Devotional: August 3, 2021
All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.
2 Corinthians 1: 3-5 The Message
Why does God allow us to go through tough times? This is a question asked over and over. There are probably many reasons: to build our character, to show us that we need to rely on Him, to keep us humble, or many other reasons. In the end, we may never know why we have to face challenging times. It may well be one of the great mysteries of life.
However, I believe one of the reasons God allows us to experience such struggles has more to do with other people, than with us. Here, the Apostle Paul points to the way in which God allows us to use the stories of our struggles to help someone else. We can presume to know exactly how someone else feels. Yet we can often offer words of assurance from our own struggles.
When a person is facing a time of trial, they often need to and should seek out people who might help them. Enhancing our ability to help one another may be one reason why God allows us to face challenging times.
The amazing thing about doing so is that we often find our own burdens to be a little lighter in the process. What a concept: when we share our burdens, it makes it easier to carry the load. We discover that are not carrying them alone. It's a bit like a teeter totter with the Lord in the center. We are at one end, and those who are walking with us are on the other end, keeping us balanced.
Instead of asking “Why me?” when something bad happens to us, maybe we should ask ourselves, “For what purpose might God be allowing me to go through this difficult time?”
As the scriptures remind us, “we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”
Romans 8: 28 The Message
Almighty Redeemer, and Lord of all,
My life is full of ups and downs. While I thrill at the good times, I agonize over the difficult ones-as You know. Yet I am so thankful that You do not leave me alone, all by myself, to face my times of trial. You are with me! You comfort me, inspire me, and lead me through every challenge. Thank you! After I have emerged on the other side, lead me to those people in need. Be with me as I seek to help them, especially by sharing my experience in trusting You for deliverance and salvation. I pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.