“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

-–Romans 8:18

At what times in your life have you felt the closest to God? When did you experience your greatest spiritual growth? I’m going to venture a guess and say that it was not during a happy or easy time in your life! You see, God uses trials in our lives. They have a specific purpose and are permitted by him.

Now, this might make you think, “That’s not fair. Why did that trial have to happen to me?” That’s a normal response. But here’s the deal. The trials and tests in our lives have an important purpose. They make us stronger and keenly aware of the fact that God is with us.

Just think of the physical testing and trials that athletes must put themselves through. Their training can be excruciating. They have to tear down muscle tissue to build it up.

And what is true for athletes physically is even truer for you and me spiritually. You see, God uses the hard times and the pain and suffering in our lives to strengthen us and to help us grow.

I know you have had tough and painful life experiences. Perhaps even ones that you thought you wouldn’t survive. But think about this: God saw you through! You came through the other side and you are stronger for it.

Don’t ask God for times of smooth sailing and success. Instead, ask him to help you to trust him in every challenge of your life. Ask him to help you recognize his mercy and comfort. And ask him to help you grow so that with each blast of life’s furnace, you are being refined for eternity.

GOD USES THE HARD TIMES AND THE PAIN AND SUFFERING IN YOUR LIFE TO STRENGTHEN YOU AND TO HELP YOU GROW.