Peter the apostle had this to say about trials in 1 Peter 1:6-9:
In this you greatly rejoice, though now only 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, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith - the salvation of your souls."
The Role of Patience in Trials
Genuine faith is very valuable; eternally valuable! It leads to the salvation of your soul and is only revealed when it is tested. James says that we ought to count it all joy when we experience trials like this because it produces patient enduring which causes our moral character to mature (James. 1:2-4).
The Brothers of Trials - Persecutions & Afflictions
Paul the apostle coached Timothy by telling him to observe what he preached through his "manner of life" and how his faith was demonstrated through his long-suffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions and trials. One of the things I've learned is that often those who cause the most "long-suffering" in our lives are often the ones whom we love the most. Think in terms of a wayward child or perhaps parents or grandparents whose mind has not been renewed through God's word therefore they do or say things that are hurtful to you and others (2 Timothy 3:10-15).
In the Greek long-suffering comes from a word that means "patient endurance" which also has the connotation of being slow to avenge wrongs. Persecution refers to others who pursue you in a hostile manner, harassing and mistreating you to the point you take flight. Afflictions comes from a Greek word that refers to something undergone, a hardship, pain, suffering, a misfortune, calamity or evil. It can also refer to suffering for the cause of Christ.
The key to victory in trials and afflictions is...
Abraham the father of our faith suffered and waited a long time before He saw God's word fulfilled. Hebrews 6:13-15 says;
"For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, "Surely I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply you." And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
Patient endurance is the key to laying hold of God's promises. Patient endurance comes from a Greek word that means to be long spirited, suffering, waiting patiently while not losing heart but bravely enduring misfortune and troubles.
Do you have any situations, misfortunes, troubles, or persecutions caused by health, jobs, law suits, false accusations, financial issues, family members, friends or even those who hate you because you are a Christian? Praise God! Let God by His spirit finish the good word He began in you. Hebrews 10 admonishes that we need to endure that we might obtain the promise because God is not pleased if anyone quits or draws back. There is GREAT REWARD that comes from patient endurance.
Jesus Christ Set the Bar
Jesus set the example. Hebrews 5 says that he learned obedience through what He suffered. That suffering drove Him to pray with tears and vehement cries. He was heard because of His godly fear. Our heavenly Father used all of these challenges to perfect the author, our author, of eternal salvation after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:7-10).
So, I am speaking to myself as well, I urge you to embrace the challenges, trials, persecutions, and afflictions. Let each of these have its perfect work in you that you may be mature reflecting the character of Christ in all circumstances that Jesus might be glorified. Remember Abraham who endured waiting for the promise for decades. There is a great reward that comes with the confidence demonstrated through patient endurance.
Hebrews 10:35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.