I recently heard this quote while listeing to a message by Dr. John Piper, “In reality our pain and losses are always a test of how much we treasure the all wise God in comparison to what we have lost.”
In Deuteronomy 13:3-4 it is written, “The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the Lord your God you must follow, and Him you must revere. Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and hold fast to Him.”
I find out where my heart really is through hardship and difficulty. Thus Pr 24:10! When hard times hit, THEN the true quality and strength of my faith in God will be manifest. If I abandon Him, then I have only wanted God for the blessings and things He gives. I have not valued HIM over the THNGS He gives. God has been a servant… a Santa Clause… a personal assistant rather than who He should be… the LORD of my life.
Larry Crabb has written, “Every event of life is God calling us to a closer walk with Him.” Suffering is God’s way of getting rid of the dross in our lives. It is His way of cutting through the fog and window dressings down to the bedrock of faith. It is how He reveals TO US if we love Him versus the benefits we receive from Him. There IS a difference!
Dwell on Piper’s statement. Reflect on Proverbs 24:10. Consider Larry Crabb’s words. Contemplate the possibility of Deuteronomy 13:3-4.
God has purposes for our suffering! Instead of just saying… “I know God has me here for a reason,” let’s be proactive in discerning what that reason is. We should consider the possibilty that it is God’s way of drawing us closer to Him.
I close with a passage from Habakkuk 3:17-19, “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. 19 God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places.” (ESV)