How Trials, Troubles and Tribulations Bring People to Christ

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Typically we want to avoid trials and troubles, but God uses these to bring many people to Jesus Christ and salvation.

Toil and Trouble

Typically, we want to avoid trials and troubles, but God uses these to bring many people to Jesus Christ and salvation. There are no shortages of troubles today, but this has been man’s lot ever since he was booted from the Garden. Job knew that “man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7) since the whole creation is now under the curse (Gen 3:17). No one escapes trouble, trials or tribulations in this life. They are an equal opportunity visitor to all…rich and poor, so the question is how will we respond? Will we become bitter…or better for it? Will it break us or make us? Will our resolve be weakened or strengthened by it? It is a choice left to us, but we need God’s Spirit in order to endure and not lose our joy.

Near the Broken Hearted

If trials and troubles bring us to our knees and lead us to salvation in Christ, is not all of these trouble worth it!? Yes! God speaks to our hearts in Psalm 34 like few other places in Scripture, saying, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:8). If He’s near the brokenhearted, then He’s far from the self-sufficient. God cannot fix what is first not broken. We use things and throw them away after they’re broken; God uses things that our thrown away and broken (us). God is nearer you when your heart’s breaking than when everything is going well. The proud, God will resist (James 4:6), but He saves those who are crushed in spirit. If you’re crushed, you’re rushed into the presence of God. Don’t you want that? I do, even though the way is painful, it leads to peace.

Bible Verses to Comfort the Hurting

Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

A Perfect World

If there were never any troubles and everything went perfectly, who would need God!? Since our every need would be taken care of, why need anyone else? The problem with that is we would still die in our sins because no one is good enough to go to heaven. In fact, good people don’t even exist in God’s mind (Rom 3:10-12, 23). The late Pastor Adrian Rogers said, “There is no one so bad that they can’t be saved and no one so good that doesn’t need to be saved.” God’s Word says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). If you’re broken, He can fix you. If you’re wounded, He can heal you, but we must confess our sins (whatever they are, I have many) and come to Him for spiritual cleansing and healing. There’s nothing quite like having a clear conscience. Confess the sin and bring peace to your mind. It’s the softest pillow of all.

God’s Velvet Vice

God doesn’t directly cause but does allow trouble to shape us, mold us, and test our faith so that we’ll know how weak or strong it is. God already knows, but He wants us to know. It’s the genuineness of our faith that He is interested in (1 Pet 1:7-10). Many men I speak with in prison say if it had not been for their imprisonment, they would never have humbled themselves to be saved. Prison takes the pride of life out of them. The bad circumstances brought about much good. God has a history of making things like that happen (Gen 50:20; Rom 8:28). Will we trust His sovereignty? Whatever He allows is for our good, even if it hurts (and many times it is).

Storms of Life

God may not take you around the storm, over the storm, or even under the storm, but He does promise to be with you in the storm. Jesus sent His disciples out across the sea to reach the other shore more than once, but they encountered a great storm (Luke 8:22–25; Matt 8:23–27; Mark 4:36–41; John 6:16–21), and thought they were all going to die. Jesus was trying to teach them to have faith and not trust what they see with their eyes. He wanted them to try to see things with the eyes of faith. God can calm any storm, but He may not calm it until He knows it’s finished its work in our lives. When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink (Matt 14:30), so we presume that Jesus wants us to keep our eyes upon Him and not fix our eyes upon circumstances.

Disciplining as a Father

Every father disciplines us as they know best, but today, discipline is not a favored child-rearing technique with families. Time outs or withholding privileges sometimes work, but true discipline yields positive results. We know that “the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives” (Heb 12:6). This “cosmic spanking” or being taken behind the spiritual “woodshed” hurts for the moment (Heb 12:11), but it proves His love for us and it yields peaceable fruit in time, so don’t resist the process. Embrace it. God allows storms for correction, for protection, for perfection, and for direction, among a few reasons. He may want to correct us, correct our course, help protect our course, or perfect our course. If God allows it, don’t fight it


My prayer today as I write this is for those of you who read this that you have already put your trust in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If no, you are in real danger of hell fire. You are in fact, in immediate danger. You are only one breath, one heartbeat…one accident away from eternity when it will be too late to repent. This is why today is the best day to believe (2 Cor 6:2), especially because tomorrow is not guaranteed. If our Lord came today, read what will happen to you (Matt 7:21-23). This is all the more reason why I plead with you as you read this; repent today and put your trust in Jesus Christ. If not, you will surely and certainly face God’s judgment after death, absolutely guaranteed (Heb 9:27), or it may happen at Jesus Christ’s appearance (Rev 20:12-15), which could happen this very day.

Here is some related reading for you: How to Face Trials: A Bible Study From James 1

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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