God’s Purpose in Trouble


       It is inevitable in our Christian walk that we will encounter seasons of difficulty. Some people assume that walking with the Lord takes away the afflictions of this world. We might assume that God would only use those difficulties to punish people in their sin. He brings the clouds to punish people, or to water his earth and show his love. (Job 37:13) Let’s consider that God uses the difficulties of people’s lives to draw them closer to Him. Not only to draw the lost to Jesus and reconciliation with Him, but also to draw His children closer.

       God has no need to create punishment for those who walk in darkness. All He has to do is let their decision to turn from Him, into the darkness, leave them in a despair of their own doing. A life absent of God is all the pain most people need when all of their human effort fails. When all earthly securities fail there is a loving Father waiting with open arms to shine His light into their lives.

       The most important thing for believers is to make sure they turn to God when life becomes difficult. God uses all things for the good of those who love Him. Part of loving Him is the obedience found in reliance on His provision and perfect plan for your life. The times of trouble in our lives leave us with a big decision: turn to God or turn to the things of this world that are destined to fade. We can turn to the eternal or the temporary. Our treasure can be gathered here or in Heaven. Turning to God in a difficult season is not a onetime choice but a daily decision as the deceiver looks to draw you away from God in your desperation for immediate relief. Beware of turning to evil, which you seem to prefer to affliction. (Job 36:21) Look to God’s purpose, which is growing the faith of His chosen. Let hard times draw you to love God in deeper ways. Make relationship with God the result of troubles.

Tempted in All Ways (3 of 4)


Jump from the Pinnacle of the Temple

The second temptation of the deceiver is for Jesus to prove His identity and throw Himself from the top of the temple so that He would be rescued by the angels (Psalm 91:12) Again Jesus responds with God’s Word: You shall not put the Lord your God to the test (Deuteronomy 6:16) What could this illustration tell us about broader temptations we all face? We are tempted to do things ourselves and then wonder why God doesn’t come in and save us from our mistakes without consequence. We don’t always feel like we are looking to ‘force God’s hand’ but we follow our own will and expect God to clean up the mess. God gave us free will so that our love for Him would be voluntary and real. God doesn’t force anyone into the loving relationship He desires for all of His children. He chooses that we are allowed to come willingly and most of the time we don’t turn to Him until out sinful nature and self-will hurt us and remind us that we weren’t meant to walk a path different from the one God design for us and designed us for. If God didn’t allow the consequences for self-reliance, we would all run head long into risk without any regard for the danger involved. We would never have a reason to walk in a consistent, loving, reliant relationship with God. He would be reduced to a gene that was called on when our self-sufficiency finally caught up to us. Imagine as a parent your child ignored all of your direction but ran to you as soon as they got into trouble that you had advised against. God’s love and grace cover our ignorance but His heart is for us to live a better life that gives us joy and glorifies Him. Don’t fall into temptations to that are represented here by a leap that our Savior resisted for the glory of the Father and the salvation of His followers.