Wherever you are in the heights or the depths today, whatever trials besiege you, may we rest in the certainty that our God is good, all the time!
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Romans 5:3-4 – NIV
I am a tidy sort…a place for everything and everything in its place. I like things in order, sailing smoothly, running like clockwork. I can’t help it. I just get so annoyed when I clean my kitchen floor, only to find it dirty again in less than an hour. Do I hear an “Amen” on that one?
I don’t like trouble. I would just as soon avoid that, thank you. Just give me the status quo any day. The truth is that I fear trouble. I despise the unknown. What might happen? How will we cope? Why can’t things stay safe, unchanged, easy?
Let’s face the facts though. Regardless of our preference for an easy existence, God did not promise us a trouble-free life. In fact, quite the contrary. Jesus said, “In this world, you will have trouble…” (John 16:33). He told us to expect difficulties. We will have problems. We will know suffering. We will endure pain. It is part of living in this fallen and sinful world.
But here’s the thing. God is fully capable of transforming our troubles. He can use our trials to teach us. When our chips are down and our options have run out, we can learn to trust. We can find faith smack in the middle of adversity. As we deal with our struggles, we grow. We discover empathy, compassion, kindness, and generosity in a way we could not have known without that hard thing in our lives.
God can use our troubles to lead us. When the path is rocky, we need a hand to steady us. When we wander alone in the wilderness, we need a guide. Trouble motivates us to search for God. We know we can’t fight the battle on our own. We need God to lead us. As He leads us, He changes us from the inside out. He plants seeds that will bear good Fruit. The adversity is His Miracle-Gro.
Romans 8:28 tells us, “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.” God can transform our troubles by taking that very hard thing and working it for our good. He can transform our most desperate circumstances into blessings. Because of our suffering, we learn. We grow. We change. We see things differently. God can use the lonely, desert places of our lives to mold and shape us into the people He created us to be.
With the transformative power of God, we can triumph in the face of adversity. We learn perseverance and that perseverance builds depth in our character. Because we have known suffering, we can comfort our fellow travelers along the way. We can learn to trust God in everything and let go of our self-centered obsession to control our lives.
We become people of faith. We know hope. We find joy. We share love. We are transformed.
Well, perhaps a little disorder isn’t so bad after all.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18 – NIV
O Lord God, we praise Your Holy Name this day, so thankful for Your unfailing love and Your unending Grace. Though storm clouds encircle us and flood waters threaten, You never leave our side. You take our troubles and transform them for good. You bring hope even when we are in the depths of despair. You bring the light of joy to our aching hearts. Lord, we cling to You and pray that You will transform us into the people You created us to be. Give us all strength for today’s trials that we might truly become a people of faith.