Trials Can be the Best Thing to Ever Happen to You

Life is not always smooth sailing. Rough waters and challenging circumstances make us uncomfortable. For Mark, being unemployed with two small children was both nerve-racking and the best time of his life. It was a time of stress, but also a time where God increased his faith and weaned him away from worldly things, so he could embrace the things of God.

In times of trial, God wants us to put our hope in him and remember that He is the one who is in control. We need to trust in Him and His providence for us. James 1:2 tells us to consider it pure joy when we face all kinds of trials. Those trials produce perseverance inside us, and through perseverance we become mature in the faith.

In the book of Genesis, we see how God’s people overcame many obstacles and trials. In Genesis 21, Abraham and Sarah bore a son (Isaac) at an old age to fulfil a promise God had made. But before this, Sarah struggled to trust God and his word, so he had Abraham sleep with her slave woman named Hagar. Hagar then gave birth and called their son, Ismael.

When Abraham finally had a son through Sarah, Ismael was seen mocking Sarah, so she had Abraham send both he and his mother away since they would not be sharing in the inheritance that Isaac would receive. This distressed Abraham because Ismael was his son. But God encouraged him to listen to his wife because it was through Isaac that their descendants would be reckoned.

But God also told Abraham that He would make Ismael into a great nation. Abraham gave the two some bread and water, and then sent them on their way. When that provision ran out, she put the boy under the bushes because she didn’t want to watch him die. As she sat there, the two cried in distress. God heard the crying and sent an angel who opened their eyes to see the provision they both desperately needed. Scripture tells us that God was with the boy as he grew up (Genesis 21:8-21).

Surely, Hagar and Ismael would rather have not had to go through that trial. But God was with them through it all and gave them the provisions they needed. He will do the same for us as we put our hope and trust in Him.

Consider what Peter tells us in the New Testament about the trials we go through, “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1:6).”

What trial is God using in your life to transform you into His image? Meditate on 1 Peter 1:6 and think about the hope you have in Him.