How to See the Greater Good in Our Trials

Ever feel like you might just crack under the pressure of your trials? Like there’s a hairline crack in your foundation and it’s about to give way? Maybe this isn’t you right now, but someone close to you. Be encouraged. Cracks are not always a bad thing.

I grew up in a quiet suburb with miles of sidewalks. I remember strolling around the neighborhood with friends, singing that awful sidewalk song. Do you remember it? Sweet young voices in unison belting out step on a crack and break your mother’s back. It ranked right up there with Rock-A-Bye Baby on the rhymes–that–creep–you–out–list.

It was all in fun, but have you ever thought about why the cracks are there?

Those cracks serve a purpose. Our hair is not the only thing going wonky when the weather changes. Sidewalks expand and contract when temperatures rise and fall. Without those intentional cracks, one continuous slab of sidewalk would buckle and break–in all the wrong places.

What if we viewed our trials as cracks in the sidewalks of our lives? Although we may not understand how they fit into the bigger picture, they serve some type of purpose.

Trials expand our need for God and what He wants to teach us. Trials contract our own abilities so we must fully rely on God. Sometimes a trial is a consequence for our sin, but other times we just don’t know or understand why God has allowed it.

How Can a Trial Ever Be a Good Thing?

While pain and loss–physically, emotionally, and spiritually–seem bleak, lives can still be touched in unimaginable ways. If even one person is pointed to Christ through our trials, it is worth whatever we must endure.

After my Grandma Rita suffered a stroke, her health kept rolling downhill. Yet with each hospital stay, she was sure to hand out a small pamphlet version of the Book of John. Those lives around her in that hospital were touched by God’s truth, perhaps for the first time. We hated seeing her go through this trial but had she not, those lives she touched would have missed out.

In trials, we grow when we keep our spiritual eyes open. We learn something about ourselves and about our God. The light in all of our dark trials is the opportunity to draw closer to God.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

We cannot be sure of the outcome, but we can be sure of this–God is there to move us from one piece of solid ground to the next. He is good and no matter our circumstances, He is sure of the outcome.

Where Else Might We See the Good in Our Trials?

Our calling may be found through the trials we experience. In God’s perfect timing, our pain can propel us forward in becoming world-changers for Christ. Our struggles, hardships, grief, and loss move us to seek God’s face, and through His grace, hope shines. We are moved beyond our comfort and moved to make a difference.

As we grab hold of the garment of Jesus through times of trouble, others will see and know that He is God. They will know through our witness where our strength comes from–that He is in control–that He is sovereign.

What Is the Greater Good in Our Trials?

God is not unaware of our trials. He is greater than any trial we will ever face. Jesus is no stranger to pain and suffering. He understands and He does not leave us in our pain, He walks through it with us.

The greater good is what His love and faithfulness can do when we trust in Him.

We can draw strength in remembering this acrostic for the word TRIAL:

Download the above printable

In our trials, God is magnified so that the world may know Him. Not just when our trial is over–because some never are this side of heaven–but during the rockiest parts of our journey. We can trust Him, rely on Him, invite Him into our pain, apply His Word of truth to our lives, and listen for His voice above all others.

Call to Action

If you are currently facing a trial, write out your laments and praises to the Lord. Cry out to Him and allow His love to quiet your distress. Recite Psalm 91 aloud. Seek out others who have been where you are–friends who can encourage you. Record your journey in a journal. Later on, your words and God’s faithfulness will serve as memory stones for you and others.

Allow this to be your song today…

“… God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.” Psalm 46:1-5 (NASB)

May I pray for you?

Heavenly Father, I pray for my friend reading this prayer. I pray she will be strengthened by your love, mercy, and grace today and always. I pray she be encouraged through the trials of her life. I pray she would have friends who will walk beside her–true friends who will lift her up and pray with her and for her. I pray she will find peace and rest in the shadow of Your wings. May she be confident through Christ, as she waits in anticipation of how You will use her gifts and her trials to bless others and impact the world. I ask this all in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Would you like a copy of the above acrostic? Download a free copy of the acrostic printable here: TRIAL

Be blessed, friend.

In Christ’s Love,


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  1. Cori Leigh

    Doris, I really enjoyed reading this today! Psalm 46: 1-5 encouraged me so much when I was in a dark season of trials. When I reflect back on previous journal entries… I’m always amazed even now what God does with our times of trouble and trials. He sprinkles light in our dark and provides a purpose that reaches far beyond the pain we feel.

    What you write here is so true! No matter what we face we can trust him to work everything out! Looking to Him more than our worldly circumstances.

    “We can trust Him, rely on Him, invite Him into our pain, apply His Word of truth to our lives, and listen for His voice above all others.”

    • Doris S. Swift

      So glad you enjoyed the message, Cori Leigh! I appreciate these words you shared. Yes, we sure do need to look to Him more than our worldly circumstances. Blessings, friend! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Valerie

    What a beautiful post Doris. I loved this: “Our calling may be found through the trials we experience. In God’s perfect timing, our pain can propel us forward in becoming world-changers for Christ. Our struggles, hardships, grief, and loss move us to seek God’s face, and through His grace, hope shines.”

    • Doris S. Swift

      Thank you for reading and for your encouraging comments, Valerie! Blessings to you and thank you for sharing.

  3. Maryanne Gallo Onorato

    Loved reading this today. Lots of good insight and a different perspective on trials. Although I am blessed not to be in that season of life right now, a good friend of mine is and this was perfect to share with her right now. Thanks so much!

    • Doris S. Swift

      Thank you, Maryanne! So glad this is something you can share with your friend. I pray it blesses her.

  4. annepeterson

    Really enjoyed this post, Doris. We need to have a changed perspective of our trials. We need to see them as the valuable tool they are. They work on our characters and God is aware of what needs to be changed in each of our lives. Yes, sometimes it is hard in the furnace, but our Heavenly Father knows exactly how hot the heat should be, and how long we need to be in there.

    • Doris S. Swift

      So true, Anne! What you said reminded me of Daniel 3. I was blessed to read it last Sunday before the sermon, and wow! That story of the fiery furnace does not disappoint! Praise God, He is with us when the heat turns up, and we can emerge without even smelling like smoke. Blessings to you, my friend. You are always so faithful to read and comment. What a joy you are to me and so many.

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