2 Corinthians 4:5-18
There's no such thing as a trouble-free life, but something within us still expects it. There are even those who think that when a person becomes a Christian, God removes the difficulties from his or her life. It's not long before disappointment sets in, as they discover that instead of less trouble, they may have more. This could be because God is in the process of cleansing and changing old attitudes and habits that do not fit in a believer's life.
Salvation is the beginning of a lifelong process of transformation. There are areas in our life that need to be sanded, sifted, and shaped into Christlikeness, and trouble is one of God's most effective tools. The men and women of Scripture whom God used greatly were those who endured hardship and responded correctly.
For example, the apostle Paul gave his entire life to serve Christ. He founded and encouraged many churches, answered difficult theological questions, and wrote many of the epistles in the Bible. Yet his sufferings exceed anything most of us have endured. It seems unfair of God to let him go through so much hardship, but it was the suffering that shaped and equipped him to be such an effective servant of Christ. Without it, he wouldn't have developed an intimate relationship with God or been used so mightily.
I don't know what you're going through right now, but I'm sure God can use it to draw you to Himself. Every difficulty demands a choice. You can waste your suffering and be miserable, or you can let the Lord use it to transform and equip you to become His valuable and effective servant.
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