Our Afflictions draw us nearer to God
Updated: Dec 7, 2019
We don’t want to suffer. We want easy, comfortable lives. If it were up to us, we would stroll through life and never be sick, never see anyone younger than us die, always be provided for and much more, everyone would like us, and on we could go. There are only two problems with that. One, it’s not realistic. Jesus said, “In this world, you will have trouble.” Secondly, we won’t grow in our faith if life is easy.
If you’re like me, when everything is going well, you don’t read your Bible as much. You don’t pray as much. You don’t feel a deep and desperate need for God. Why? Because you don’t have any serious problems at the moment. You’re self-sufficient; able to handle everything life throws at you. And the more comfortable we become, the further we drift from the Lord.
God loves us way too much to allow that to happen. When we feel all is well, and that we have everything under control, that is when our Heaven Father will bring just enough turbulence into our lives to draw us back to Himself. God uses suffering to make us dependent upon Him and learn His ways. David said, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes” (Psalm 119:71). I am sure that David didn’t like what ever affliction he faced, but, at some point, he realized that God used his afflictions to teach him obedience.
That God disciplines us is evidence that we are His children. “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:7-11). God disciplines His children because He loves us, and He wants us to share in His holiness.
Trials make us more like Christ. This is why “we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 3:4-5). In fact, we are to “count it all joy” when we meet “trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).
Don’t waste your hurt or your trials. Consider it an opportunity to draw near to God. Understand that He is working in your life to make you more like Christ through your suffering. Our God never wastes our pain. It is always for a purpose (Romans 8:28).
Thanks for reading!