A young minister once asked an older minister to pray that he might have more patience, for he realized he was short in the area of patience. The aged gentleman fell to his knees and began to pray that God would send trouble and difficulties upon the young man. Finally, the young minister tapped him on the shoulder, and whispered, “You must have misunderstood me; I asked that you would pray that I might have more patience, not more trouble.” The older minister replied, “Remember the Scripture says: ‘Tribulation worketh patience’ (Romans 5:3). That is the only way!”
Experiencing trials and tribulations in life can have its benefits. For that reason James said, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (Jas. 1:3-4). The refiner puts gold in the furnace to refine it, not destroy it. Certain fruits are produced only under the strain of severity. For instance, apples do not grow where there is no frost. In like manner, persimmons lose all traces of their bitterness while experiencing the severities of frost. Peonies will not bloom if they have not been frozen. Some of the greatest traits of character are developed only after experiencing trials in life, patience being one of them. So, don’t begrudge trials; rather learn from them and grow.