Your good and His glory
Many of the people we admire in Scripture were badly treated. And God allowed it to happen. For example, Daniel was thrown to the lions and Joseph was put in prison. They did nothing to deserve it. The Bible says: ‘If you suffer for doing good and endure it, this is commendable…To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps’ (vv. 20-21 NIV). We’re ‘called’ to overcome difficulties. There’s purpose in our pain. And nothing can touch us without first passing through our loving God’s hands. He anticipated it all, and everything we’re going through right now is preparing us to serve Him more effectively. Paul said, ‘At my preliminary hearing no one stood by me. They all ran…But it doesn’t matter – the Master stood by me and helped me spread the Message’ (2 Timothy 4:16-17 MSG). Paul didn’t see it as simply enduring, he saw it as advancing. So when we’re facing difficult circumstances we can feel encouraged; we’re growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord (have a read of 2 Peter 3:18). We’re in the preparation process. It’s important to remember that God’s not the source of our pain, He may have allowed it to happen but that’s because He knows we’ll grow through it, and He’ll be glorified through it. He can turn any situation we’re facing into something good. Romans 8:28 says: ‘In all things God works for the good of those who love him’ (NIV). So, whether God takes us out of the situation or brings us through it, we need to trust Him. He’s working for our good and His glory.
If you’re in a tough situation, write out ‘God’s working for my good and His glory’, and read it every time you’re struggling to keep trusting.