Nobody that I know of likes trials. And when I speak of trials, I am not particularly referring to that which happens in a court of law (although it could be). I am speaking of any type of situation that “tries” you. Yes – you are put on trial and examined to see if you pass the test. As I pondered trials in my own life, I decided to look up the definition of the word ‘trial’ in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of the English Language. The definition helps us to learn exactly what a trial is…
[from try.] Any effort or exertion of strength for the purpose of ascertaining its effect, or what can be done.
1. Examination by a test; experiment; as in chemistry and metallurgy.
2. Experiment; act of examining by experience.
3. Experience; suffering that puts strength, patience of faith to the test; afflictions or temptations that exercise and prove the graces or virtues of men.
4. In law, the examination of a cause in controversy between parties, before a proper tribunal.
5. Temptation; test of virtue.
6. State of being tried.
So, when you and I go through a trial, we are being examined, we are being tested to see if we pass the test. I attended a Christian school while growing up. My parents sacrificed greatly to ensure that my siblings and I had a good education. During our education (like any good school), we had many different tests along the way to see if we had learned what we were being taught.
The Apostle Peter speaks of trials all through his first epistle. One of my favorite verse is I Peter 1:7:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
There are several things we can learn from this verse…1) the trial of your faith is even more precious than gold. Wow – it is hard to remember that when you are in the midst of a trial. Currently, gold is trading at $1,658.94 per ounce. Follow me on the analogy…if you have an 8 oz. trial (not the worst trial, but not easy at all), it would be like saying it is worth $13, 271.52! But the Bible states that it is actually MORE precious than gold. Why? Because gold will perish! It will either be lost or stolen or you will lose it when you die.
The passing of the test of the trial of your faith is that you would pass the test and that your response, your attitude, your outlook towards that trial would be found unto “praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
I don’t know about you, but I have failed many a trial of my faith. And yet, I am encouraged and prodded on by Peter to do all I can to pass the test.
Back to the school analogy…when I would take tests in school and would get a certain grade, my parents would give me a reward if I would score a certain amount on a test. Knowing that I would be rewarded by my parents if I reached a certain level helped me to do my best. And the best thing about it was not the reward – it was the look and confirmation that I would receive from my parents for a job well done.
If you are a Christian and going through a trial today, look down the road. Look down the road at the time you will be rewarded by Jesus Christ and pick up your head. Rejoice that you can be counted worthy to endure a trial. And remember that the greatest reward will not actually be the reward itself, but the look and confirmation from your Saviour on a “job well done.”