But trials of every kind shake everything that can be shaken, so that things which cannot be shaken may remain (Heb. 12:26-28). Trials shake things in us and around us that are not of faith, things we depend on that are not Christ, things that are not true and things that are not eternal. Trials shake all that is not revealed to us by Gospel revelation, so that only Christ as He is revealed in the Gospel of the grace of God remains our confidence and trust and hope and desire. Trials shake all that can fade and pass away so that all which cannot fade and pass away may remain our only hope and desire.
When we are tried in so many ways, at the end of it all, we come again to this conclusion: the Lord Jesus Christ is all my confidence before God, all my hope for eternity, and all my desire for time and eternity. When I say “all”, I of course do not deny that we struggle that Christ would truly and fully be our all in our experience. This struggle itself may be our sorest trial (Rom. 7:24-25). We find an impure mixture in our faith and love when our faith and love seem most strong. The fact is, we now live with an unwelcome occupant. He is in us. He is an old man. He is old because he was born of Adam. But this old man is in contrast to Christ in us (2 Cor. 5:17; Col. 1:27). The old man is our flesh, our sinful nature. And he is a truly wretched man, in contrast to the new creation, that spiritual man who lives only on Christ (John 6:35,56). The spiritual man is created in righteousness and true holiness (1 Cor. 2:14-15; Eph. 4:22-24). We now live in a body of death (Rom. 7 & 8). It is no wonder, therefore, that we have endless trouble! But trials within -- and especially trials within (Rom. 7:24-25; 2 Cor. 12:9-10) -- together with trials without (2 Cor. 1:9-10) both serve to increase and strengthen our faith in Christ Jesus, our almighty, most gracious and sovereign Lord (2 Cor. 12:9-10)! It is this God-given faith in Christ that overcomes (1 John 5:4). Not that our act of believing is that strength that overcomes. But the One whom, through trouble, we are made to increasingly believe and hang on as our all, even our Lord Jesus Christ. He is our only strength!
God gives faith (Eph. 2:8-9). God-given faith honors God (Rom. 4:20). God honors the faith He gives (1 Pet. 1:7). It is His gift and His work (Col. 2:12; John 6:29). He always approves of His own work (Gen. 1:31; Php. 1:6; Ps. 100:3; Eph. 2:10). When His work in us is perfected, then we will awake in the likeness of our Savior (1 John 3:1-3). Then we will be satisfied (Ps. 17:15). But not till then. Now we groan (Rom. 8:23). But our groanings in trouble make Christ all the sweeter to the clutching hand of faith by which our hungry souls take and drink and eat (Ps. 73:25; Isa. 55:1-3).
We will have trials until this life is over, until our faith becomes sight. Then it will be discovered that what God made known to us in the Gospel of His Son during our life in this world, the things of Christ of which He persuaded us, those things will then be fully known to be the whole truth about the way things are. They have eternally been and shall forever be the truth of heaven, the truth we believe, the hope we look for, the spring of our love to God (John 14:6; 1 John 4:10). It will be then that the riches of His grace to us, which we now only have by faith, will give way to full enjoyment in the experience of our immortal and incorruptible mind and eyes and ears and hands -- all made like His glorious body (1 Cor. 15:53-53; Php. 3:21). Then we shall praise our Savior with an immortal tongue and with unsinning heart!
But until then, we live by faith in Christ crucified, risen and reigning. Until then, we patiently wait for the fulfillment of the promise of eternal glory, to see Christ and be made like Him (Heb. 10:36-39 and Heb. 11). Until then, Christ is glorified by the faith that He gives, which honors Him in believing, and which He will honor at His appearing. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:7).