Everything that happens in our lives happens for a reason. Each challenge has a divine purpose.
“Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).
This means that everything that happens in our lives can be used or should be used in such a way that will help us grow stronger spiritually and get closer to God. We are to accept all that comes to our way gratefully and cheerfully, having complete and childlike trust in our Lord. We need to constantly remind ourselves that ultimately everything is going to work out for our spiritual good. It is very important to remember that God never abandons us. He is always a prayer away from us.
Though during times of trial and tribulation, we may feel He is not with us, but in reality, He is. We just need to understand that life is not about living it without problems or trying to fix immediately everything that is broken. It is about making sure that we always maintain our inner peace, joy, and stillness no matter what we are going through.
“And we know that in all things (or “all things together”) God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
The first thing we see in this passage is a promise “And we know that…” This is assurance. He doesn’t say, “we hope” or “we wish,” but “we know.” You may ask, how can we have this kind of assurance when our experiences have been so painful? We know not by looking at events but by knowing God and His Word and that He loves us.
Also, it is mentioned “In all things…” and not “some things” or “most things.” There are no exceptions, including all the bad and the good, times of poverty and prosperity, and seasons of success or suffering. The word “in” or “together” reminds us that we can know these truths at the last chapter of our lives or the end of our lives or even at the Last Day. So, we need to have some patience. “…God works for the good…” God is always at work, whether we see Him or not.
He is the ruler, and He is either causing all things or allowing all things to happen.
What about good? Most of us define “good” differently than God does. We like to feel good, to have good health, to have a good job, a good house, and to be in good relationships. In short, we think the “good life” means a better set of circumstances, certainly better than we have right now. However, we often don’t know what is good for us:
“For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes through like a shadow?” (Ecclesiastes 6:12).
God certainly knows what is good for us. With that in mind, even problems can be profitable. Why? Because God’s good for us is not our comfortability, but our conformity to Christ.
He is more committed to our holiness than to our happiness. He worries more about our inner and deeper spiritual joy rather than material successions and external happiness. If you are having a problem today, remember that God’s plan is bigger than your problem and He is incomparably and more powerful than your challenges. We need to ask God to give us patience. We need to wait until the end of the difficult chapters of our lives to see His propose so that we can feel the joy and fulfillment of all the hopes and trust that we’ve put in Him.
We are to seek joy and not happiness; for the latter is temporal, easily affected and primarily built on external things. On the other hand, joy is internal and eternal; it is not affected by external matters.
One night a man had a dream that he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Scenes from his life flashed across the sky. For section, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: One belonging to Him and other set was God’s footprints. When the last scene of His life flashed before Him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand and noticed that many times along the path of His life there was only one set of footprints. He also realized that these were the moments which were the lowest and saddest times of His life.
This really bothered Him and He questioned God. He mentioned that God had said, once he had decided to follow God, God will always walk with him. So the man told God “I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand that when I needed you the most, you had left me alone.” God responded, “my precious, precious child, I Love you and I would never leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
Our Good and Loving Lord never turns His back on; we tend to leave God alone, but He is always with us through everything: during good times and bad!
When we are facing challenges, God is carrying us in His arms.