So far we have looked at God’s sovereignty and His providence. His sovereignty means His complete control over everything that happens to us and how nothing surprises Him for He already knows the outcome. That can and should bring us rest and increase our faith and trust in Him. It’s His providence that brings us to the trials and draws us to Him so that we are refined and forever changed. What beauty and comfort there is there!
But God’s love plays a very big part in this too. Sometimes it’s really hard to put God’s love together with the difficult things we face. Especially if the difficult thing is painful, we tend to shake our fists at God and demand to know why a loving God would possibly bring us to what we are experiencing. But the fact that He loves us is exactly why He brings the trials to us.
God’s love is parental love.
If you are a parent, you can most likely relate to this because it is similar in nature to how we train and discipline our own kiddos. How often to we have to tell our kiddos no or make them do something they don’t want to do because we know it’s best for them? Often it’s painful and uncomfortable for them, especially in manners and character training! But we as parents have the perspective to see the long term benefits and we know that they need to develop the skills to be upstanding adult human beings. So we persist and stay strong in making them learn because we love them, right?
It’s the same with our Heavenly Father. He has only our best in mind and that means character training adult-style. It’s His love that produces His providence. It’s His providence that brings the hard times to us. And yes, sometimes He uses the evil in the world for our good. Remember Romans 8:28-29?
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
There is nothing that we experience that isn’t used by God to mold us and shape us. He will use all things to produce the “peaceful fruit of righteousness.”
He knows also that children run to their parents when things are hard for them. And that’s exactly what He wants for us… to run to Him. He loves us and desires us to run to Him when things are hard. He wants to give us His strength when life gives us more than we can handle on our own. He wants to be out parent, thats why He’s also known as our Heavenly Father. God loves us so much. He wants only the best for us and sometimes that means there’s going to be hard times. Just like we want and how it is for our own kids.
I find that extremely comforting. It makes the trials a little less painful knowing that God is doing something good through the pain and discomfort. That is eternal perspective and one that allows me to maintain my joy throughout the hard times.
God’s love gifts the Crown of Life.
Did you know that you can earn the Crown of Life because of your trials? God, in His love, offers a reward when we get to heaven for persevering through the hard trials we experience here on earth. There may not be much reprieve here but this is not our home! And God has so richly provided eternal comfort and reward for His own people. That is something I cling to and my source of hope- that no matter what I am facing here on this sinful, wicked earth will be not only erased and forgotten but richly replaced and rewarded when I get to heaven!
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Our trials produce godly character but our perseverance through them also gives us the reward of the Crown of Life! There is a gift for us based on our response to what God brings our way. If that’s not a direct act of love from our Heavenly Father, I don’t know what is!
God’s love offers assurance of salvation.
I believe, also, that through our trials we can be given the gift of the assurance of our salvation. I have often taken comfort in the hard times knowing that God would not be disciplining me if I was not one of His own. Because I could see changes happening in me and I could feel myself drawing closer to Him through it all, I felt sure that it was God’s hand working in my life.
Maybe for you, your trials are God’s first call upon your life. If you are experiencing difficult times and do not yet know your Heavenly Father, cry out to Him! He’s drawing you to Him. Confess your sin of unbelief and ask Him to save you from your sin and make you whole. Turn from the sin He shows you and don’t look back! There is freedom, my friend, in our savior! Welcome to your new life in Christ, if this is where you find yourself today!
Our trials are a beautiful display God’s love. He brings us trials to bring about maturity in us, to draw us to Him and to give us assurance of salvation. I am oh so thankful for God’s love this week! Join me next week as we wrap up the Thanksgiving series on God and Our Trials. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow!
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