As Paul tells us, trials refine our character as the Lord brings good out of difficult situations. Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 
I experienced a difficult time in ministry for several years that I called “walking through the desert.” Through this challenging time, the Lord refined me and changed me in ways that would make me a better person and pastor. How has the Lord refined you through difficult times in your life? How did that change you for the better?
Paul tells about the fruits of the Spirit, which I believe we all want to grow and often require trials to develop. Galatians 5:22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 
Trials Refined Joseph
Joseph grew up in a dysfunctional family where his father loved him, but his brothers hated him. When he was seventeen, he was sold into slavery by his brothers. When all was going well as a slave, he was falsely accused of rape and placed in prison.
The Lord was with Joseph in each situation and made the best of each case. Joseph went from being a prisoner to the assistant to Pharaoh in a day. Without Joseph’s trials, he would not have prepared for such a significant assignment where the Lord would use him in mighty ways.
Trials Refine Us
James 1:2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. 
Only when we look up to the Lord during our times of difficulty can we experience joy when others would be downcast. James also tells us that there is a connection between trials we experience and how our faith is refined. Although we do not sign up for problems in life, we are often glad we experienced them because they changed us for the better.
Lord, teach me to offer You a heart of thanksgiving and praise in all my daily life experiences. Teach me always to be joyful, pray, and give thanks in all my circumstances. I accept them as Your will for my life (Ref. 1 Thes. 5:16-17). Change my outlook and attitude into joyful contentment with my present circumstances. Amen.
To hear how trials refine our character, listen here: