1 Peter 1:6-7 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even thought you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire test and purifies gold--though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
I use to think, "Why would God test you? That seems mean!" Then one day God dropped that answer right in my heart in a way that I could understand it!! First we live in this world...there will be trials all the time. The devil is always after us..if he can't tempt us to sin, he will send things on us that are hard. The devil will do anything to weaken our faith. Anything... He will not stop he wants to draw us away from God. What he wants to do is take one of God's prized possessions (us) away from God.
When God test us it is to prepare us for things we might face in the future... it is to show us where our faith is weak so that we can grow it by depending on Him. So that we can see that He is there for us in every situation. Here is how God showed me ... my mom was a teacher so I could understand this. A teacher knows before he/she passes out a test which students are going to make A's and which students will fail. The poor students feel like they are being "tested." The good students take a test and learn from it. All those students that make A's if they miss questions they are the ones who get out their text book, or ask the teacher what the right answer is. They use the test to learn what they don't know and they learn from it.
God knows all... He knows our actions before we take them!! He knows, even more than the teacher knows, how we are going to react to His test. He gives us these test where WE will know where our faith is weak. When we know that we can look back and say to ourselves, "Why didn't I depend on God from the start of this situation?" or "God what can I do next time so that I will not fall in that trap?' or "God I really messed up, what do I need to know and understand so that I won't make this wrong choice again." God does all this because He loves us so much and He wants us to be prepared to depend on Him, to make Biblical choices when the devil attacks. God does this out of so much love for us...so that we will be ready!! He is not testing us so to play games with us.. He is showing us where we need to grow.
We are all going to face hard times... we live in this world. We may be the generations that are going to face the end of time and if we are we need to be really prepared! God wants to make sure that we are prepared to depend on Him when hard times come.
Recently in another country two young missionaries were put to death for believing in God. They were strong enough to love God out loud until the very end. And when their lives were over they didn't face the fiery pits of hell...God was waiting at the gate for them to shower them with wonderful things... to show them how much He loved them and how proud He was of them for being able to stand strong. They lived in this world, so they faced things of this world. Just like we will. God prepared them for all they would face to be strong enough to keep believing in Him so they could live forever in Heaven. I wonder what test they learned from along the way?
Several months back I watched a You Tube video where the man that wrote 23 Minutes in Hell spoke. He spoke with graphic detail about what hell was like. He believe that God sent Him there in a vision because we needed to know that there is a hell. It was an real eye opener for me. It made me realize that anything that God allowed to happen to me that made me call out to Him is out of pure love for me.. for my life.
God is love, love at it's purest form. All love comes straight from God. He would never harm us! Everything that He does for us he does out of the purest of love. James said in Chapter 1 of the Book of James 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. Wow... when we are fully developed will will be perfect and complete needing nothing... God loves us to much that He wants to grow us to the point where we need nothing... where we depend on Him to supply all our needs... and when we do.. He will supply all our needs and our joy will be complete!!
Can you imagine complete Joy??!!! Wow!! Think of those moments in your live where your Joy was overflowing... complete joy will be so much bigger than that!! That is what God wants for us!!