Some people have the wrong idea about the Christian life. Once they become believers, they expect smooth sailing. Yet Jesus made it clear that troubles are inevitable for God’s children. His own life was no exception: He endured false accusations, rejection by His own people, and betrayal by a close friend—to name just a few.
As His followers, we can expect difficulty. The cause of tribulation differs with each circumstance. Some problems arise from the fallen nature of the world, while others result from satanic warfare. And we can cause our own heartache from ignorance, sin, and poor decisions. There’s also another possibility—sometimes God Himself brings trials. While this last option is difficult to accept during a painful time, the Lord never brings hardship unless He has a beautiful purpose. And He gives strength to endure.
Remember, God allows struggles—whatever their source—for our benefit. Perhaps they are to purify and grow us for greater service. Maybe He has in mind to test our endurance and devotion to Christ, thereby strengthening our trust. Or He might be revealing His sustaining power. This side of heaven, we may never know the cause of each challenge. But we can trust God’s ability to deliver and mature us.
What trials are you facing? Jesus understands your pain, and He longs to be the One you cling to through good times and bad. You can choose to look elsewhere for comfort, or you can use your hardship as a source of growth. No matter how painful the trial seems, don’t waste the opportunity.
Bible in a Year: Isaiah 1-3