Life is full of difficult trials and tests. Everyone will deal with their own set of trials and tests in this life, that is a given.

The question, however, is not what those trials and tests will be, but rather how will we choose to view and respond to them. Will we allow trials and tests to take away our joy and keep us from moving forward in this life? Or will we allow those trials and tests to help us grow stronger and learn to rely more on God than we had before?

Count it all joy, my brothers,[b] when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 1:6-7

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. – Romans 5:1-5

Trials and tests will come. That is a given. It’s a part of life…and honestly, as a Follower of Christ, it can also be a learning tool that God allows in our life to refine us, strengthen us, and teach us to rely on him more in this life. We all need to learn and grow through this life, and those difficult times can help us do just that.

There’s a song by Zealand Worship called “Greener” that I have come to love this past year or so. Listen to the lyrics of the song, focus on the truth of scripture shared above, and determine to see the trials and tests you go through as a way that God is continuing to grow you into who he desires you to be. God will lead and guide us in this life, but we have to choose whether we will follow where he leads, or give up and quit.