“trial By Grace”

“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for tee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness….Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor 12:9, 10).​

The thorn in the flesh was a heavy trial for Paul. It was not sent because of personal failure, but because of the abundance of revelation given to him—it was a preventative. There was danger lest the flesh should boast, and God gives him a thorn. Paul prayed thrice for its removal. The Father tells him that His grace is sufficient, there is no need to remove it, and moreover his infirmity was but an occasion for the power of Christ to rest upon him. Then he glories in that which he has prayed to be taken away. The Lord Jesus was exalted and Paul was content. Here is the “moral fruit,” the Father’s object in sending the thorn: no failure and needed chastening here, but a lesson of grace to an honored servant of Christ.

The trials of saints, as they come from the Father, are generally, if not always, immediately connected with the position grace gives. The Father in His sovereignty calls His saints to fill various places of service, some to rule and authority. Some to teaching or preaching, others may only know the place of suffering and weeping. Nevertheless all are for the carrying out of one great purpose, the accomplishment of one will, a whole in which each saint however humble has his part.

The Father has a niche in His temple for each, a place assigned by grace. It is there each is tested. But if grace appoints the place, it is always there to maintain saints in it. Often the trial is allowed through our want of faith to hide the grace, and then we complain and murmur. “But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor 10:13). He always provides the necessary grace.

There are other trials which have their root in unfaithfulness. The Father permits such, but does not directly send them, and surely controls and guides to a gracious result, for His mercy endureth forever. Such trials become rods in His child-training hand. But when He sends trials to a faithful saint it is for the purpose of proving faith, which is more precious that of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, and of giving lessons in the school of faith.

The fruitful branch is purged that it may bring forth more fruit. More and better fruit is the Father’s object. Hidden things may be in the heart of the faithful, unknown and therefore unjudged. The trial is sent to disclose the hidden thing that it may be purged away. Not all trials are chastenings. We should gravely err if we judged every suffering saint to be under discipline through failure. Where there is faithfulness we often see what appears to be heaviest trials but in truth it is for the display of the sustaining power of grace that others may see and learn.

–R Beacon
The best trials come from other believers. Like David's trial with Saul. What a heart wrenching he must have endured to be hunted by his brother in The Lord. In a way David patterned that trial as Paul commands in Romans 15. And we as brothers in Christ do fail each other. Some continually belittle and mock the faith of others. When it happens we are being tried, God is asking us to become living sacrifices unto Him so that others can, through our forgiveness be humbled by Him.
Hi IJ - Thanks for the reply. I agree and have found the heart-hittingest ones can come from an offense of one in the household of faith because we give of ourselves to each other. The one offended can learn not to take offense through immediate forgiveness, whether intended or not, which causes our love, whom we're suppose to have for all, to be increased.

I believe everything is to test (strengthen-not a pass of fail) our faith and love and the two greatest helps for me are in knowing God foreknows its occurrence and also uses it for our good (Rom 8:28).
Hi, thanks for that verse. In 2011, my employee fell five stories while working on a building for me. He walked away with a chipped tooth and needed staples to close a gash on his head, God was getting his attention I was told and thought as well. A competitor here in Honolulu who is a brother in The Lord insisted that I had fallen and not my employee. His motivation could've been greed or some sin in that area. I took it harshly because of previous attempts by him to undermine my business. I also had a predisposition to be critical of doctrinal errors. We both attend Calvary Chapels and I've recognized a few errors in some areas of what is taught. Little did I know God was about to teach me a valuable lesson. My friend, competitor decided to send a private investigator to my home to see if I was injured in some way, my wife called him and he proceeded to tell her that I was a liar and couldn't be trusted. That's the last thing she needed to hear to affirm any insecurities she's had about my integrity haha. Anyways I arranged for the two of us and our pastors to finally hash it out the next weekend. I couldn't wait, I called him out at the school parking lot where our children are classmates. His kids were crying and I made a scene. He threatened me and I came off like an idiot by saying that God was my refuge. Two weeks after that event I fell from the very same roof that my employee fell from. Broken heels, back and compound fractured tib/fib. I'm ok today, walking normally. I have to go so ill write the rest of my trial later, what God did for me, how He answered my cry for wisdom.
I hope this is not coming across as a braggamony.
I spent ten days in a hospital and came home in time for christmass. It took me about a month to write a letter to some friends at church apologizing for my behavior. I realized how carnal I had handled the situation with the brother who targeted me, how I should have been tender hearted and forgiving. I never sent it, it's in my bible today. Then I began listening to some podcasts by Gary Derechnsky of Beth Ariel Messianic Congregation of Los Angeles. About ten months into my recovery there was a message on Romans 15. Gary brought up the fact that Paul by quoting psalm 69, was comparing the behaviour of the enemies of Christ with our behavior with each other in the body of Messiah. I'd never seen it like that before. Jesus bore the insults of his enemy's words while on the cross and we should likewise endure the insults from each other as brothers as family members. What I know now is that I thought I wanted to forgive the guy by taking him to the elders but I really wanted to expose him for his faults. He became the epitome of a poorly discipled Christian who I'd had a predisposition of frustration towards and judged others who haven't seen all there is to be seen in God's Word yet. Not that I see it all but certain things like eternal security. Today I can see that forgiveness requires suffering. I needed to be willing to own his accusations of lying, accusing me to my own wife and children of being a dishonest man. I needed to endure these things for his spiritual edification because I've been forgiven, Jesus suffered and paid my debt and I should be willing to do the same for others especially the brethren. We can only suffer like this if we know Messiah because to know Him is to know all accepting, unconditional love. That is the kind of love we as human beings so desperately need and crave but we can't give that kind of love unless we've received it first. Hopefully God will be glorified by this.
Hi IJ - That's a pretty heart-shared reply and thanks for it. In all our situations, the Lord Jesus eventually moves us to learn what we're to know, so we can continue onward in His image. This is done by Him loving through us, as you've mentioned, for it is no longer as the Law--to love others as we love ourselves, but goes beyond conditional love to--"love as I have love you, which is unconditional.