How to Turn Hardships into Blessings
Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
“Lord, why?” What Christian hasn’t asked that question when faced with suffering and hardship.
Back in the day, I heard folks say, “You shouldn’t question God.” I ruled that old wives’ tale out a long time ago. There’s no Biblical precedent for it, no reason at all not to take that question to the Lord.
Our focus text in Job speaks of God’s correction, the “discipline of the Almighty.” It’s only natural for us to wonder if our hardship is punishment for sin. And for many of us, we can identify a sin from our past worthy of divine retribution.
Regardless of what we THINK could be the reason, God wants us to view all hardship as discipline.
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined — and everyone undergoes discipline — then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Hebrews 12:7-8
Besides viewing hardship as God’s discipline we can be comforted knowing that “God disciplines us for our good.” (Hebrews 12:10) And because “the Lord disciplines the one he loves.” (v6)
A verse later we learn that hardship “produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (v11)
Not that you and I will ever say, “Oh, boy. More trouble. Isn’t that wonderful?” But we can be comforted in knowing God allowed it in our lives for our good, out of His love, and that we can benefit from it.
In times of difficulty, we will benefit by moving passed the WHY question to those that will help us accomplish God’s objective which is training. Ask:
- What can I learn from this situation?
- What is God trying to teach me in this predicament?
- How can this situation be used for God’s glory?
Understandably, there will be times when all you can do in hardship is grieve. Suffering is so overwhelming you can do little more than exist. But gradually, as God lifts you up, ask Him to teach you, grow you, and help you to use your ordeal for His glory.
When you adopt this mindset, don’t be surprised when you come in contact with someone who is experiencing hardship similar to what you’ve gone through. God placed that hurting man or woman there for you to share your story of the Lord’s faithfulness to His promises.
Are you in the midst of hardship? You’ve been praying for God to help, but have you asked Him to use your situation to train you in the faith, grow you as His servant, and use it to His glory? Why don’t you do that right now?
For more on this topic, check out this article: How God Works for Us Behind the Scenes
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.