9 Ways Trials Can Enrich Your Soul

Bill Thrasher
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If we can place a trial in perspective, we often can see the eternal benefits of the current unpleasant situation. (For example, see Psalm 73 for how perspective transformed the attitude of the psalmist.) A Puritan writer once said that if someone threw you a bag of gold and it knocked you out as you reached out to catch it, you would not rebuke the person for giving you the gold after you awoke. Trials are like that. They temporarily may knock you out, but they also enrich your soul. Here are some of the ways that trials can enrich our life.

1. They give you a special opportunity to experience Christ’s peace. Jesus spoke so that “in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

2. They will enlarge your capacity to experience Christ’s joy. In 2 Corinthians 8:2 we read of God’s people experiencing an “abundance of joy” in the midst of a “great ordeal of affliction” (see also John 16:20–22).

Trials will open up for you a new understanding of Scripture.

3. They will give you an opportunity to know the God of all comfort and the Father of mercies (2 Corinthians 1:3).

4. They will enhance your ability to minister. Paul told the believers in the church at Corinth that the comfort of God in the midst of their pain would enable them to comfort others. “[God] comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:4).

5. They will give you an opportunity to learn new lessons of faith. That’s what Paul learned. “In Asia . . . we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8–9).

6. They will build perseverance in your life. The apostle James declares “the testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:3).

7. They will give you opportunities for ministry and evangelism. Paul knew that trials could be useful in the midst of hard ministry, telling young Timothy, “I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10).

8. Trials will open up for you a new understanding of Scripture. The psalmist wrote, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes” (Psalm 119:71).

9. Trials will enhance your fellowship with Christ. Paul desired “the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus” and yearned to “know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:8, 10, italics added).

For Further Reading:

God as He Wants You to Know Him

by Bill Thrasher

Every believer has a need for an understanding of systematic theology, but very few theology books present material in a personal, devotional...

book cover for God as He Wants You to Know Him