“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
We all have a THIS at one time or another, don’t we? Something hard we’re going through that we would give just about anything to not be going through. Sometimes, in fact, we are so desperate to get out of our hard circumstances that we can’t possibly imagine that there is a PURPOSE IN THIS – a positive one anyway. Not just any old purpose, mind you, but God’s purpose. Could God possibly have a PURPOSE in THIS, we wonder. The details of our THIS’s may be different as our stories and the trials we face may be different, but isn’t it true many if not all of us at times wonder how God can possibly have a PURPOSE in THIS?
Sometimes in our hard places, in our trials and tribulations, in our fiery battles and powerful and seemingly unending storms, in the challenging THIS’s of our lives, we can’t fathom God is working behind the scenes because He does in fact have a PURPOSE in THIS. Like what?
God may be humbling us, testing us, teaching us, growing us, making us more like Himself, conforming us to Jesus, preparing us, showing us how to put into practice what He has already taught us, bringing the Bible to life so it’s not just black print on white pages but our true blueprint for living, teaching others through us, inspiring others through us, and drawing us closer to Himself.
He may be drawing us closer to others, teaching us to reach out for help and to receive it, teaching us to cry out to Him, using us as models for others who will go through something similar, or already are. He may be changing our hearts and working on our attitudes.
He may be making us more compassionate and sensitive to others in their tough tests and trials, purging from our hearts and lives junk that needs to be gotten rid of, leading us to repentance in certain areas, teaching us to depend fully on Him, deepening our trust and faith in Him, showing us what it looks like to love Him and others regardless of our difficult circumstances, helping us to learn how to praise Him in spite of our hard places, etc.
What then should we do as we realize God does in fact have a PURPOSE in the THIS’s of our lives?
LOVE HIM. TRUST HIM. YIELD OURSELVES TOTALLY TO HIM.
CRY OUT TO HIM. SEEK HIM. LISTEN TO HIM. OBEY HIM.
PRAISE HIM. WORSHIP HIM.
REACH OUT TO HIS FOLLOWERS FOR LOVE AND PRAYER.
PRAY TO HIM. STUDY HIS WORD. LIVE BY HIS SPIRIT. LIVE BY HIS WORD.
CALL OUT TO HIM AS MUCH AND AS OFTEN AS WE NEED.
FAST IF HE CALLS US TO FAST.
DRAW CLOSER TO HIM. REJOICE WHEN HE DRAWS CLOSER TO US. FIND OUR STRENGTH IN HIM.
FIND PEACE AND HOPE AND JOY IN HIM AND HIS WORD.
SPEND TIME WITH HIM. SEEK HIS COMFORT. SEEK HIS COUNSEL. FOLLOW HIS COUNSEL. BE FAITHFUL TO HIM.
LOVE HIM MORE THAN ANYTHING OR ANYONE NO MATTER WHAT.
DON’T LIVE BY OUR FEELINGS. LIVE BY FAITH IN JESUS. DON’T GIVE UP BUT HANG IN THERE. PERSEVERE. ENDURE. PRESS ON.
PURSUE HIM RELENTLESSLY, PASSIONATELY, DESPERATELY, DEVOTEDLY.
LET HIS PURPOSE IN OUR THIS’s COME TO PASS IN OUR LIVES. EVEN IN OUR THIS’s, LIVE TO HONOR AND BRING GLORY TO HIS NAME.
In Christ may we find the strength we need. In His love may we rest as we walk through our hard places. May we take comfort and find our peace and hope and joy in Christ as HIS PURPOSE comes to pass in the THIS’s of our lives.