2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV)
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
My purpose in life is in part shaped by the
trials and challenges I face. And it’s not just
the “Holy” trials or “Big” tests that transform us. All troubles are achieving something for us through God’s intimate
attention and transforming power in our lives.
That ‘something’ is
eternal and glorious, something that makes troubles them seem insignificant in hindsight. From the discomfort of minor sickness, to the confrontation of persecution, to messy icky personal problems. It is important for mature Christians to reconcile this idea in their own
minds and hearts: all types of opposition to God’s purposes and goodness, all evil, all that is dark and destructive – God will triumphantly use to make good His purposes and to demonstrate his wonderful love for those that are his (see also Romans 8:28). Don’t be
confused, God is not the source of evil. God is not a jerk, creating problems on the one hand and then, ‘abra-ka-dabra’, making something good out of the mess like pulling a coin from behind our ear. Instead, God truly knows all our human struggles personally. Jesus knew (and knows trouble). He knew pain, discomfort, betrayal, boredom, tiredness, irritability, attacks, torture, death! Jesus can empathise with us properly, the big things and the small things. The troubles Jesus faced were momentary and evaporated in the glory of what it all came to be: triumph on the cross and over death – throwing open the salvation door
for the entire universe! And Jesus is God!
Are we comfortable with the knowledge that we will face troubles in our Christian lives? Are we ‘ok’ with the reality that having Jesus in our hearts is not a ticket to easy street? More importantly, are we excited by the prospect that, despite troubles and challenges, we are purposed to be involved in God’s great plans appearing and coming true on earth? This is a bitter-sweet thing. The ache from attacks, hurts, loss, problems and damage in our lives is all too real, and often very hard to ignore or get past. But they are temporary. God will use them, God will convert them into productive forces for shaping the good purpose of our
lives. This purpose is eternal, invaluable and something to be deeply happy about!
Written by Sam Stewart