A trial is like a test only it is not for your good. (See Part 1) To me, a trial is something that just always seems to hang around causing problems. It exposes a weak area and always seems to work on your nerves.
An attack, on the other hand, is just that an attack. They come at you without warning they seem to serve no useful purpose and are frequently very costly. The verse that sums up attacks is John 10:10 – the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy.
Let us use Paul the Apostle as an example. His tests are in Acts 20:22+23, 21:10-14. He knew God’s ways and voice so these test of people telling him that he was about to be jailed was something he needed to pass. He could have run but he embraced (and passed) the test and went on to the next mission in his life.
The attack is seen in Acts21: 26-36 where the crowd tries to kill him and he was arrested.
The trial(s) (literally) started in Acts 23:23 and continues through Acts 26. The jail, dishonest officials and continued lies were meant to wear him down but he overcame them to testify to rulers and kings.
His storm started in Acts 27:13. He knew it was coming and Jesus showed him how it would end. And as with most storms in the New Testament, it was followed by miracles (on Malta) to validate the victory he had in Jesus. And it opened bigger doors of ministry to him. (see Fight)