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When Trouble Comes: Don't Waste It

For He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the
afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from Him
but has listened to His cry for help.
Psalm 22:24

My final advice to a younger me would be: When trouble comes, don’t waste it. It is hard to understand the benefit of trouble, especially in the midst of it, but the Bible identifies several ways God uses suffering and trial for good.

At times God will allow you to face pressure, difficulties or suffering to test your character. Now, He already knows everything about you, for He is Omniscient. However, He wants to reveal to you what is inside. When you are squeezed, that which is inside comes forth. Even as silver and gold must be refined to be pure, so God will refine you. See I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction (Isaiah 48:10). When Christlikeness is revealed, praise God for His work in you! When dross is revealed, turn to God with a repentant heart. He wants to develop His character in you (Romans 5:3-5).

Sometimes God will allow difficulty to teach you more about His character or His ways. The Psalmist said, It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees (Psalm 119:71). If you never go through difficulty or suffering, you will never know God as your Comfort, your Sustainer, your Shield or your Deliverer.

Finally, God may allow suffering in your life for no other reason than that He may be glorified (John 9:3). You were created to glorify God (Isaiah 43:7); and so, God will provide opportunities for you to accomplish your purpose. Suffering presents an opportunity to display God’s power, God’s comfort, God’s faithfulness and numerous other attributes of God. You will only suffer in this life, not in heaven. So use your suffering to glorify God.

When trouble comes, don’t waste it. Turn to God. Remember that He has allowed this difficulty for your good and His glory. Cling to God. Allow His transforming work to take place and in all ways exalt Him.

Father, in this life of trials, may I seize every opportunity to use my suffering for Your glory. Amen.

Jan Burkhart

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