Living By Faith Blog


Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

Asking Why? Here’s God’s Loving Purpose For Every Trial

God and trials

Being a Christian doesn’t mean no more trials.

In fact, God promises we will have trials (John 16:33; Acts 14:22).

Maybe it’s a car accident — or a miscarriage.  Maybe it’s a strained marriage — or cancer.

But the point is — it’s a trial.

It’s causing grief — and loss — and heartache.

But why?

When we face trials we wonder —

Why am I going through this trial? 

Is it OK to ask God why?

Does God tell us why?

Good news

God has not left us in the dark.

In His Word He explains His main purpose for every trial.

For example, take James 1:2-3 — where James explains the purpose of —

Every trial we will ever face

We can see that in v.2 —

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds …

“Various kinds” shows James is talking about ALL the different trials we experience — from flat tires to persecution to the flu.

And he says God’s purpose for all these trials is —

The testing of our faith

That’s in v.3 —

for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 

The purpose of every trial is to test our faith — which means to refine and purify it like fire refines and purifies gold.

How do trials refine faith?

Jesus Christ is the only One who can fully secure and satisfy us.

But — this side of heaven our faith is never perfect.

So while we mostly trust Jesus Christ to secure and satisfy us — we also have some trust in other things to secure and satisfy us — like money and comfort and health and career.

And to the extent that we trust other things we are less secure and satisfied than we could be.

So — in great love and mercy God sends us trials to show us how unreliable those other things are — so we take our trust out of them and trust all the more in Jesus Christ.

That’s how trials refine faith.

The result?

Secure.  Satisfied.  Steadfast.

We are more secure — because we trust more in the Unshakable Rock (Psa 62:2).

We are more satisfied — because we trust more in the All-Satisfying Bread of Life (John 6:35).

We are more steadfast — that security and satisfaction make us steadfast as we face temptations and trials.

The purpose of every trial

God has purposes for trials that we will not understand until heaven.

But He has told us the one purpose we need to know —

God gives us trials to refine our faith — to help us see the weakness of other trusts so we trust all the more in Jesus Christ — and have more security, satisfaction, and steadfastness as a result.

(This is also taught in Rom 5:3-5 — “character” means “refined character” — and 1Pet 1:6-7 — “tested genuineness” comes from refining.)

A gift on a silver platter

How do you see trials?

If you are like me — you see them as intrusions, enemies, robbers.

But James says every trial is gift from God — a gift of more security, more satisfaction, and more steadfastness in Him.

Picture a king giving you a precious gift on a silver platter.

That’s what God is doing every time a trial comes your way.

Really?  Really.

Now that’s not all that God is doing.

In every trial He’s also comforting (2Cor 1:3-4).  Guiding (James 1;5).  Strengthening (Phil 4:13).  Providing (Mat 6:33).

But He’s also giving you a gift — a gift of more security, satisfaction, and steadfastness in Him — as you let that trial refine your faith.

That’s why James says “count it all joy.”

How have you experienced this?

How have you seen trials refine your faith?  Do you agree that this is God’s main purpose for every trial?  I’d love to hear your comments below — thanks!

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(Picture is by daveynin on everystockphoto.)

Category: Miscellaneous, Problems or Trials


6 Responses

  1. Kyle Laplante says:

    awesome! i needed to read this. God’s timing is perfect. Just the other day I hired someone to do a job on my car and they didnt do it right and left something broken. After i called them and asked them to come fix it they started ignoring my calls and are obviously trying to avoid me. My flesh wanted to get angry and make sure they dont ever get any business again but my spirit knew i needed to forgive them and let God take care of it. I was struggling with why this was happening and if God was just trying to teach me to forgive better. I know now that God is exactly doing that. Everything we go through is because God wants to strengthen some part of us. Thanks for helping me understand this better!

    • Steve Fuller says:

      I love that we can reconnect thru this blog, Kyle! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      And I am glad this post was helpful and timely for you. I find it SO helpful to see that every trial shows the weakness of something I am trusting besides Jesus to secure and satisfy me — so then I can transfer my trust FROM that other thing TO Jesus.

      May the Father strengthen you as you do that regarding your car repairs!

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  2. Ron R. says:

    If am honest about my relationship with Christ- I have to admit that the times that I have felt closest to him has been through trials. As I was reading this, my mind was quickly reflecting on the many trials that I have had and my response to them. Many times I first tried to tackle the trials in my own flesh, but when that failed I would run to the Lord and he would comfort and encourage me. Other times- I ran to him immediately and of course he met me where I was at.
    This morning I read Philippians Chapter 1. in vs 29 it says, “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake”.
    Thanks for helping me remember that the Lord uses trials to keep my closer to him and to help grow more like him.

    Thanks again Steve,

    Ron Robles

  3. Joy S. says:

    Thanks for your words of reminding. When you’re in the middle of the trial it is hard to remember that it is for your benefit.
    Trusting God to use each trial as a means to mold and strengthen me and bring me closer to Him is what I would like to remember during each and every trial. At times I do well with this but if I’m honest other times I loose my bearings and feel lost in the midst of a trial. So thank you for the reminder, that God is in control and He’s looking out for my best.

    Very grateful,

    Joy S.

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