As Christians, How Can We Face Trials From God Audaciously and Calmly?
- Editor’s Note:
Have you ever had apprehension, defensiveness and fear about God’s trials and refinements? Would you like to understand God’s will behind them? How can we let go of the fear to accept and obey trails and refinements from God? This article may help you find out the answer.
Brothers and sisters:
Glad to write to you!
I have met some problems and hardships in my life recently. Although I know from theory that they are trials and refinements from God, which are good environments for me, I’m still afraid of them a lot. What should I do to face them fearlessly?
Sister Jia Yin:
Hello! Regarding the question you asked, many believers have faced it and been confused about it. It is normal that we have this confused and contradictory state. It’s chiefly because we don’t understand the purpose and meaning of God’s work of trials and refinements, nor do we know what desired effects are supposed to be achieved on us.
The Desired Effects of Trials and Refinements
God said: “Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:9–10). “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried” (Zechariah 13:9). It can be seen through God’s words that the purpose of God’s trials and refinements is to change and purify man, so that we can be gained by God and become the people of God’s kingdom.
Just like our belief in God, when we’ve enjoyed abundant mercy, love and grace from God, we have profuse “faith” and resolve to satisfy God and repay His love. But if one day, trials come, for example, we are persecuted by our unbelieving families, have frustrations at work, problems in life or pains from disease, or are slandered and rejected by others, then we will have misunderstandings of and complaints to God. Because we think: “We’ve paid and expended a lot for God but why do we still need to suffer these adversities?” Only at this time can we find out that there are so many impurities in our belief in God, such as personal extravagant desires, transactions, and other despicable motivations, and that our viewpoint of belief in God is incorrect. God sees into the depths of mankind’s hearts and He arranges trials and refinements in order to purify our improper motivations and desires, so we can stand in the place of a created being and worship God.
The Meaning and Significance of Trials and Refinements
Trials and refinements appear to bring us pain but they can achieve the effect of saving us and purifying us. The more trials and pains we suffer, the better we will be able to see that our corruption runs too deep, that we lack too much, and that our stature is so small. So we will keep praying, getand dare not leave Him even for a second. Meanwhile, we will feel that we are unable to overcome the problems we encounter if we stray away from God. Then we will read His words, fellowship about His truth, get close to Him, rely on Him and practice His words often. The more we practice in this way, the more our corrupt dispositions can change. Hence we’ll get purified unwittingly, live by and the truth, and gain full salvation. As such, the hardship is our best protection which urges us to come closer to God and pray more often. Through these hardships and trials, we can see God’s holy and righteous disposition, and feel His love and earnest intention in saving man. Meanwhile, we can also recognize the corrupt essence and the truth of our disobedient and God-resisting nature. Only by experiencing trials and refinements can we be cleansed of sins. So, how we experience trials and refinements directly correlates with whether we can be saved by God!
There is an admonition in the Book of Proverbs: “The prosperity of fools shall destroy them” (Proverbs 1:32). It’s true that when we live in a leisurely environment without any troubles, we will covet the enjoyment and the comfort of flesh, have no place for God in our hearts, are unrestrainedly dissolute in speaking or doing things, and even offend God and dishonor His name without knowing it. We can see that living in comfort has no benefit for our life growth. It’s just as God says: “When people’s lives are easy, and there is no suffering in their environment, they are incapable of experiencing. In comfortable environments, it is easy for people to become depraved—but adverse environments make you pray with greater urgency, and make it so you do not dare to leave God. The easier and duller people’s lives are, the more they feel there is no point in living, and they even feel that they are better off dead. This is how corrupt people’s flesh is; they only benefit if they are exposed to trial” (“Practice (8)”). So no matter what persecution or adversity, trials or refinements we meet, it’s all good for us. And such environments can prompt us to pray more often, get closer to God, read His word and seek His will, which lets us know how to rely on God and not stray away from Him. Therefore, hardships are blessings, and they can only benefit and do no harm to us.
This point can also be seen from the fact of God’s work—People who gain the approval of God are the ones who have experienced trials and refinements, such as Abraham and Job. God told Abraham to offer up his only son Isaac, and he did so willingly, not talking conditions with God or making his own choices, so that he gained God’s approval. As for Job, no matter whether God gave him or took from him, blessed him or brought disasters upon him, he insisted on worshipping God and praising His name. Job didn’t have even a little complaint but followed God’s way: Fear God and shun evil. Finally, he said, “But he knows the way that I take: when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Furthermore, after Job took the baptism of trials, Satan no longer dared attack, test and accuse him. Job became free and gained double blessings from God. Obviously, God saves us through trials and refinements and this is a way and a part of God’s work. Only by accepting and obeying trials and refinements from God can we be changed, purified and gained by God, and enter into His kingdom.
God Never Places Unbearable Burden on Us
It’s necessary to know that God never places any unbearable burden on us. The reason why we are afraid of facing trials and refinements is because we don’t know God’s work. God sets up environments based on our stature and what we lack and need, and He changes and purifies us little by little. He neither requires anyone to do what is beyond their ability nor employs a “one size fits all” approach. It’s like parents understanding their children most; they never place any unbearable burden on their children, nor does God. All trials and refinements we meet are those we can bear and take on. Because God says: “In many cases, the trials of God are burdens He gives to people. However great the burden bestowed upon you by God, that is the weight of burden you should undertake, for God understands you, and knows you will be able to bear it. The burden given to you by God will not exceed your stature or the limits of your endurance, so there is no question that you will be able to bear it” (“The Path Comes From Often Pondering the Truth”). “You needn’t fear God doing this, for God cannot possibly make your body covered with sores like when He tried Job and deprive you of everything you have; God won’t do that to you. He will gradually do His work on you in accordance with your stature” (“If You Cannot Always Live Before God, You Are a Nonbeliever”). So, it can be seen from this that our worries and fears are unnecessary.
Sister Jia Yin, I hope the above fellowship is helpful to you so you will no longer fear, worry about or guard against God’s trials and refinement, and can open your heart to God to receive His purification and perfection! May God bless you!