Never in Vain

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT)
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

The trials and tribulations that we endure as children of the King are never in vain. Jesus Christ did not tell us that life would be easy. We’re going to have troubles, even when we think we’re doing all the right things. Our Redeemer told the disciples in John 16:33(NIV), I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” The world is competitive, ruthless, power-hungry, dark, and full every kind of evil. People can be cut-throat and will do just about anything to get ahead. But as wicked as this world is, it is also the backdrop for which the victory we have in Christ is lived and sustained. So, even though we might have trouble, we can rest in our Savior’s peace and have faith in him. He will comfort us when we run into challenges and obstacles, but make no mistake, there will be times when we simply must patiently endure.

There’s no question that the Christian walk can seem like a roller-coaster ride. As soon as we discover that we need to release something so that we can go higher in Christ, we’ll discover something else not long after that we need to nail to the cross. This is life! It is continually providing opportunities to exercise our faith in God and to look at ourselves through the eyes of Christ. When life does this, it can take us a while to understand that although the enemy sent trouble to knock us down, God will turn it around and use it for our good. This is what Romans 8:28 tells us. We must be confident that there’s nothing we endure that God doesn’t know about. He had the solution long before the problem showed up, and we must be patient as He works everything out.

A deer in headlights

When troubles come, many of us respond like a deer in headlights. We freeze. We’re inundated emotionally, and it takes us a minute to get our bearings. Some of us will even go to God and question Him about why He allowed the thing to happen in the first place. Many believers were taught that God punishes people and causes them to suffer. Because of this, some people have an inaccurate image of our Great Big Wonderful God. They see Him as an angry God who waits for opportunities to put the hammer down when we make a mistake. This is wrong believing. It is not the truth, and God is in no way like this. 1John 4:16(NIV) says, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” God is love, and everything He does is out of His overwhelming and unconditional love for us all.

We know better now, but when things go terribly wrong, some of us revert back to that old way of thinking and try to blame our Heavenly Father for our troubles. We must be clear about the culprit of spiritual attacks. These come from the devil, who looks for openings to disrupt our lives, and sometimes, he finds one. 1Peter 5:8(NIV) warns, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” When we’re not as alert as we could have been, troubles can help to show us the opening in our armor so that we can tighten up.

Lesson learned

When we endure hardships, God will bring us through, but He expects us to grow from what our troubles have taught us. They are designed by the enemy to trip us up, but God will turn what the devil meant for bad for our good. He will use it to strengthen us, and to receive the glory from our greater faith and tighter relationship with Him. God always provides a way of escape for us. Everything we endure, from the blessings down to the hardships, is for the glory of God.

Be assured that our Heavenly Father can cause our troubling situations and circumstances to be a blessing for us. So, we must never ever underestimate His power, or His willingness and ability to use it on our behalves. The reality that must not escape us is that we are our greatest asset when it comes to patiently enduring and keeping our faith anchored in God. He wants our wavering faith to transform into a firm faith in Him. He wants us to learn the lesson our tribulation can teach us so that we do not find ourselves facing the same situation repeatedly. If we keep our minds focused on God through prayer and meditating on His Word, and if our hearts are expectantly eager to hear from Him, God will answer our questions about the why and how, and He will set our feet on higher ground.

It may sound a little strange, but we can rejoice in the Lord as we patiently endure hardships. Romans 5:3-5(NLT) says, “3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Nothing that we do for God is in vain, and He will help, heal, and restore us from all the troubles we endure. Our faith will be put to the test, but it will come out shining like pure gold as we witness God’s amazing grace, and His willingness to help us continually grow stronger in Christ.■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“Never in Vain”, written for© 2023. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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