God has your best interest: hardship


There are times in every believer’s life where we experience some kind of hardship. These times can, perhaps, seem so strenuous that we doubt God’s presence in our very lives.

Sure, we recount scriptures like, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5) and “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1), but that does not seem to change our reality. The fact remains, though, that God’s word is the truth, making everything else a lie.

One of the biggest lies is that the turbulent times we encounter in our lives happen without purpose. In fact, these times are essential to molding and refining the person whom God has called us to be. If this was not the case, then the God who orders our steps (Proverbs 16:9) and is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) would simply omit these experiences from our individual narratives.

With this in mind, Romans 8:28 reads, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (KJV). Everything that happens in our lives works for our ultimate good. I say “ultimate” good because, a lot of times, we will not immediately see the fruits of some our most difficult trials. It is in these times where we have to put our trust in God’s word, by standing still and seeing his salvation manifest in our lives.

Our waiting, however, has a sure outcome—we will see the Lord’s salvation! In our waiting, though, it helps to have some revelation of the significance of hardship in our lives.

When I initially planned this post, I was going to talk about persecution. Upon talking to a close friend, I thought better of it. In that conversation, which was premised by the simple question “What is persecution,” I realized that most of the negative experiences we endure cannot be qualified as such.

Persecution is when you are being opposed by an identifiable external force. Paul, for instance, before his conversion, was zealous for the persecution of the Church. I feel that I have to address those who are saying, “Oh, the devil is persecuting me.” Well, that could or could not be true.

In the case of David, while in Saul’s service, the Bible says that “an evil spirit from the LORD” (1 Samuel 19:9) came upon Saul and caused havoc in David’s life. When the children of Israel were about to make their grand exit from Egypt, it was the Lord who told Moses that he would “harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 7:3).

Let’s hold back on contributing our trials to the devil. It could just be God cultivating the ground that is our lives in order to make it fertile and suitable for growth. After all, it was the Holy Spirit that led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil (Matthew 4:1). The Holy Spirit, literally, anointed Jesus so that he could inevitably go and die! Talk about persecution.

I would like to offer two things regarding the preceding examples. First of all, it all worked out for their good! David became the king of Israel after being forced out of a position of subservience into a position of leadership. The children of Israel left Egypt not only experiencing one of God’s greatest miracles (The Red Sea), but they left with an abundance of wealth. Jesus—what more can we say about him—was glorified by God by being raised from the dead, ascending to heaven and seated at the right hand of the Father.

The second is this: their external opposition was ordained by God! Everything that occurred in these three cases was purposeful to each meeting the call of God. It has to work out for good if it corresponds with God’s purpose!

However, most of us are not really being persecuted. At the most, we experience some sort of trial that may probably be able to be downgraded to a mere incident. Jesus, himself, said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

We all experience some type of hardship, saved or unsaved. It is all a part of the fallen creation which we live in. Christians, however, take solace in the fact that they have a God on their side that is with them every step of the way. And after all, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)


~ by christianballenger on September 30, 2011.

One Response to “God has your best interest: hardship”

  1. This was great! And as always this is so tapped into my life. Great job!

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