What is God’s purpose in allowing temptations, trials, persecutions and the like to come into a Christians life?
We would prefer that they not come; we prefer comfort instead.
We always want to be happy, we want to be wealthy and healthy, we want to be prosperous in everything.
By the way there are ministries that teach that if you follow Jesus, you can have it all, but James reminds us that trials are normal and that there is a purpose in them.
Look at what he says in James 1:24; "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds; because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything."
He says, "count it pure joy." Why, because God has a purpose; He has a plan.
He’s going to use these times when we feel like giving up, the troubles of life, for His glory and our benefit.
The first purpose mentioned is that these trials test our faith. If we fold under pressure it shows that our faith is weak.
It’s an indication that we need to strengthen our faith. How do we do that, it’s by spending more time in the Word. Romans 10:17 tells us that, "faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ."
The second purpose of trials is that they develop perseverance or patience. When trials come it can drive us to our knees where we have to learn to wait upon God.
A third purpose is that end result is maturity.
As we come out victorious at the end of these trials, we become stronger.
Every time we say no to quitting, we grow in our faith.
As mature believers, we can help others who are struggling in their trials and who need encouragement to not give up. We have testimonies, we have a track record of God’s faithfulness.