It is natural to prefer to receive blessings than to be put through hardships. What if you have to go through lots of hardships in order to receive the blessings that you hope for? Will you be willing?
There are many reasons why children of God experience hardships. They can strengthen our faith, develop our characters, discipline us and bring us back onto the path of righteousness. It is also part of the journey towards blessing. Hardships, when endured well, advance the Kingdom of God.
There are many wonderful promises of blessings in the Bible. Many Bible heroes of faith had been mightily blessed by God. However, upon close examination of their life stories, their lives were nothing short of hardships.
If you could choose, would you want to live through any of the adversities these heroes of faith experienced? I certainly would not prefer to!
Yet, there is a common storyline in their lives. Even though they suffered a great deal, the Lord delivered them all. C.S. Lewis once said that “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” How true is that! Through those hardships, they became vessels for God and their lives converged to fulfill His Kingdom works.
Abraham became the “father of all nations” and we are his descendants today. David became the greatest king in Israel’s history and God called him “a man after his own heart”. Moses delivered God’s people out of Egypt successfully. Time and again, Daniel’s jealous accusers attempted to frame and destroy him, but to no avail. The setbacks and adversities that Joseph faced were pivotal to his success later on. Even though Job suffered tragically for his faithfulness towards God, he was restored gloriously at the end. Ruth was remembered in the genealogy of Jesus forevermore.
While hardships are tough, they can propel us to fulfill our destiny in Christ!
What hardships do you face today? What if the trials that you go through today is meant to glorify God tomorrow? Nothing in our lives will be in vain if they are turned over to God. When the men and women of faith were confronted with their share of troubles, none of them knew about their victorious future there and then. However, they never lost sight of God. They maintained their faithfulness towards God and persevered to do what is right and pleasing in God’s sight.
One of my favourite songs is Laura Story’s “Blessings”.
Part of the lyrics sing:
“Cause what if Your blessings
come through raindrops
What if your healing
comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments or
the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life –
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise”
My prayer for us is that we will stay strong and not buckle under the weight of our adversities. Turn our sufferings to God with endurance. God is faithful to help us undergo every trial. Our hope is in the Lord. The prospects of your future may look bleak now, but your story is far from over. God has the power to turn your life around!