“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials.”
grieved by various trials
“Grieved” means to cause pain, or grief, to distress. It is a state of sadness. Mentally, grief is the anguish of misfortune, death, annoyance, insult, or outrage. The main idea of “grief” is sorrow. (John 16:6; Romans 9:2; Philippians 2:27)
Grief leads to empathy. Jesus entered into grief in Gethsemane. We identify with the sufferings of Christ better when we suffer.
Grief is an integral part of the Christian life. It affords an opportunity to grow in the power of Christ’s death and resurrection. Acceptance of grief is acceptance of the cross. (Galatians 6:14; Philippians 3:10-11; 2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
Christ’s death on the cross plunged the disciples into grief. The very isolation from Jesus brought out the significance of fellowship with him. (John 16:33) The pain of unjust suffering carries a rich reward when accepted in commitment to God. (I Peter 4:21)
Trial means to try, to learn the nature or character of someone or something by submitting them to thorough and extensive testing — “to test, to examine, to put to the test, examination, testing.”
God permits or sends trials for character development:
I Peter 4:12-14 “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.”
Suffering always causes grief to our souls.
God does not test our faith as much in prosperity as in adversity.
Though we live in hope we still grieve. Hope rises above grief but it does not eradicate it. Christians need the process of sorrow. We need to deal with it, not deny it. We need occasion to hurt and weep. We sorrow, but not as others who have no hope. Glib answers do not help the sorrowing process. We need to learn the value of grief. It will lead us to a fuller fellowship with God.
No one is free from trouble. These are the many colored trials of those who are in the family of God. Trouble comes in all forms: financial, marital, family. A great variety of trouble will come our way over a lifetime. Christians are not immune from trouble. God weaves a certain amount of hurt into our lives to develop our value of eternal things.
God does not enjoy putting us through pain. He does not glee in watching us flinch. Everything that comes into our life, including pain, comes by divine design. God has a reason for everything he does. We may understand it by and by.
Jesus faced trouble – “For if they do these things in the green wood (Jesus), what will be done in the dry (Christians)?” (Luke 23:31) Jesus was the green tree and the fire consumed him. What will happen to us who are dry twigs?
What kind of trouble do you presently face? The problems you face may not seem severe to someone else but they are intense to you.
Has trouble come to you in the large economy-size package? How are you handling your problems? Do you take God’s viewpoint on pain?