“Problems and trials . . we know they are good for us.” Romans 5:3 NLT
“Turn your heart heavenward, drawing from God’s grace and trusting in God’s care.”
My thoughts today are about “things you wish weren’t.”
Nobody would choose problems and trials, if given the choice; suffering just isn’t any fun particularly! You would prefer to live in a suffering-free zone. Realistically, that is not one of the options available to you. Jesus was honest about your being His follower; “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV. Why? Because you are at cross purposes with the world, and that brings opposition. See Psalm 73:2-17 NIV.
Now, accepting the inevitability that life will not always be as you wish it were, you can change your focus from the adversity and its misfortune, pain, or sorrow and look instead at the character development that can result in you. Let me be honest on this. Trouble does not always make you better; trouble makes some people bitter. The difference in results is not from what is experienced; the difference is in your reaction or response to the trouble.
Jesus said, “Take heart!” Paul says, “Rejoice!” Romans 5:3 NIV. Blame someone or everyone, or even blame God, for the inconvenient and painful thing you are experiencing and you will become bitter. Turn your heart heavenward, drawing from God’s grace and trusting in God’s care and you can look past the moment and see both short-term and long-term benefits. See 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT.
Here’s the short-term. I love this picture of God given in the Psalms, “Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation . . forget not all His benefits . . Who crowns you with love and compassion.” Psalm 68:19 NKJV/Psalm 103:2-5 NIV.
Here’s the long-term. “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us – they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.” Romans 3:3-5 NLT. Do not lightly regard the priceless value of perseverance, character, and hope. When you face things you wish weren’t, you’ll be glad for these things that are very real.
Here’s the very long-term. “Now if we are (God’s) children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:17-19 NIV. It is true; “Character building always involves a cross – but the end result is always a crown.” See 2 Timothy 4:6-9 NIV.
My prayer for you today is this: successfully go through the tough times, rather than give up.