THEOLOGY OF TRIALS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 2
2 Thessalonians 1:4As we live for Christ, we will experience troubles because we are trying to be God’s people in a perverse world. Some peoplesay that troubles are the result of sin or lack of faith, but the Bible teaches that theymay be a part of God’s plan for believers. Our problems can help us look upward andforward, instead of inward; they can build strong character; and they can provide uswith opportunities to comfort others who are also struggling. Your troubles may bean indication that you are taking a stand for Christ.Trial and Verse.
*. Suffering is not always the result of sin.John 9:2-3 . "Teacher," his disciples asked him, "why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of hisparents?" "It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins," Jesus answered. "He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him."
*. God provides hope and love in suffering.Romans 5:3-5 . We can rejoice, too, whenwe run into problems and trials, for we knowthat they are good for us—they help us learnto endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthensour confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because hehas given us the Holy Spirit to fill our heartswith his love.
*. Problems help us trust in God’s sovereignpurpose for our lives. Romans 8:28-29. And we know that God causes everything to worktogether for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son,so that his Son would be the first-born, with many brothers and sisters.
*. Suffering enables us to comfort others.1 Corinthians 1:3-5. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you his grace and peace. I can never stop thanking God for all the generous gifts he has given you, now thatyou belong to Christ Jesus. He has enriched your church with the gifts of eloquence andevery kind of knowledge.
*. Our eternal reward outweighs our suffer ing. 2 Cor. 4:17-18. For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long.Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last for ever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look for- ward to what we have not yet seen.For the troubles we see will soon be over, butthe joys to come will last forever.
*. Problems open up opportunities for serv ice. Phil. 1:12. And I want you to know,dear brothers and sisters, that everythingthat has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.
*. Problems may be a confirmation that we are living for Christ. 2 Thess. 1:5 .ButGod will use this persecution to show his justice. For he will make you worthy of his kingdom, for which you are suffering.God uses suffering in his plan for ourlives. 2 Thess. 1:1-3 . . . This letter is fromPaul, Silas, and Timothy. It is written to the church in Thessalonica, you who belong to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.May God our Father and the Lord JesusChrist give you grace and peace. Dear brothers and sisters, we always thank God for you, as is right, for we are thankful that your faith is flourishing and you areall growing in love for each other.
*. Through his suffering, Jesus fully identi- fied with us. Heb. 2:18 . Since he himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted.
*. Jesus was willing to obey God even when it meant suffering. Hebrews 5:8 .. So even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learnedobedience from the things he suffered.
*. Trials help train us to be more fruitful.Hebrews 12:11 . . No discipline is enjoy able while it is happening- it is painful! But after ward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained inthis way.Problems help us mature. James 1:2-4 . Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow,for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.Trials help refine our character. 1 Peter 1:6-9 . . So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. Thesetrials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—and your faithremains strong after is far more preciosity God than mere gold. So if your being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honour on the daywhen Jesus Christ is revealed to the wholeworld. You love him even though you havenever seen him. Though you do not see him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy. Your reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.When we suffer, we share in the suffering of Christ. 1 Peter 4:12-14 . . . Dearfriends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something stran-ge were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—because these trials will make youpartners with Christ in his suffering, and after- ward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all theworld. Be happy if you are insulted for being a Christian, for then the glorious Spirit of God will come upon you.