As Christians go through trials, the trials are supposed to strengthen the faith the the Believers.

One example is Romans 5:3-5 (NIV):

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

The Bible is also filled with passages about the apostles glorifying God in the midst of their suffering.
Contemporary Believers have also testified to being given the strength to persevere through trials and forgive their persecutors.

However, from my own personal life, I have not found my trials to produce anything beneficial in my life. When I go through trials, I usually find myself growing more bitter, irritable, and discouraged as the trial progresses. These feelings and attitudes persist even after the trial is over.
Obviously, since this attitude is not what I am supposed to have during trials, I tried to find a solution to my dilemma.

Unfortunately, based on the research that I have done, the solution for my problem has been “just get over yourself and push through it” or “just praise God and the change will come.”
Neither of these answers is very satisfying (especially to someone currently in the midst of trials); but I cannot find any other solutions.

So, how are trials supposed to build my faith when my faith feels weaker after each trial?
And how do I make the trials build my faith?

  • 2
    Like any library, Christianity Stack Exchange offers great information, but does not offer personalized advice, and does not take the place of seeking such advice from your pastor, priest, or other trustworthy counselor.. The website can only state facts about various Christian teaching (which you could find yourself). The website cannot offer personal advice in regard to you own experiences.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 19:51
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    We could answer the purely theoretical question but the wording you write makes it likely you are looking for personal spiritual advice. We strongly recommend that you seek advice from a wise Christian that you trust, possibly a leader in your church, for personal advice. Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 20:00
  • @NigelJ Thank you, but facts are exactly what I am looking for, not personal advice. Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 23:45
  • There is a difference between testing of faith that we have (which produces perseverance) and difficulty that drives us unto faith. "Cursed is the ground for your sake". That said, many of the "heroes" of the faith found themselves at the raggedy edge, near despair. Don't be afraid of feeling weak ... God is strong there. Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 4:35

3 Answers 3


A complete answer to your question would be very long. Here are a few thoughts.

James says the thing we do not want to hear:

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. (James 1:2-8)

To reap benefits from suffering requires time and faith. The faith comes in because the amount of time is seldom told to us. Overcoming my fear of death took a few months following my becoming a Christian. Pulling out of depression took about three years (on top of the years of depression that preceded my coming to faith). Overcoming severe anxiety accompanied by many physical manifestations took decades. Learning to trust God with my finances took fifteen years, during which I twice was brought to the edge of bankruptcy. Each set of trials lasted a different length of time. Some character flaws of mine have yet to be resolved, despite over thirty years of prayer and patience.

There is another dimension to suffering that must be spoken. The benefits of some of our sufferings do not accrue to us but to others, like our children, friends or even strangers. Years ago I three times visited a woman dying of rheumatoid arthritis. I prayed for her, read the Bible to her, and gave her a cassette of Christian music. Despite her severe pain, she maintained her faith in God. Six months after I met her, she died. Her suffering may seem to have reaped no benefit for her, but listen to what a friend said at Janet's funeral. "When you were with Janet, it was like the Holy Spirit was pouring out of her." The combination of her suffering and her faith made her a suitable vessel for the Holy Spirit to work miracles. When I left Janet's side after our first meeting, I wept bitterly. However, within the hour, my tears stopped, peace filled my heart, and then joy. I have not experienced that magnitude of joy in my life before or since. It lasted for a week. From that day forward I was delivered from depression.

The Book of Job illustrates the power of suffering well. Job's suffering was great and it sharpened his mind. He listed all the problems that he needed a savior to fix: his physical and mental health, relationships, finances, forgiveness for sin, resurrection from death, ransom payment, and more. He also needed that savior to not terrify him the way God did. He wanted a fellow man, a good friend, full of compassion and meekness who was approachable to intercede with God on his behalf. Job basically wanted a man with the power and influence of God. Without knowing his name, he knew he needed Jesus. Then when his friends laughed at the idea that a "son of man" could be of any use, God rebuked them and said that Job had spoken correctly. Job's sufferings and insight and God's response defined what a savior had to be and to do. Job's story then became the first of the Bible to be written, answering Job's prayer that his experiences be written down and preserved forever. That is what Job's suffering did for the world. We can pray for relief, but we should also pray that we can be an example of faith in the midst of suffering so that others may find hope. The steadfast hope of people who have no rational reason to have such hope is a miracle that can change the world.

A few other ideas:

  • suffering teaches us to pray often and with fervor
  • our suffering inspires other people who have the love of God in them to help, encouraging community and fellowship and gratitude
  • Ecclesiastes 7:4 says, "The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure." Thus suffering leads to wisdom.
  • Amen to your last three points. The steadfast faith of the suffering Christian inspires in others an example to follow. The suffering Christian lifts their eyes to heaven as they rely on God to help them through. Answered prayers strengthen our faith and give cause to praise God. Without doubt, "faith in the midst of suffering" is a powerful witness to others.
    – Lesley
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 16:31
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    Thanks. I could also say that our suffering magnifies our longing for heaven. Paul said that "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." His trials surely made the prospect of heaven sweet. Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 17:37

How are trials suppose to build faith?

No one likes trials and tribulations. But used wisely they can be used to better our Christian faith and patience. Trials are known to help build character in some individuals.

Knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience. - James 1:3

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests 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. - 1 Peter 1:7

Trials and tribulations are a part of life. Some are more severely trialed then others. But used right they will build up our faith and increase our Christian virtue of patience. Trials can take many forms and require patience to go through them, thus helping us increase our endurance in withstanding many assaults that may come from the Evil One!

God uses trials and difficult times to test our faith and develop spiritual maturity. As we go through times of trial and testing, we develop patient endurance and become steadfast in our belief in God. James 1:2-3 boldly states that believers should, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." This is quite a remarkable admonition.

Valuing times of trials and testing with joy isn't easy. We are more likely to fixate on our pain and disappointment. This scripture encourages us to shift our focus from our discomfort and suffering to the benefits of perseverance.

Trials in this passage come from the Greek word "peirasmos," which means an experiment, attempt, trial, and proving. The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon explains that times of testing can be a "the trial of man's fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy.”

Trials can also include "an enticement to sin, temptation, whether arising from the desires or from the outward circumstances.”

A trial can also be a time of adversity and affliction that tests or proves one's character, faith, and holiness. James 1:3 includes the Greek word “dokimion” often translated “testing” and is related to proving genuineness and goodness. - How Does the Testing of Our Faith Produce Endurance?

By patiently bearing trials our faith deeps, our patience increase and our total abandonment towards God’s will will become unshakable.


How Are Trials Supposed to Build Faith?

Trials draw us to seek God. Trials make us depend on God.

Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

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