As we strive to live faithful Christian lives, our faith will more than likely be put to the test. There are many different scenarios that play out in everyday life that can test our faith. So, for the next few weeks I will write a series of articles defining and detailing some of those obstacles that test our faith. Let’s begin this week with hardships and trials. The hardships and trials that we all endure in this life can certainly be obstacles that test our faith. Peter told his readers that faith testing trials would come upon them. “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you”(I Pet.4:12).
These faith testing trials and hardships come in many forms, such as marital and financial problems or even health related issues. It’s important to remember that no one, not even Christians, are exempt from trials and hardships in this life. In dealing with any trial or hardship I think our attitude towards it is essentially important. Sadly, some people become so discouraged and their faith so ransacked that they give up on God. This never helps! We must, first of all, know for certain that no matter how severe our circumstances are, God is still in control and He hasn’t left us. Since God will never leave us, leaving God should never be an option for us, no matter the situation.
The next thing we need to consider when our faith is tested by trials and hardships is that we will grow as a result of the difficult experience. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness”(Jas.1:2-3). James says as difficult as trials are, they are really a joy because of the growth benefits we receive. If we never endure trials and hardships, how and when would we grow? The storms of life cause us to cling to God, trusting Him for shelter in the midst of pain, uncertainty and at times, a tested and wavering faith.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world”(Jno.16:33).