be able to rejoice when facing trials, we must see that they can bring good things to our lives, as James 1:2–4 tells us: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Joy is the inner peace we can experience despite the hardships we face. It is not dependent on external things, including wealth or fame. Joy comes through trusting that God is in control. He knows all, and He has the answer to every problem we have.

When we trust God, our attitude toward trials can change. We need not rebel against hardship—lose heart or indulge in self-pity—we can rejoice! Why? Because trials develop perseverance. They also can bring to full maturity. God allows trials to help shape and mold us to be who He intends us to be. Trials are not meant to discourage or weaken us, but to strengthen us.

Each of us faces hardships of some sort. Remember that no trial faced comes as a surprise to God. He already has the answers to all our problems. Let us trust Him—for, one day, these trials will end.