The Purpose of Trials: 3 Critical Reasons for Suffering

  • Sermons
  • 6 mins read

There are many reasons why God allows trials in our life. We don’t understand the reason behind this. But the wilderness experience of the Israelites will show us the purpose of trials.

And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

Deuteronomy 8:2

Notice from the Bible that God led the Hebrews into the wilderness. It also shows God’s purpose for bringing them into that place.

Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;

Deuteronomy 8:15

You can find nothing but trials and tribulations in the wilderness. But it is also where our faith will be tested in many ways.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

James 1:2

The purpose of trials: God wants to know what’s in our hearts.

22So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. 23And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?

Exodus 15:22-24

The Israelites witnessed how God divided the Red Sea. They have seen how God humbled the heart of Pharaoh through the ten mighty plagues. But they are now in the wilderness. And the first difficulty that they experience is a great thirst for water.

For three days, they traveled in the wilderness without water. Finally, they found water. They must have been so excited to drink from that water. But they were disappointed when the water turned out to be bitter.

God is the Almighty, and there is nothing He will keep from His children. But why would God give them bitter waters when He can provide drinkable water, which He will do eventually?

And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.

Exodus 15:27

God led them to the wilderness, in bitter waters, to know what was in their hearts, just as God leads us to bitter circumstances to know what is in our hearts.

Our character is revealed in bitter circumstances.

Edifying the saints

We can put on a façade like everything is all right. But bitter circumstances reveal who we are. The Hebrews revealed what was in their heart when they were in Marah.

And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?

Exodus 15:24

The purpose of trials: God wants to know whether we’ll obey Him or not.

Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

Exodus 16:4

The wilderness is a place where there’s almost no source of food. And one of the trials and tribulations they found in the wilderness was a shortage of resources. However, God provided Manna for the people as proof of His faithfulness. Moses had instructed the Israelites on how to gather and consume the Manna, which the Lord had provided.

However, some disobeyed the instructions of God. Some had gathered more than what they needed and reserved it for later. This is against the command that God had given them.

We’re tempted to disobey God when there is a shortage of resources because people are more concerned about their physical satisfaction than their spiritual well-being.

It’s easy to give our tithes and offerings to the Lord when we have much. But when resources are scarce, that’s when the devil tempts us to disobey God’s command to give. We serve God when everything is going well. But when resources are scarce, that’s when the devil tempts us to stop our service to God. We worship God when resources are abundant. But when resources are scarce, that’s when the devil tempts us to curse God.

You may think that they disobeyed God because of their greed and discontentment. But in a more profound sense, they had no faith that God would provide for them the next day, so they depended on themselves. God created us to be dependent on Him, not on ourselves.

The purpose of trials: God wants us to prove our love for Him.

1If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deuteronomy 13:1-3

Relationship problem is one of the trials and tribulations that we go through. In the case of the Hebrews, God tested their commitment to Him through the false prophets among them.

There are people among us who can be an instrument of temptation to our commitment to God. It could be a family member, it could be a person at work, it could be a close friend, it could be someone you look up to, and it could be someone inside the church.

Joseph’s brethren sold him to slavery. King Saul persecuted David. Diotrephes betrayed John the beloved.

The people whom you love the most are the people who can hurt you the most.

Edifying the saints

God allows trials and tribulations in our life because of these reasons. But we will also find that the mercy, grace, and power of God are more than sufficient to sustain us.

Remember that the wilderness is not our home. It’s just a place we must travel through to get to our promised land.

This Post Has 3 Comments

Leave a Reply