The Spirit-filled believer is so because he or she has not stumbled and fallen while going through tests and trials. They have confessed their sins and repented of them. They are not conformed to this world. They have permeated their lives with the Word of God. They are drawing near unto God in prayer and fellowship as much as possible. They are asking God for wisdom with no doubt. Their hearts are becoming whole and mature. They are not like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. They are stable and walk joyfully as God answers their prayers and grows them in grace.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 1 Peter 1:3-7 (NASB)
There is no guarantee that the Genuine Christian will be immune from suffering. In fact, suffering is the method God uses to prune the branches that abide in the Vine, our Lord Jesus Christ. (John 15) I have found that the form this suffering takes is nearly always a surprise. When atheists or pagans ridicule, the resulting sorrow from that is relatively minor and easily borne compared to that delivered by professing Christians. In any case, we must not be discouraged, even though that is what our enemy seeks to do to us through it. God is allowing him to do this to us, therefore, what should our reaction be?
26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:26-28 (NASB)
Because of this promise, we should look upon our suffering with eyes of faith. To do this we must be Spirit-filled. The believer enslaved to his or her flesh cannot do that. However, for the believer who is working out his or her salvation with fear and trembling, by His grace are able to respond to suffering the same way Jesus did.
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (NASB)
The Greek word James used in v2 for “trials” means “trouble” or “something that breaks the pattern for peace, comfort, joy, and happiness in one’s life.” In it’s verb form it means “to put someone or something to the test.” The purpose of doing that would be to discover a person’s nature or character or a thing’s quality. As we have seen, God does allow these trials in our lives to try us. Why? God, to prove and increase the strength and quality of our faith and to demonstrate that to us as well as to others, designs and carries out these tests. All of our trials become tests of faith designed to strengthen. However, we sometimes make wrong choices during tests and trials that results in them becoming a temptation to evil. (James 1:13-15)
The Greek word James used for “count” in v2 means “to consider” or “to evaluate.” We are commanded here to look upon our trials as opportunities to rejoice. As we have seen, this is not natural. It takes a conscious effort to face trials with joy and the ability to carry it out comes from being Spirit-filled. Back in the late 1990’s I had a small group meet in my house on Sunday evenings. It was made up of couples. Three of us in this group were deacons. One Saturday, the wife of one of these deacons came home from shopping to find her husband dead in the garage. He had a heart condition and he died of a massive heart attack.