If the trials of life could only exist by popular demand, we would have voted them away long ago. People, by and large, hate suffering of any kind.

But read what Peter wrote about the topic: "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:6-7).

There are two words in that passage that just don't seem to go together: rejoice and trials. Is it possible to have joy in the midst of suffering? According to Peter it is.

Here's why: trials can be good for you. Notice it says, "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be"--stop right there. Do you think Peter was actually saying that there are times when God knows you need a trial? You bet he was.

When you go through a trial, a need is being met in your life, whether it's for correcting, humbling, strengthening, or equipping you. Trials also reveal what kind of faith you have. A jeweler used to test the purity of gold by putting it in the fire and heating it up. The same goes with your faith. A faith that cannot be tested is a faith that cannot be trusted. So don't look at trials as a personal attack on you; God is trying to stretch and strengthen and firm up your faith.

In the end, trials refine us. Even Job, who suffered so much, said, "[God] knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job 23:10). God wants to make you more like Jesus. That's His plan. According to Romans 8:29, we have been "predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son."

God is not out to burn you; He's out to bless you, and sometimes those blessings are disguised as trials. But He's still in control. He knows what He's about. He's got you covered. That means you can rejoice in trials, because He's refining, correcting, strengthening, and equipping you, testing your faith to His praise, honor, and glory.

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