Biblical Responses to Trials and Suffering
(Material gathered through Biblical Counseling Training)
- You must be responsible no matter how you feel to always please Christ since we will also give an account (2 Cor. 5:9-10).
- Don’t pray to just “hang in there” or “just get me through” the trial and suffering – but ask God to help you grow in the midst of the difficulty to be more like Jesus (Rom. 8:28-29; Jas. 1:2-4).
- Ask Yourself:
- Could God have stopped this? Absolutely, yes!
- Did He? No.
- If not, why not?
Possible Reasons Why God Allows Trials And Sufferings:
- Unconfessed sins (1 Cor. 11:30; 2 Kgs. 5:15)Use caution here – Job’s counselors thought this was the only reason
- To chastise His children (Ps. 119:67; Heb. 12:5-11)
- God wants to increase our usefulness (pruning process – John 15:2; 2 Cor. 1:3-9; 2 Pet. 1:5-8)
- To help us realize this isn’t heaven and we live in a fallen world (Gen. 3:8-19; Rom. 8:22-24)
- To show us that other people’s sins have an effect on us (Eph. 6:4; Josh 7; Jonah 1)
- To allow us to reap what we sow (a natural consequence to our own choices – Gal.6:7-8; Prov. 5:22)
- To teach us about our own weaknesses and cause us to depend on God (2 Cor. 1:8-9; 12:7-10).
- To have us realize that we have placed our hope somewhere else or have spread it out between God and self/circumstances/other people/possessions. Our hope is to be squarely fixed upon God alone and His promises (1 Pet. 1:13; Heb. 6:19). At times we don’t even know we have “little hopes” elsewhere until God allows a trial to come and reveal them to us.
- To enlarge our appreciation of His sufficiency (2 Cor. 4:7; 12:7-10).
- To test and strengthen our faith (1 Pet. 1:6-7; 4:12).
- To create opportunities to witness for Christ (Phil. 1:12ff).
- To develop Christ-like character (Jas. 1:2-5).
- To cause us to recognize our need of one another in the Body of Christ and to draw us closer to one another (38+ “One Anothers;” 1 Cor. 12:25; Rom. 12:15; Gal. 6:2).
- To always bring glory to Himself (John 9:1-7; Job 1:-2; 1 Cor. 1:26-31).
- It drives us to God’s Word (Ps. 119:71).