Grace For The Journey
Ever wonder why we face so much hardship in this life? In a word, the answer is sin. It will not always be this way! When the church is presented to Christ as His bride, the Bible tells us in Revelation 21:4, “And God will wipe way every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. Neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things have passed away.” However, until that glorious day comes, we can expect to deal with hardship in this life.
There is something profound lying just beneath the surface of sin
That needs be understood by every child born of grace.
Thanks to the finished work of Jesus upon the cross and the empty tomb, hardship is never a punishment, penalty, penance, or pain being exacted by an angry God to make believers “right” with Him. Because God’s justice has been fully satisfied in Jesus, our hardship is designed to draw us nearer to Him, not push us further away. Far too many Christians interpret hardship as a sign of God’s displeasure with them, perhaps even of His abandonment – but it is not! God loves you with an everlasting love; hardship is merely a sign of His sanctifying activity in your life.
The Bible says in Revelation 3:19, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”
Hardship in the life of the believer is designed to discipline, develop, and to draw us closer to God, never to discourage and destroy. God uses hardship in the lives of His children for a number of reasons:
- To train us in character.
- To teach us in conduct.
- To turn us from sin.
We must always remember that God’s discipline – which we frequently experience in the form of hardship, trials, storms, and struggles – is never punitive; it is always redemptive, and always intended to cause us to draw nearer to Him.
God is not exacting His “pound of flesh” from us because of our wrongdoing. Jesus paid the price for our sin – all of our sin – on the cross. God will not collect a second time on a debt that has been paid in full. So God is using His holy hardship for His glory and our ultimate good by conforming us to the image and likeness of His beloved Son.
The Bible says in Hebrews 12:10 that God disciplines “for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.”
The fact that hardship is inevitable should not drive us to despair,
Because it is a loving Father who delivers it to us.
God only wants what is best for His children; at times, the only way to achieve that “best” is through the holy hardships of life. God is training us in our character and our conduct, so that we might become ever more useful for the advancement of His Kingdom purposes.
When we are forged in the fire of betrayal, abandonment, loneliness, heartache, false accusations, and denials – just as Jesus was – we are being prepared for greater service in the lives of others who are experiencing the same.
We will be able to empathize with our brothers and sisters in Christ, not merely sympathize. We will be able to minister from the heart – As the Bible puts it in Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, [and] weep with those who weep.” The more we suffer as Jesus suffered, the more we serve as He served . . . forgive as He forgave . . . minister as He ministered . . . and love as He loved.
Our hardship is holy
Because it passes through
The hands of a holy God.
This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey …
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”