On my mission, I frequently saw a strange phenomenon; my companion and I would have no success for a week, then the next week would be filled with miracles. Or, we had a day with low numbers and the next day would yield high numbers. I am wondering if experiencing trials gives God the power to bless us? I know blessings have to be worked for, but can this work also come from overcoming a hardship?
When any question is asked let’s review the scriptures that pertain to the question we have, and then rely upon the Spirit to bring further understanding to our heart and mind. When I read your question the Spirit brought back immediately the following scripture to my mind and heart Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21:
“There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”
The next scripture we will want to review is Ether 12:6:
“And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”
And then we have one of the most important chapters in the Book of Mormon 1 Nephi 8 (whole chapter): 8:
“And after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.”
From the verses of scripture provided we are able to clearly see:
1) That every blessing we receive from God is a direct result of a predicated law that we obeyed.
2) That there are times that a blessing will not come until after the trial of our faith.
3) That a trial — darkness — in our lives may be the only thing that brings us to our knees and pray in order to receive the tender mercies of the Lord.
Let’s then begin with your first question. Do our trials give God the power to bless us? The way the question is phrased the answer would be no. God is able to bless us whether or not we have trials in this life. Trials do not increase God’s power to bless us; although, as we overcome our trials through prayer, fasting, or by whatever righteous decision we make (from an obedient and humble heart) it provides an opportunity (from a predicated law) to receive a blessing from God. Trials are for us, not for the Lord.
And in that light, your last question is an absolute yes. Our hardships/trials, as given in plainness in 1 Nephi chapter 8, provide us an opportunity to further trust in the Lord with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. As we turn to the Lord, as Lehi did, and pray; As we turn to the Lord heeding the voice of his righteous servants (prophets and apostles); as we turn to the Lord and partake of the most sweet fruit the Lord provides (God’s love — the Atonement of Jesus Christ) we will experience blessings from the Lord as a result of the hardship and through the hardship.