1 Peter 1:7 – That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
2 Corinthians 12:7 – And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
Trials in a Christian’s life can fuel their fervor and devotion to the Lord. A trial can be very precious to the Christian if it draws them closer to the Lord. I think some of God’s most precious saints go through very heavy trials. This could include both physical ailments and ailments of the mind. I wonder at times if those saints would be as devoted in their walk with God if they did not have trials pushing or pulling them along. It is difficult to describe until you have been through it. Paul had many, many physical problems with his body throughout his ministry. When pride started to creep into his life, God dealt with it very swiftly with a physical ailment. God even let us know that Satan was the one who delivered it. In addition there are struggles in relationships and struggles of the heart. All can be fuel to drive our devotion for God.
We wonder how a trial could produce something eternal like gold, silver and precious stones? It is really simple. When you are in turmoil and pain, the mind is focused on that struggle and the desire to get relief. If you get desperate enough, you will turn to the Lord and His Word for answers. You will draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you. You begin to pray more fervently. You are constantly seeking answers from the Lord. In the process you grow more and more spiritually. You will begin to be more open to change in your life. You start to desire God’s fellowship and grace because it is the only thing that is sufficient to fix the problem. You truly start to understand what God really did for you when he saved you.
There is nothing wrong with God “lighting a fire” under us to get us to move. It is human nature for us to wind down unfortunately. However, you need to make sure you do not get bitter at God as a result. Instead look at it as a blessing from the Lord that it truly is.
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