Privilege in trials and tribulations

We often ask ourselves, why do we have to go through shit, aka trials and tribulations, or in more layman terms, suffering. The issue of suffering is a big question mark whether we are believers or not. In fact the issue on why man have to go through trials and tribulations is a big obstacle that stop people from believing that there is an all-loving God who is gracious and merciful. But I want to address this issue in the context of what happens to a believer, and therefore by some extension, to an unbeliever.

The bible has two anchor verses on trials and tribulations (by no means exhaustive):
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. - Romans 5:3-4

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. - James 1:2-4
 Obvious in these two verses presents the fact that biblically, trials and tribulations are meant to perfect us towards Christlikeness. As Henry F Lyte puts it in his poem 'Whom God chooses':

When God wants to drill a man,
and thrill a man, and skill a man,
When God wants to mold a man,
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man,
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch his methods; watch His ways.
How He ruthlessly perfects
When He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay
Which only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying,
And He lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends but never breaks
When His good He undertakes.
How He uses whom he chooses,
And with every purpose fuses him;
But every act induces him
To try His splendor out --
God knows what He's about!
Think about it, whom He royally elects He will ruthlessly perfect. It's like putting us through the refining fire, refining us like silver. I have seen cases and heard testimonies from brothers and sisters, not only in church but other places, how trials and tribulations have brought them to a closer understanding of God's character, mold them to become godly people in character etc. I myself have gone through other trials and tribulations of smaller scale (perhaps due to God's mercy on me) but I wonder to myself, how could I not feel privileged when God deemed me worthy enough to go through these shits? It is not funny when it happens, but I am sure glad that I have these experiences.

You know the blind man in John 9? Look at Jesus' answer when he was asked about the blind man:
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 1:1-5
Now, for us as believers, we cannot think that our Christian walk is a bed of rose. But what God allows to happen to us is so that the work of God can be displayed in our lives. And Jesus turned the question to the questioners marvelously. If my understanding of this passage is correct, it's not answering why is the man blind, but the answer directs at the question: 'what would you do?' What would be your response?

In the face of our own tribulations, it's for our own good. In the face of other's tribulations, do we just sit back and lock ourselves in the ivory towers and just ask 'why'? The matter of the fact is that there is a cost in our commitment to Christ, and we need to realise it. I feel that I am privileged to be paying for this cost, so that the work of His and His glory alone can be shown to the world.


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