by Charles Stanley
If we could design an ideal life, most of us would skip over times of hardship. But Scripture teaches us that God has a purpose in the storms of life.
Cleansing. When problems press in on us, ungodly attitudes and habits tend to surface in our lives. Impatient behavior, a quick temper, or reliance on something or someone other than the Lord may become apparent. In a crisis, the bad habits we previously ignored can show up in ways that are too obvious to overlook. The Holy Spirit will use tough times to smooth away our rough edges and produce the fruit of the Spirit in us. (See Gal. 5:22-23.)
Companionship. When life is good, we may spend less time with the Lord and start taking our relationship with Him for granted. We may even drift off His chosen path. Crises help us see our need for Him as well as our inability to help ourselves. Hard times bring us to our knees in prayer and drive us to seek opportunities for His companionship.
Our heavenly Father’s desire is for us to develop Christlike character and grow in intimacy with Him. He wants us to experience the richness of His love and wholeheartedly show Him devotion. He will use trials and difficulties to accomplish His good purposes for us.
Life brings trouble to us from many sources. But the common thread in all trials is the Lord’s desire and ability to use them for our good and His glory. Through these experiences, we can let go of ungodly traits and experience sweet communion as we walk in intimacy with Him.