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Why Trials?

God gives us the strength and wisdom to endure underneath our trials.

Your life is about displaying the superiority of the life lived in God. That's why Christians get cancer. That's why Christian businessmen and women have bankruptcies. The sons and daughters of the kingdom handle things differently than the sons and daughters of this world. Go talk to a doctor and ask him about the difference between a heartbroken parent in the hospital without Christ, and a heartbroken parent in the hospital with Christ. Right there, in that moment, you'll find your chance to shine the light of the gospel and to display the superiority of the life lived in God.

Open your Bibles to James, chapter 1. There are some stories that really stick with you. I remember a sermon by Chuck Swindoll about a young man named Glen Chambers. Glen had a heart to serve God on the mission field. He got his training, went to Bible college, went to seminary, and he raised his support. He left everything behind and boarded a plane to fly as a missionary to South America. He had gone through the strain of financial problems and misunderstanding with family. He'd dealt with the pain of separation, and he was filled with hope and anticipation and excitement about serving Christ. As he was about to fly, he thought to himself, I really should have said more to my parents, so he tore off a corner of a magazine and wrote them a little note: "Mom and Dad, I'm so excited, going to serve Christ. Thanks for getting behind me in this. I love you, Glen." Glen stuffed the note in an envelope and put it in the mail to his parents. Glen got on the plane, and in the middle of the night, a mountain in the jungles of Ecuador reached up, pulled that plane out of the sky, and Glen was killed in a plane crash. He never made it. All the training, all ...

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James MacDonald is pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and host of Walk in the Word, a daily 30-minute radio program heard on outlets across North America.

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I. Trials can produce joy (but not necessarily happiness)

II. Trials test our faith

III. Trials produce endurance

IV. Trials lead to God's wisdom