Many, many years ago my best friend said, “I don’t know what God has for my life, but it probably sucks.” This was most likely an off-handed response to a chapel speaker sharing how a difficult season resulted in a closer walk with God. This is not a foreign sentiment. C.S. Lewis wrote, “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”
I was reading through a devotional series last spring focused on comfort. The author broke the word down and explained that it meant ‘together-strength.’ The point being that God’s comfort, His strong company, gives us the ability to face tough situations. We have all heard people try and tell us that every X, Y, or Z situation is to teach us something. However, we must be careful with how we view the difficulty in our lives. We can always learn something, but when negative things happen, we can’t just shrug it off as God testing us. Sometimes the hard times we face are the consequences of our own past choices.
Understanding that God’s comfort, His strength, is with us and that hard times can make us stronger can help us answer a more difficult question. I have often asked myself this question: “God how could you let that happen?” Circumstances arise that cause me to question. I often cannot understand why or how God could allow struggle in my life. What I need to hold onto is that regardless of how or why I am experience tribulation, God is still with me. When I think about those times, I remember how God sustained me, it doesn’t matter where the trial came from. All that matters is that my Heavenly Father was with me.
We still live in a fallen sinful world in need of a savior. Paul writes in Romans 8, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” God knows far more we do.
You can just trust Him.