“We confess before Thee that if life were all smooth, there would be no patience; were it all easy, no courage, no sacrifice, no depth of character. We acknowledge before Thee that what is most admirable is the child of adversity and of courageous souls unafraid to face it.”-Rev. Harry Emerson Fosdick
One of the basic truths that I cling to when I am going through difficult and challenging times is that God ultimately wants to use that time and circumstance to move me closer toward Jesus.
It is those crucibles that God uses to bend my heart and will to His. He wants to drive me to the cross and to be surrendered in utter and complete dependence.
C.S. Lewis said that God uses pain and trials as a megaphone to get our attention and speak to us. (Tweet This)
One of the ways that God uses trials and difficulties is to continually expose the idols of my heart. I often respond to God like the older brother in the parable of the Lost Son in Luke 15. During difficult times I'll respond to the Father, just like the older brother, with anger, fear and frustration. Because, like the older brother, I am saying to God- "I've obeyed you!...I've done what you've asked!...God you owe me!...I don't deserve this!"
What foolishness and arrogance. I am often brought to my knees in repentance that I would treat God like a giant vending machine. That kind of "older-brother" thinking suggests that if I put in a dollar's worth of piety, obedience and holiness then God, who simply serves as the divine vending machine, needs to then cough up the product, service or demand that I paid for.
What foolishness!! God can't be controlled, rather He is to be loved. Our relationship with God is a relationship built and bound in love. I pray that during times of difficulty and trials my love and affection for God would go deeper even still.
"We love because He first loved us" -1 John 4:19