According to Ps 11:5, “the Lord trieth the righteous. To try is to put to test or trial; to prove. When you go through something difficult in your life that puts you to the test, it’s helpful to remember that it isn’t necessarily something that an enemy is doing to you. It could very well be the Lord trying you. His tests are a continual “exercise” as you grow in the Lord. He’s constantly trying you to make you better. As long as you keep responding, trials never stop because you never are perfect. However, the trials can plateau at the place where you quit growing.
The Lord tries:
Your reins – Ps 7:9 – the reins are the seat of the feelings, affections, or passions. The trial of your reins is to test the quality of your love. We are to love God above everything else [Matt 22:37]. So, set your affections on things above [Col 3:2]. Don’t be like the Pharisees who loved the chief seats [Matt 23:6] more than they loved God. These days, men are lovers of their own selves and lovers of pleasures, more than lovers of God [2 Tim 3:2-4]. The trials prove you so that you and the Lord both know the sincerity of your love. When you find that you love something more than God, learn from the test and make the changes necessary to remedy the problem.
Your heart – Prov 17:3 – 1 Thes 2:4 – The trial of your heart reveals the quality of your character. The first occurrences of the word “heart” are found in Gen 6:5; 8:21. The natural condition of our heart is evil. But this can be hard for us to discern because “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart,” [1 Sam 16:7]. We have a tendency to be like the Jews in Matt 15:8, we draw nigh to God with our mouth, we honour him with our lips, but our hearts can be far from him, at times. There’s nothing like a good test from the Lord to reveal the true condition of our heart and the true quality of our character. Sometimes, we are like the Pharisees; we do what we do “for to be seen of men.”
Your faith – 1 Pet 1:7 – the trial of your faith, of course, reveals the quality of your faith. In the gospels we find faith that ranges from great faith [Matt 8:10, to little faith [Matt 8:26]. The Lord wants us to have great faith. According to 1 Pet 5:10, suffering will “make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” The Lord wants us to be able to “watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong,” [1 Cor 16:13]. Well-timed tests from the Lord reveal the true condition of our faith. When you find that your faith is small, learn from the trials so that your faith will grow stronger.
Conclusion: trials aren’t “fun” but neither are they meant to stop you. They will help you grow when you respond to them properly.