None of us jump up and down with excitement when hard times come. Why not? Duh, because they’re hard! Difficulties drain us physically, emotionally, and mentally. We grieve over loss. We worry about lack of finances and wayward children. We struggle with illness and pain.
Suffering in this life is a reality that all of us face at one time or another. It is also the single greatest reason we question God’s ways and doubt His goodness. Although I certainly don’t have all the answers, God’s Word does have a lot to say about this issue. Today, I’d like to show you some things I read yesterday in Deuteronomy. These truths help me. Maybe they will be an encouragement to you.
In Deuteronomy 8 Moses is preparing the second generation of Egyptian-freed Israelites to enter the Promised Land. In verses 1-5, Moses details how God used those 40 years they wandered around in the wilderness. Remember, the wilderness was a tough place. Food and water were scarce. They had no place to call home. They were surrounded by people who didn’t like them very much.
But here, 40 years later, Moses points out some specific benefits of their wilderness wanderings:
- God used it to develop humility in them. (Deut 8:2)
- God used it to shape their character by testing it again and again. (Deut 8:2)
- God used it to reveal whether or not the people would choose to obey Him. (Deut 8:3)
- God used it to make them dependent on Him. (Deut 8:3)
- God used it to teach them that He provides everything. (Deut 8:17)
God worked through their trials to teach, shape, and mold their faith and character. And all throughout He sustained them and cared for them. Their “clothes did not wear out” and their “feet did not blister or swell.” (Deut 8:4).
What trial are you facing today? How is God sustaining you in the middle of it? What could He possibly want to teach you?
Drop back by on Thursday for a further look into Deuteronomy 8 and find out why God says that times of material prosperity are so spiritually dangerous.
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God works through all things. I like to say that during the difficult times, God is building testimonies! When we look for God’s hand at work when we are struggling or suffering, we will see it and He will help us. Afterward, when He has led us out of that time, it is such a joy to be able to share what He has done and hopefully be an encouragement to others.
Joan, you are so right! Thank you for adding that this morning.