68. What is the purpose of testings and trials?

For the disciple of Jesus Christ the Apostle Paul has this great promise in Romans chapter 5 verses 1-5: ‘Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.’

So according to this teaching, the purpose of testings and trials is to strengthen our faith and develop godly character within us so we will not be disappointed in the work of the Spirit of God in our lives.

In the Qur’an surah 3 ayah 154 and its notes reference no. 467 we are told ‘that the testing of Allâh is not in order that it may add to His knowledge, for He knows all, but it is so we can subjectively mould our will and purge us of any grosser motives. The calamity or trial is designed to search and purge out these wrong motives. If it is a hardened sinner, the test brings conviction out of his own self.’ In surah 3 ayah 140 it states: ‘If a wound hath touched you, be sure a similar wound hath touched others. Such days of varying fortunes we give to men by turns that Allâh may know those that believe. And that he may take from your ranks Martyr witnesses to Truth and Allâh liveth not this who do wrong.’