Have you ever wondered why we experience trials in life?
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. – 1 Peter 4:12
Many of us have heard that we will experience trials and tribulations in life. But how do we handle them? Why do we experience them? What’s the purpose? What are the lessons we are supposed to learn?
Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways. -Proverbs 20:30 (GNT)
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. – Romans 5:3-5
Okay, so we know about the trials and tribulations thing. The next thing we know for sure is that people die, and one day too you and I will die. With that said, where did you learn how to go through trials, tribulations and tests? Where did you learn how to handle grief? Where did you learn how to handle emotions? In school, I certainly didn’t see any classes being offered on those subjects. I don’t recall anything like Trials, Tribulations & Tests 101, Grief 101, Relationship Skills 101, Managing Your Emotions 101, Discovering Your Purpose 101, Personal Finance/Money Management 101, Conflict Management 101, Handling Disappointment 101, Anger Management 101, Love 101, Compassion & Empathy 101, Character 101 — Did you?
So we fumble through life with our limited knowledge and perspectives trying to figure it all out and deal with things the only way we know how. Some people don’t even bother to learn anything past their formal schooling unless it involves acquiring a skill for employment. So is it really surprising that so much of the population is trying to seek comfort in all the wrong places, trying to seek comfort in people and things that never satisfy but at most may give us a temporary, momentary high, or just assist us to numb out.
A couple days ago I watched a Rick Warren video on YouTube titled, “Learn How to Thrive When Your World is Shaken Up.” In the video he talks about the four sources of shake-ups in life, but he really goes deep when he talks about how some of the problems and pressures and difficulties we have in life actually come from God. And then he goes on to explain some reasons/purpose for the problem and what questions we are to ask ourselves. And yes, sometimes we have a problem because we did the right thing. Definitely food for thought.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. – 1 Peter 5:10