We all can be sure of one thing–everyone experiences hard times.
Our heroes of the faith all experienced hard times. Hebrews 11 is filled with examples of faithful people who struggled with the hard times of life.
What can we know about hard times? Here are four things we can know about the struggles of life.
First, life never quite turns out the way we expect. We all have dreams and plans, and no one plans for hard times.
Mary and Joseph certainly would not have dreamed life would turn out the way it did. Paul experienced constant struggle because he did right. Jesus especially suffered pain and sorrow because of a sinful world.
Second, struggles allow us to live out our faith. When Satan accused Job, he said that Job did right so that God would reward him. Many people think like Satan. Good times don’t show our faith, but hard times always gives us the chance to live out our faith. In hard times, we can be examples for Christ.
Third, struggles produce strength of character. James, the half-brother of our Lord and the leader of the church in Jerusalem, said we should count trials of any kind as “pure joy.” He told us how God uses our trials for good. The testing of our faith produces perseverance. Perseverance works with us so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything (James 1:2-4). Most of my Christian growth has come as a result of some hard time in my life.
Fourth, whatever we experience in this life is nothing compared to what God has stored up for us. “For I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).
We can trust God. He is good, and He cares for us. No matter what happens in life, God is working all of this for our eternal good.
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