None of us like it when life gets tough. When finances get tight or a relationship sours or a loved one gets a bad prognosis … we try to pray it away. We can’t imagine how going through such trying circumstances can be a sign of God’s favor or God’s sovereign reign over His creation.

Yet, throughout Scripture, we read that times of trouble are a good thing. In my Bible reading this morning, I was reminded that God often uses undesirable life circumstances to test our faith – to see if we are truly children of God on our way to Heaven or whether we are on our way to a Christ-less Hell.

After all, you don’t want to get it wrong. Imagine the horror of thinking you are on your way to Heaven and only a moment after closing your eyes in death opening them in torment in Hell. Imagine it hitting you like a ton of bricks that this will be your plight for ever and ever and ever. It will never, ever end. Jesus warned that many will experience this very thing! (Matthew 7:21-23).

So, how do you know that you are saved? How do you know that you have a genuine relationship with God and that your eternal destination is Heaven?

Trials are what God uses to give us certainty of our eternal destination!

God sends difficulties into our life to test us. How we respond says a lot about who we really are on the inside.

When your life gets tough, what’s you knee-jerk reaction? What do you do for consolation? Is your natural response to find comfort in spending time with Him in prayer and reading His Word? Or do you find some other thing to bring some sort of inner peace?

What is your response to God? Do you find it natural to say “Your will be done, Lord” or do you naturally question Him and His motives? Do you ignore Him or get angry at Him?

Of course, even the most devout of Christians will have struggles. For a time, they may experience some undesirable mindsets and behaviors. However, they will eventually find their comfort in God like a moth is drawn to a light at night.

Yes, trials are our friends. They are God’s gift to us to test the genuineness of our faith. They are intended to comfort our hearts (while not necessarily in this life) with the assurance that we are truly children of God. It is certainly possible for us to experience peace and joy in the midst of trials but ultimately, those trials give us comfort in the fact that we are headed to Heaven.

1 Peter 1:6-7 – “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” (New Living Translation)