How God is Working When You Don't Understand
I am probably not the first to tell you that life isn’t easy. Some seasons and circumstances don’t make sense from a worldly perspective. They can leave us confused and with many questions.
However, questions are powerful when they lead you to the truth. Trust in God becomes seasoned, true hope is found, and faith becomes real.
Through any challenging time, we can be encouraged that God is showing us, growing us, and using us in a new way.
God is Showing Us That His Character is Good
Here are three passages from scripture that attribute goodness to God:
One of God’s attributes is that He is omnibenevolent, which means that He is all-loving and all-good. God is working all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Even though we may not be able to see the good in some things for years or for ever--on this side of eternity, we can trust that His plans for us are good.
In the Bible, Job lost a lot that was important to him. He lost his family, his health, and his livelihood but in the end, God blessed him with twice as much (Job 42:10). God’s ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).Through the greatest loss, God still gave back in abundance.
Additionally, what the Bible considers being “blessed” is different from what we would often think of. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus says you are blessed if you are poor in spirit, mourn, are meek, if you hunger and thirst for righteousness, and if you are persecuted (Matthew 5:3-10). If you are struggling, God says you are blessed.
God is Growing Our Faith
No trial is pointless when suffering produces character and hope (Romans 5:3-5). God is far more concerned about the inside than the outside. He cares more about our hearts than our circumstances.
Maybe God is using a difficult situation to develop an aspect of our faith or build a deeper trust in Him. A health issue could create a reliance on God that wasn’t present before, a difficult relationship in our life grows our patience, and a challenging work or school load forces us to be more disciplined. The testing of our faith produces perseverance (James 1:3).
God purposely gives us what we need exactly when we need it. There is a reason Jesus says in the Lord’s prayer “give us this day our daily bread.” Notice He didn’t say the next week's bread or the next year’s bread. This part of the Lord’s prayer shows us that God wants us to trust Him for our every need on a daily basis.
God is Using Your Story to Witness to Someone
God uses our stories to inspire others, encourage others, and even change lives. Knowing that your story makes an impact makes every part of your story worth it. Difficult seasons provide an opportunity to share with others how God has revealed Himself to us and how our faith has been strengthened.
Our struggles can magnify God’s radiance. We don’t necessarily experience hardships as a result of our own sin, but hardships are sometimes allowed so that the works of God can be displayed in us. John 9 is a story about a man who was blind from birth. Jesus’ disciples wondered whose sin caused this. Jesus said that it was not due to his sin or his parents’ sin, but that the blindness happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him (John 9:1-12).
When we have been through a challenging time, we are able to better walk alongside someone else who is facing a similar predicament. We are able to relate to people on a whole new level because of our shared experience. This can be a great source of encouragement and inspiration.
Through the highs and lows, we can be confident that God’s nature is good. Time and time again in the Bible, we see God’s plan unfold with our best interest in mind.
God could also be using a trial to grow our relationship with Him. Trying circumstances prove beneficial if learning to trust in God more is a result.
I’d encourage you to use your story to help others. Testify boldly of the work of the Lord through suffering.
How can your suffering be used for God’s glory?
Comment below the Bible passage that was most impactful to you!