Hardship

Yesterday I wrote about the problem of evil and how we all are responsible for our own actions. Interestingly, a friend of mine writes a blog and today wrote about hardship and suffering that are outside your control. How many of us have hardened our hearts against God at the loss of a job or even a loved one? How many even become enemies of his? Maybe this describes you.

If so, you may find it incredible to learn that hardship is intended by God to draw you TO him, not away. What do you mean, that God intentionally creates hardship so that people will love him? That’s crazy.

That’s not it at all.

This isn’t Eden.

This isn’t Eden. Originally, God made all things good. He will one day restore his city – for those whom are born again – so that sin and evil no longer exist . For the rest, those who have not bowed to him, he will segregate into the lake of fire where they will spend eternity in torment. See Revelation 20:15. That’s the long-term plan.

In the meantime, there will be plenty of suffering for all. There is something interesting about the way the born again look at this. We have a long-term perspective. In the end, everything will be not just OK but really, really good. Whatever happens in the meantime doesn’t compare.

Why would we believe that? Because of what has happened to us. We repented and had faith in Jesus. We trusted him enough to abandon it all and follow him, and he changed our lives – from the inside out. That’s why the born-again are such nut jobs about sharing the gospel. We can’t but help to share it!

Using hardship to draw us near.

The interesting thing that born-agains are drawn closer to God in times if difficulty. As crazy as it might seem, we look back on some of the hardest trials as good things because of our experience with God. We understand that there is great blessing in hardship.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Shall we wish for hardship? No, but realize instead that trials are not bad. God uses them to draw us closer to him. And that, my friends, is good news.

Let me be clear, this doesn’t apply to those who deny Jesus. Yes, God uses hardship to draw you to him, but he will not bless those who are his enemies – not like he does for the born again. Certainly, you may find a “silver lining” to most any trouble, but that’s nothing compared to resting in God’s arms. Not even close.

Are you experiencing hardship right now? Are you apart from God? Why not surrender completely to Jesus, right here, right now.

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