Do you ever wonder why your life sometimes feels like one long series of struggles? Particularly if you are a person of faith, it can often feel unfair. Aren’t we supposed to be favored by God? Walking around having blessings raining on us like manna from Heaven?
As I enter into 2016 anticipating some rough seas ahead, I find myself constantly asking the Lord not only for His protection, but for His guidance. I have an unwavering faith that even though my life is largely a result of my own choices, He’s often stepped in to save me from disaster. Which brings up the question, why does He allow suffering if He’s shown us He has the power to prevent it? Here are a few thoughts that have been seeing me through lately.
1. God wants us to lean on Him.
Take a look at 2 Corinthians 1:3-4:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
It’s a fact of life that our trials often bring us closer to God. He wants us to lean on Him, but for many of us it can take the hard times to remind us of how much we need Him. And not only does He comfort us when we’re going through hard times, but in doing so, He’s giving us the tools to comfort others. After all, we can’t give what we don’t have.
2. God wants to use us to do His work here on earth.
Could it be that God does some of His best work through our trials? If we can think of it that way, it might change our perspective and our approach to dealing with our difficulties. I find tremendous comfort in the thought that God allows hardship in my life so I will be equipped to help others. That makes the pain seem more worth it.
And an added benefit of reaching out to help others who are in pain is that the act of helping replenishes you. That’s right- it actually helps ease your own pain when you help other people.
3. It might just be that He is protecting you from something far worse, but you can’t see it.
There’s a promise in Psalm 121:5-8:
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Remember that God is in control of our lives. He allows trials to come our way as He sees fit in order to strengthen us, bring us closer to Him and make us more like Jesus.
So how does God want to work through me? I’m called to write-mainly fiction-so for me, I hope people in pain can relate to my characters, and find peace in their experiences.
How will you allow God to use your trials?