TRUST GOD TO USE YOUR PROBLEMS FOR GOOD
“We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.” 2 CORINTHIANS 1:8-9 (NLT)
None of us are exempt from suffering. We all experience loneliness, criticism, discouragement, and mistreatment. Why does God allow these things to happen in our world? No one has a good answer to that question, but we can ask a different question: What is God doing when I am suffering? For starters, God is doing the same things for us that God did for Jesus. God redeems our suffering and turns it into something good.
Did Jesus suffer? Was Jesus sometimes lonely? Was he tempted to be discouraged? Was he misunderstood and criticized unjustly? Of course! Does this mean God created those circumstances? No. God is good and does not cause evil or do evil. But when evil assaults us, God redeems it by transforming our character into the character of Christ. As we allow God to walk with us through the pain and darkness of life, God teaches us to trust him. We stop relying on ourselves and learn to rely only on God (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).
God also redeems our suffering when he teaches us how to help others: He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. “When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4.
And God redeems our suffering as he strengthens our relationships with other believers: “You are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.” 2 Corinthians 1:11.
So how can you expect the best from God when you’re going through difficult times?
- In faith, resist discouragement, knowing that God is for you.
- In faith, believe God is with you and working things out for your good.
- In faith, rely on God’s protection and guidance.
WHAT DID YOU HEAR?
What did God say to you as you read today’s Scripture and devotion?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
How does it apply to your life?
WHAT WILL YOU DO?
Don’t just be a hearer of the word. Be a doer of the word. (James 1:22)
NOW TALK TO GOD
This is where you turn your thoughts into prayer. It could be a prayer of gratitude or praise. It could be a prayer of confession or a request for God’s help. It’s up to you. Take a minute to write a prayer of response to what God said to you.