Every one of us experiences trials and tribulations in life. If the tribulations are severe, you may ask “Why me?” Why am I given this trial; why am I going through this troublesome time? Let me suggest several reasons trials may come upon you.
First, you may experience trials because of poor decisions that you make. Solomon in the book of Proverbs emphasizes the necessity to get wisdom. Proverbs 3:13-18 “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her.” If you foolishly spend your money on things you do not need, you may not have the money to buy things that you do need. If you go to the store and buy poorly made merchandise, and then bring it home and it soon breaks, you will suffer the trial of spending your money with nothing to show for it. If you have work to do but you procrastinate and waste your time, you may not get your work done. You will suffer the consequences of your poor decisions. Ephesians 5:15 “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise.” Ask God for wisdom in all of your decisions (James 1:5) so you can avoid trials from poor decisions.
Next, you may experience trials because of sin that you have committed. Sin looks desirable to our fleshly nature, but it results in consequences that are usually very bad. If you commit a crime and the authorities apprehend you, you may have to go to prison. If you commit adultery, it may ruin your relationship with your spouse. If you take illicit drugs, you may become addicted and suffer the damaging effects of the drug. If you tell a lie and it is discovered, you will lose the trust of others. The trials that come upon you will be a result of your sin. If there is sin in your life, repent and confess your sin to God to ask for His forgiveness (1 John 1:9). When you turn from your sin, you will only have to suffer the consequences of the sins of your past and not of the present.
You may experience trials as a result of your faith in Jesus Christ. Others may persecute you because they don’t have faith and they don’t like you for having your faith. Jesus said in Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” You should rejoice for persecution trials.
You may experience trials because you live in a fallen world. You may be involved in a car accident through no fault of your own, and suffer injuries. You may be bitten by a mosquito and get malaria. A thief may steal your possessions. God allows trials to come into your life to mold you into the person He wants you to be. Romans 5:3-5 “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” God knows the character that He wants you to have; He wants you to conform to the image of His Son, Jesus (Romans 8:29). For example, He wants you to have sympathy for others in their trials (Romans 12:15). When you have had trials in your life, you can encourage your brother because you know what he is going through. God wants you to have patience and perseverance; you also gain these when you go through trials. There are many good characteristics you gain when you successfully go through life’s trials. God is still working on you.
You may go through trials because God allows your faith to be tested. Abraham’s faith was tested by God (Genesis 22:1-18). God asked Abraham to take his son of promise, Isaac, and offer him as a sacrifice on a far mountain. Abraham got up early the next morning to obey God; he was willing to sacrifice his son even though God had promised that through Isaac he would have many descendants. He put Isaac on the altar and took the knife to slay his son when the angel stopped him. Abraham successfully passed God’s test of his faith (Hebrews 11:17-19). Although God will not ask you to sacrifice your son, He may test your faith through trials. 1 Peter 1:6-7 “In this you greatly rejoice, though now 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.” Some of the trials you face may seem like a testing by fire. Are you going to remain faithful or not. Is your faith strong and genuine or weak and short lived? If your faith stands the test, you will receive praise, honor, and glory when Jesus comes back. James also talks about trials testing your faith. James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James even encourages you to be joyful when trials test your faith because you can eventually be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
I have suggested several reasons for trials and tribulations you experience in your life. Regardless of the reason for the trials you face, I encourage you to never lose your faith and become discouraged. Don’t ask “Why me?” God allows trials to come into your life for your good. None of your trials will separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus your Lord (Romans 8:39).