Why do we have afflictions, trials, and difficulties? Couldn’t the Lord stop them if He wanted to? These and many other similar questions can sometimes go through our minds when we’re going through something difficult or painful.
Let’s turn to the scriptures to see what they say about this.
Mosiah 23:21-22 says:
21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.
22 Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people.
The Lord will chasten his people, but whoever will trust Him will be lifted up at the last day. That’s a comforting thought. Sometimes it can be difficult to go through our difficulties and still trust in the Lord. However, that is what we must do. We must trust that the Lord can see and understand the whole picture better than we can. Try and look at it from the perspective of “What do I need to learn from this?” or “How can I grow because of this?”
One reason we have trials is because they refine us and make us into better people. Let’s read in Malachi 3:3, which says:
3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
The Lord wants us to be the best that we can be. Trials and afflictions are some of the ways that he purifies us. Our trials can make us into better people if we will let them. This can be a painful process, but we can become better if we embrace the opportunity.
Some trials happen just because of the nature of the world that we are in. We get sick. Traffic accidents occur. These things are just part of our mortal experience.
Some afflictions happen because of bad decisions, either on our part or that of someone else. Peoples’ poor decisions or malicious actions can cause us harm or injury.
However, we must endure our afflictions in righteousness and in patience. We must get closer to the Lord when such things happen.
Let’s read in Helaman 5:12, which says:
12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
If we build on a solid foundation, we will not fall when the devil attacks us. That foundation is Christ, our Redeemer. Let us build upon that rock and not fall.
Alma 36:3 tells us:
3 And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.
If we do put our trust in God, he will support us in our trials. He will refine us into something pure. And we shall be lifted up at the last day.
Sometimes, it can be so very difficult to be patient and endure well our trials and afflictions. Nevertheless, if we endure it well, rely upon Christ, and remain faithful, the Lord will be with us. He will purify us. He will help us become as he is. And that is why we are here.