When we were still children in school, most of us preferred field trips to sitting still and listening to classroom lectures. However, believers would probably all prefer to learn our lessons from the textbook of God’s Word rather than on a field trip of trials. But the truth is that there are some things we learn best through experience.
Although trials are not always the result of sin, they do play a big corrective role in our lives. The heavenly Father may use them to draw our attention to sins we have tolerated, overlooked, or accepted as normal. These could be habits, attitudes, activities, or anything else that is not God’s absolute best for His child. No matter how trivial we may think it is, no sin should have a place in a believer’s life.
At other times, the Lord may be showing us we need to release something that’s not necessarily sinful but nevertheless is preventing us from reaching our God-given potential—perhaps a relationship, our goals and ambitions, a job, or a home. It could be a reminder to prioritize Him over our desires so that we might know and love Him more.
If we never had any troubles, we’d continue in what’s comfortable, easy, and enjoyable but would end up missing God’s best for our life. That’s why the psalmist said,
“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes” (Psalm 119:71).
Any hardship that drives us to God and His Word is good for us. That’s because what we gain in knowing the Lord is worth so much more than all the wealth, power, and fame the world could offer us.
By Dr. Charles Stanley