I am told that I am supposed to consider it a great joy whenever I experience trials. Joy is the last thing I experience when I experience trials. I think of words like frustration, aggravation, and even, anger. Sometimes these trials lead to depression and despair. Depending on how extreme the trial is, I become numb. I will not feel like doing anything. Even when I am able to function, I am merely functioning – going through the motions.
Why do we call it trials by the way? A trial sounds like a test. We put criminals on trial to test if the charges against them are true. We hold field trails to see how our Labrador performs. Competition field trials test who has the best dog.
Am I being tested to see if the charges against me are true? Is this what my problems and challenges are? Examination to see how I perform. And who puts on this trial? Who is bringing the charges against me? And why?
Does God take me to the field trials to see how I perform? Am I another Job? Does God and Satan make a bet about me? Of course, no doubt I am not like Job in his purity. I know that much. But still, am I a part of a competition?
I don’t like trials, as we call them, anymore than anyone else. But what if it is a trial in every sense of the word? What if the accuser claims to God that I will not abide by his will in difficult situations? Imagine that. The heavenly courtroom in convened. Satan, the accuser, stands before the judge, God himself. Satan declares that I am guilty of sin. To prove it, he persuades the court to place me in a difficult situation. Just how will I perform? Makes the trials I encounter sound a bit different. It really isn’t about me anymore. My trials are no longer personal but take on a different meaning.
Or perhaps, God is proud of me. Oh, he knows I sin. Yet, God loves me and believes in me (more than I believe in myself). So, God takes me to the field trials to see what I have learned. There I am. My problem or difficulty is before me. How will I respond?
My problems don’t sound as ominous as they once did. I must admit that my view of most of my problems have two originations. One, my problems arise when others don’t do what I want them to do. Or they do something I didn’t expect with creates issues with my plans. Other people are the problem. Certainly not myself.
The second origination is when I create the problem myself. In other words, I do something that I should not have done. The result is a problem. A trail, as we call it, that I must get myself out of. In this case, I have no one to blame but myself.
But what if trials aren’t about blame or fault. Rather, trials are about performance. How will I act in the midst of the trial?
As a Christian, trials then become an opportunity. I am given an opportunity of obedience. I am given an opportunity to please God.