Have you ever gone through a rough time in life, but later realized that God was actually trying to show you something about yourself through the experience? While it is true that God is love, He will sometimes use affliction and difficult situations to get your attention and cause you to focus on Him. Often, there is an area of your character that needs development. This may be a hard concept for some of us to accept, but even though God is a loving and merciful Father, He will allow us to go through things in order to discipline us and bring us into closer fellowship with Him.
Some people think that every trying circumstance is “from the devil” but this simply isn’t true. When I began to research the Word, I discovered there were people who went through trials and emerged better and more prepared to do God’s work. In the midst of challenges, they cried out to Him and learned to trust His sovereignty.
The prophet Jonah ignored God’s directions for His life, and had to go through a horrific situation before he acknowledged God and became willing to obey Him (Jonah 1–2). He cried out to the Lord in the midst of his affliction. God rescued him and he went on to fulfill God’s plan for his life. The Apostle Paul’s faith was strengthened and he learned the value of perseverance for the Kingdom of God through the things he suffered for the gospel (2 Corinthians 11:22–27; 2 Corinthians 4:8).
Trials also allow you the opportunity to exercise your faith. Just as a body builder cannot build bigger, stronger muscles without applying intense pressure to them, neither can you become a spiritual, faith giant unless you experience situations that force you to trust God’s Word. Psalm 119:71 says, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes” (The Amplified Bible). Our heavenly Father will allow us to go through things so that we can develop a relationship with His Word.
God allows trials in our lives because:
1. He loves us and wants us to be healed.
Many times our healing is in the midst of our challenges. It is there that we discover how and where we need to change, grow and be healed from past hurt and pain.
2. He wants our attention.
God loves us so much that when He sees us going in the wrong direction, He will allow something to happen that gets our attention and causes us to turn around. Then, He can show us a better way of doing things.
3. He wants every hindrance that keeps us from being fully yielded to Him, removed.
How do we know we have made certain things or people idols? We know when we are giving more attention to them than God. He will allow a trial to take place in your life to remove every hindrance that’s stopping you from focusing on your relationship with Him.
4. He wants us to love Him.
I know when rough times have occurred in my life, I was forced to increase my personal time with the Father and show Him I loved Him. At the end of the ordeal, I was much closer to God than I was before.
Don’t be so quick to blame every trial on the devil. Instead, examine your life and look for areas in which you may have let some things slip where your relationship with God is concerned. Allow Him to show you where you may have missed it and be quick to repent and turn around. Use trials as opportunities to grow spiritually and exercise faith. You will always come out the victor!
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