Trials with purpose

This past Sunday we learned that while people usually expect satisfaction in life to result from the successful achievement of some goals they have set for themselves, the real and sustainable satisfaction comes from accomplishing God’s will for one’s life.

Even when we are aware of this and focus on pursuing God’s will, many times we associate periods of satisfaction, happiness and well-being with God approving of us (of the way we conduct our lives) and periods of trouble and difficulties with God disapproving or punishing us. But the Bible gives us a better, healthier, and in the end, the true, perspective on how we should look at our challenging moments in life.

James (1:2) tells us to “count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” and Peter (1:7) adds that ”for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials” –  all with the greater purpose of increasing our faith, enabling our holiness and us becoming more like Jesus. Knowing this, we should be able and willing to not exclude periods of trials and troubles from the “satisfaction of life”, as they really are part of God’s plan for us, part of His desire to make us holier, more steadfast in faith and more loving of Him.

At his turn, Paul gives us in the book of Romans the bigger picture we ought to keep before our eyes when going through difficult times, as “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose”. God really does have a purpose for each of us and accomplishing it will not always be a walk in the park. But everything that happens while living to attain that purpose is not only worth it but is meant to happen. We are called to embrace these times and satisfy our souls in knowing that problems draw God’s presence.

If you love and trust the Lord, but your life is currently (or often) taking a course on bumpy roads, remember God knows it, sees it and even allows it, so that in the end you will emerge as a more loving, more patient, holier, better person, closer to God who “might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.” (Deut 8:16).

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