We know life is hard. That’s a given. We also know God is good. Somewhere along the way we’ve gotten this whole God-thing mixed up and we think that because God is good, if we accept Him as our Savior, life won’t be hard for us.
We assume life with God will be a blessed and easy ride with no bumps or bruises. I’m here to tell you, that’s a huge lie.
Life is still going to be hard. We are human. We won’t make the right choices. Our children and other loved ones won’t make the right choices and maybe in the great scheme of things, we don’t even want them to.
Think about it this way, it’s through suffering the consequences of the wrong choices we make that we learn God is good. God is forgiveness. God is grace. His ways are always right, even when we don’t abide by them. God is the only one who will help us get out of the messes we’ve made of our lives.
Our messes lead us straight to God. We try to teach our children not to make the same mistakes we have. The truth is, if they don’t make a few mistakes, they will never understand the real consequences of going the wrong way down a one-way street.
I heard a story about a dad and his 15-year-old son who were out hunting. They saw a huge buck, a rare occasion for their area. The boy rose his gun to shoot the deer. The dad said, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” The boy said, “But Dad I’ve never had such a chance.” The dad said again that it wasn’t a wise choice.
The boy shot the buck and it tumbled down a steep hill. The dad got out of the truck and threw the boy a rope. Then the dad got back in the truck.
All day the dad sat in the truck watching his son become a man as the son hauled the buck up to the truck. When the boy was done, he experientially understood why the dad said it wasn’t a good idea.
We have all done the same thing. We don’t really learn the whys in life until we make a wrong choice. Then. the outcome gets solidified in our minds and likely we won’t do it again.
Perhaps this is why God allows us to make wrong choices. We might say we want Him to take the cookie out of our hands, but He never will. We may hear that still, small voice asking us, “What are you doing” as we are about to take a bite, but He will not override our free will.
If we never fail, we will never learn to listen to God. He has nothing but good plans1 for us. He is not limited by time and space like we are. He can see the ramification of our choices down through the ages. He even knows if we are going to listen to Him or not, but He still warns us because He wants the best for us.
It’s not because He wants us to be His slaves. It’s because He wants us to choose to follow Him in all things. He wants us to say and understand, “I will walk with You in complete freedom for I seek to follow Your every command.”2
God gives us free will so that we can be free to follow Him and live an abundant life. Our difficulties, our failures, our hard times build character in us as we trust in God and His promises.
It’s this character, this experience, this wisdom that we take with us to heaven. It’s what is being solidified into our soul and spirit right now.
We rejoice with God in the hard times because when faith is tested it stirs up power within us to endure all things. Then when endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of us until there is nothing missing or lacking.3
Do we run when trials come or do we hold tight to Jesus? Do we moan and complain when we can’t seem to get anything right or do we ask God to help us? Do we collapse in the overwhelming stress and sadness or do we surrender completely to the comfort of the Holy Spirit?
It’s in these moments our character is formed. It is purified in the fire and comes out gold, which can never be taken from us.
“Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.”4
Life is hard, no doubt about it. But God is good. He leads us to become like pure gold.
P.S. Overcomers Community is open for new members. Join before Monday, Jan. 29 to be part of our monthly webinar. Learn all about it here: https://TeresaShieldsParker.com/Overcomers-Christian-weight-loss-group. I will see you in the group.
1Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
2Psalm 119:45 TPT
3James 1:2-4 TPT
41 Peter 1:7 MSG