Winter 2017: Trials
Author: Nettie Gill
Publish date:
Summary: Trials that are borne well, bring us into close fellowship with Christ.
 
 

Robert Wieland once said, “ If you are a member of the human race you are automatically at war…. In a conflict.” Malachi 3:3 tells us –“And he shall sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.”

This would indicate to me that there awaits every child of God a sifting and a cleansing process that might not be a pleasant experience. However, if endured, the end result would be to the glory and honor of God. Isn’t that what we are living for?

We are told that God’s people will soon be tested by fiery trials. This is God’s agent for refining His people and this is the process by which He will sift the Church of God. It is what we do with the trials that come our way that will indicate whether that trial has done its intended work or whether we need another “dose”. When trials are met faithfully they may not have to be met again, but when we fail to endure one, it makes it all the harder to meet the next one. Fretting, murmuring and complaining does not help us to bear trials but only dishon-ors our God and misrepresents Him.

Do you need an antivirus for enduring trials? You will find one in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, Brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.” When we, at last, enter into our heavenly home, we will realize that the greatest trials that we had here on earth were small and insignificant to us. Heaven will be cheap enough! This is what we must remember and look forward to.

There must be a fitting up for the seal of God and for heaven. Trials help to purge away our unrighteousness and to see what we truly are. There is not one of us that hasn’t undiscovered traits of character that needs to come to light so that we can overcome them. Trials help us to see and correct these defects. We have never been promised exemption from trials. Anyone who is associated with the work of the Lord should expect to meet trials.

The Bible records the lives of the people of God that help us to realize that they were not exempt from some severe trials. Let us look at a few examples : Abraham’s trials were more severe than Adam’s trials. Think of being instructed to offer up your promised son, Isaac, as a burnt offering to the Lord!! We are told that when the instructions came from the Lord to do so, he did not question the wisdom of God, but prepared for the task although he was greatly troubled by it. God was using this experience in his life as a pruning knife. Abraham knew that the promises of God were sure and that somehow, God would bring good out of a seemingly impossible situation. We know the end of the story. Both Abraham and Isaac were strengthened by the experience. Our trials can do the same for us if we endure them in faith.

Acts of the Apostle, page 261 tells us that “trials that are borne well, bring us into close fellowship with Christ.” We should all be seeking this close fellowship with Christ, whatever the cost.

If we were asked whether or not we wanted to develop precious spiritual graces, we would all answer, “Yes, of course!” But how many of us would be so ready to answer, “Yes, of course!” If we knew that it would be trials that would develop these graces in us? According to Christ Object Lessons, page 61, this is what helps to develop those special graces that are to be found in the people of God. Hard and bitter trials are a blessing when endured in faith and help to build strong characters that humble and purify the soul. (Mount of Blessings, pages 10 and 117).

When we review the life of Joseph we learn a lot of lessons. His greatest trials came from his own family members. Being sold to the Ishmaelites by his brothers was a terrible blow to his ego. But Joseph did not allow the misery inflicted by this act to separate him from the Lord. Instead it drove him closer to the God of his father, Jacob. The Spirit of Prophecy also verifies in 8 Vol. of the Testimonies, page 12, that trials hardest to bear come from family and friends. We are admonished not to dwell on our trials and difficulties as they tend to discourage and depress us.

Joseph was also unjustly imprisoned because of lies told to Potiphor by his wife. This injustice turned out to Joseph’s benefit when the Lord took him to the Palace where he became the governor for all of Egypt. What would have been the ending of the story of Joseph had he not stood firm but grumbled and complained about the treatment he received by others? It will be interesting to find this out when we meet Joseph someday.

When we think of the trials that Moses endured, I marvel that he didn’t break down sooner than he did in striking the rock. The Children of Israel accused and condemned him for bringing them out of Egypt and slavery in spite of the fact that the Lord performed so many, many miracles to show them that He was with them every step of the way. They blamed Moses for the trials they encountered on their way and proposed that they return again to Egypt and the slavery that they had experienced. Because of Israel’s lack of trust in God and His promise of a better life, they experienced repeatedly the same trials over and over again. We, too, will return and experience the same trials over again if we, in faith, do not learn to trust the Lord to carry us through the ones that face us.

Many of the trials that confront us are of our own making. Instead of talking about and bemoaning the fact that we are encountering difficulties, we should be praising God for the blessings that He bestowed upon us. When we meet our trials with courage, meekness, and patience, others will see that our trust in God is secure and it will win them to the foot of the cross of Christ.

God has promised us the grace to endure each trial that comes our way. Do we believe Him? Do we trust in Him to carry us through?

the coast of the valley of the rocks lynton devon with sea fog against the cliffs

James E. Foust wrote: “Here, then is a great truth. In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner’s fire, and the significant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make our faith bright, intact, and strong.”

Ebony Speak Life said, “We all have trials and tribulations. However, the lens we choose to look at them through can change the view.”

Someone else has said: “Sometimes , we must hurt in order to grow. We must fail in order to know. We must lose in order to gain. Because some lessons in life are best learned through pain.”

Ruth Parks Greene said: "I've dreamed many a dream that never came true, I've seen them vanish at dawn."

Some Bible promises that we can cling to when trials beset us are:

Isaiah 40: 29: “He giveth power to the faint and to them that have no might He increases strength.” Matthew 5: 10 – 12: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. When I face trials always remember: 1. God's love for me is unchanging. 2. God's purpose for me is Christ-likeness. 3. God's word is my final answer. 4. God's grace is sufficient for me.

Every test, every trial, every heartache that's been significant I can turn it over and see how God has turned it to good, no matter what!

Matthew 5:12: Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

Psalm 23 is also a good one that can be claimed. There are many more that could be cited. Let us make God our strength and might as we face the trials of this life.


Nettie Gill, is married to Victor Gill. For 20 years, they have been involved in evangelism and revival ministry, both in Canada and abroad, traveling to Ukraine, Germany, and India on frequent evangelism and mission trips.

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