Benefits From Trials
For twelve long years John Bunyan languished in prison. It was here, however, that he wrote his famous Pilgrim's Progress, one of the world's most read books. Bunyan said, "I was at home in prison, and I sat me down and wrote and wrote, for the joy did make me write." Had Bunyan not been in prison, it is highly unlikely that he would have ever written his famous work. It was also from prison that the Apostle Paul wrote several of his most valuable epistles recorded in the New Testament.
It has been said that the ancients use an interesting instrument called a "tribulum" to beat grain to separate the chaff from the wheat. Tribulum is the word from which we get our word tribulation. It's the tribulation in our lives that divides the "chaff" from the "wheat." The trials and tribulations that come our way can make us bitter or they can make us better. The choice is ours. The important thing is never to waste our pain but to invest it wisely in motivating ourselves to grow and to help encourage others to do the same.
As God's Word says, "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."1
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to grow through my trials and become the person you want me to be so that I will become a better person and an encourager to others who are also going through trials. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Romans 5:3-5 (NIV).