One of my greatest privileges is being allowed to help people I love walk through the pains and heartaches of life. In seeing others deal with hardships, and in my own personal experience, I have come to the conclusion the vast majority of spiritual growth happens, not when life is easy and everything is going our way but instead, when life is hard, and the bottom drops out.
Sadly, we live in a culture that abhors suffering and sees no value in it. I think this is wrong.
Here is a quote from the devotional I use every morning to keep me on track and help me draw closer to God. I pray it speaks to you the way it did to me.
“In the culture of the industrialized Western world, it is difficult to accept suffering. We are led to expect that it should not occur. If we lack acceptance or love of self-confidence, perhaps some consumer item will redeem the situation. Like some vast pharmacy, our technological society offers a remedy for almost every ailment. We come to believe it is not right to experience pain. We are encouraged to block it out, to forget our misery, to act “normally.” Millions of people walk around pretending to be “normal.”
–From Towards God by Michael Casey
I pray you are in a very good place in life, but if life is hard and you are filled with pain and confusion, know you are not alone. God is with you.
God loves you so much, he will use these hard moments to bring you closer to him. This is why Paul says,“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
While no sane person wants to suffer, we believe God is powerful enough to bring good out of it. It’s a matter of faith.
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, in those moments when life is filled with pain, help me draw closer to you. Please use the good and bad I experience to mold me into the person you created me to be. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
As followers of Christ, we understand we live in a broken world. We do not anesthetize ourselves from the pains of life. We use them to become mature Christians. And while it may not be pretty or fun, we know God uses hardships for his purpose. That’s because God is very good.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.