A young man looked forward to joining the US Marine Corps after high school. But after just 3 weeks in boot camp, he wanted out. After he got an administrative discharge, he said, “I didn’t know it would be that hard.”

Like that recruit, many Christians are surprised by life’s trials. But just as this young man should have known what he was getting into, we too have been warned that the life of a follower of Christ is not all fun and games.

In 1 Peter 4:12 we read, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.” The clear message: “Don’t be surprised by trials.”

That doesn’t sound like good news, but it’s not the whole story. Consider the reassuring words of Romans 8:18, where Paul declared that our present sufferings cannot compare with the glory that will be ours in heaven. Our trials will be over, and everlasting joy will follow.

Trials are an inescapable part of this life. But God’s Word assures us that they will turn to joy in the morning of His heavenly presence.

Facing tough times? Lean on God, and be encouraged by the glory that will someday replace those trials.