Although God isn’t the source of trouble, following after Christ requires we walk through some troubled times.
Does God intentionally throw trouble on us to make us stronger — or does God work in our lives in spite of them?
I apparently touched on a controversial question when I wrote “Anyone Seen My Blueprints?“. It triggered some pretty awesome conversation in the comments.
One blogger’s response especially caught my eye.
“While I agree completely with the thought that God would not bring affliction to us, I think he does ask us to make difficult choices and to pass through hard times as a result of them.
I don’t know how that all works out exactly, but Paul, for instance, was told point blank that he would be arrested in Jerusalem, but he also knew he had to go.
In other words, God asks us to pass through hard times even if he’s not necessarily the source of the hard times, and he will not abandon us.”
Writer friend, Ed Cyzewski, theologian and author of Coffeehouse Theologyadvanced the ball in this topic of trouble versus trials.
In response, Ed wrote up a post on In A Mirror Dimly, and I cheered. He did an excellent job delineating two things that are often scrunched together.
Are You Going Through Troubles or Trials?
Encountering troubles is as common as catching a cold. It’s a by-product of living.
We’re vulnerable to our bad choices and the ones others make. This is where God works in spite of trouble. He’s promised to make good out of bad in our lives, since we belong to Him. Unconditionally.
If we are following after God’s plan for our lives, we will also be sure encounter trials.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2,3
We can take comfort clearing one thing out of the equation: God does not inflict pain to accomplish His purposes.
We can also add one important point on this: Jesus carries our pain, so we don’t have to suffer alone and He will be with us always (Isaiah 53:5, Matthew 20)
Either way, God is with us in all our troubles and trials. This is in God’s plan.
“If anyone would come after me,
he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and
follow me.” Jesus, Luke 9:24
Could God be prompting you to make a tough decision by faith?
What encourages you to keep going?
Be sure to hop over now to Ed's place and read "The Storms of Life: God, Hard Times, and the Cost of Discipleship". It's a good one. SUBSCRIBE NOW to catch these updates from FaithBarista hot and fresh directly in your mailbox via email (click here) or RSS (click here) news reader.