God uses difficult times to move us closer to him, to build character, to demonstrate our need for a Savior, and to teach us something we are missing. If our lives were always perfectly blissful, we would have no way to grow in knowledge and wisdom; we would be stuck in the same place day after day. Difficult times are a tool used by God to help us become more like Jesus.
We all face difficult times in our lives. When we face difficult times, it’s hard to see beyond the pain and confusion that clouds our vision. Often we tend to ask God why he has allowed us to fall into a pit of despair. That’s an understandable response to adversity; however, that’s not what God wants from us. In difficult times, God wants us to focus on the lessons being taught. God doesn’t want us to run away from our problems; he wants us to embrace them so that we can uncover the valuable truth learned from first-hand experience.
When we face difficult times, our first course of action should be to turn to God. We need to turn our back on adversity and keep our eyes on the Lord. God is with us. When we follow His direction rather than the dark alleys of adversity, we will always find our way back into the light of truth. “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will also help you, I will also uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) Above all else, we need to trust God. Difficult times are a reminder that we are nothing without God. Difficult times are an opportunity to see God working in our lives.
God uses adversity to shape our lives. The ultimate goal is for us to become more like Jesus. When we look back on difficult times that we were able to overcome through God’s intervention, it becomes clear that God’s purpose was to make us stronger. Our struggle becomes a strength that we can share with others. Our victory over adversity develops our Jesus like spirit – our never ending well of faith in God’s presence in our lives. It is God’s love that carries us through difficult times and when we keep our hearts open to him throughout the experience, we strengthen our ability to share that love with others.
This period of our lives is all about developing the wisdom and knowledge needed for our eternal existence with Jesus. We will experience many difficult times in this life in order to prepare our spirits for what is to come. We can be absolutely certain all of our current adversity is a small price to pay for the kingdom of God that is on the way. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18) Of course, God doesn’t want us to be miserable in this life; he wants us to find joy in the challenge of overcoming this world on our way to the ultimate victory.
Difficult times give us the opportunity to see God working in our lives in a powerful way. Rather than thinking of adversity as a dark road of despair, consider it to be a beneficial challenge that will serve as a chance to move closer to God. “Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4) Only Jesus is “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” We become more like Jesus when we endure the challenges of this life resting comfortably in the knowledge that God is in complete control. Keep your heart filled with love, keep your eyes on Jesus, stand firm in your faith, and you will eventually find your way beyond any challenge. This is your ultimate path to victory.
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