Today we'll look at four more:
Second Corinthians 1:3-4 reveals this purpose: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
Because of the faith valleys I’ve walked, I can truly identify with and minister to those who have lost a loved one, parented a prodigal, experienced unemployment, and resurrected a stale marriage. Experiencing God’s faithfulness during these difficult times has enabled me to say with certainty, “God will help you.”
7. God is doing something amazing.
You can’t see it right now, but he is working out his purpose in your situation. Nothing can thwart God’s good purposes for his children. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9).
8. God is developing his mind and heart in you.
When circumstances press us hard into God’s Word and force us to seek him for wisdom, faith, grace, and strength, he begins to conform us to his image. We can’t spend large amounts of time in his presence without starting to think, act, and love like he does.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son. . .” (Rom. 8:28-29).
9. God is teaching you that a close, personal, spiritual relationship with him is sweeter and more precious than a happy, healthy, trouble-free, physical life.
I experienced a trial years ago greater than anything I’d ever walked through before. With one phone call, I felt like everything precious to me had been stripped away.
I awakened the next morning feeling like I had nothing left but God. As I cried, and prayed, and cried some more, Jesus met me there. He wrapped his big tender arms of love around me and spoke words of hope into my troubled soul. He spoke words of truth into my reeling mind. He spoke words of love into my broken heart. And he spoke words of courage into my trampled faith.
My encounter with him was so powerful and real that I will never again doubt his love, care, and purpose. “It was good for me to be afflicted,” King David wrote, “so that I might learn your ways,” and I agree. While I would never voluntarily choose to repeat those dark days, I know God used them to grow my love for him in ways he never could have otherwise.
“. . . I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (Phil. 3:8).
There are many reasons God chooses not to rescue us from our trials. I’ve listed a few here to get you thinking. What comforts me in the darkness of suffering is the knowledge that God is just, God is powerful, and God is good. I can rest in this, and you can, too.
What about you? Have you come through a journey of suffering only to catch a glimpse of God’s purpose in the rear view mirror? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
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