For the past year a Bible study friend of mine has been going through very rough times. She lost her Mom last year near the holidays, most of the in between stuff is not mine to say, she has been fighting health problems since this March, there are a couple new stressors on her life since then, and her Dad just passed away this latest holiday. Why does her life seem like such never-ending difficulties? Did she do something wrong?
It’s weird how we often think first about what we did wrong to make bad things happen in our life. Certainly our own poor choices may bring bad repercussions that last decades, but I don’t think God is ‘the giver’ of anything that isn’t good. Having said that, He certainly allows us to go through terrible times when He finds in important in His plans- usually for our growth…
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights… Jm. 1:17
Will God use all the good and the ‘bad’ things that happen in this life to His advantage such as helping us grow? My life is proof that growth often comes from troubled times. And I see this dear friend standing stronger in the Lord this year after all she’s been through. So does God allow these things to test and try us? Let’s see what the Bible says about difficult times, starting with Jesus’ promise of troubles:
I have spoken these things to you so that you might have peace in Me. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world. Jh. 16:33
My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into different kinds of temptations*, knowing that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing. Jm. 1:3,4 (*trial, proving, or temptation)
in which you greatly rejoice, yet a little while, if need be, grieving in manifold temptations*; so that the trial of your faith (being much more precious than that of gold that perishes, but being proven through fire) might be found to praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 1Pt. 1:6,7
And not only this, but we glory in afflictions also, knowing that afflictions work out patience, and patience works out experience, and experience works out hope. Rm. 5:3,4
Beloved, do not be astonished at the fiery trial which is to try you, as though a strange thing happened to you, but rejoice according as you are partakers of Christ's suffering, so that when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy. 1Pt. 4:12,13
Lord, help us to press in to You whenever hard times hit us, so that we may find strength in Your arms, peace and joy in Your presence, and hope in Your love. And my we continue to go from glory to glory, maturing in all the trials of life, until we reflect Your image.