When he wrote to timothy, the apostle Paul was in prison, where he experienced physical discomfort, personal attack, and desertion. For what reason would the Lord allow one of His most faithful servants to endure such suffering? Why didn’t He step in and protect him?
At times God doesn’t pull us out of hard situations, because He has a different plan. We may feel as if He’s abandoning us, but in reality, He is protecting us—not by deliverance but through strengthening.
When trouble and pain pay us a visit, we should seek to view the situation from God’s perspective, by asking ourselves these questions:
- Which is a greater demonstration of the Lord’s power—changing something around me or changing something within my heart?
• Which is the greater faith builder—seeing God’s deliverance from every difficulty or experiencing His presence and strengthening in the midst of trials?
• Which reward is greater—immediate relief from discomfort or tested and refined faith that will result in praise and glory when Christ returns (1 Peter 1:7)?
• Which answer to prayer is greater—that God has removed something and given me external peace, or that He’s left me in a trial and given an internal peace that nothing can steal, not even my circumstances?
Does God have to fix something for you to be happy? If He removes the situation, you may never learn that He is sufficient for everything you need. Instead, let Him change you, and you’ll discover His joy in whatever circumstance comes your way.
Bible in One Year: Numbers 3-5