The Gift of Challenges
by Michael S. Tyrrell
March 9, 2021
I can tell you with full assurance that the challenges we persevere through DO have good rewards because God is good. He knows the beginning from the end. The full picture. And if we trust Him to get us through it, we can learn much and transform into the person God created us to be–not so that we can pat ourselves on the back and say, “Look at me and how awesome I am because I’ve been through x,y,z,” but so that we can be an extension of His love and goodness to others who need it.
Can you think of a time you went through a dark or difficult time and someone came to you and said, “I know what you’re going through; I’ve been there too. I’m here for you, and you’re going to be okay.” Wasn’t that a huge source of comfort and encouragement?
Now, imagine the opposite scenario. You, desperate and hurting, cannot find a single person who has been there or who can relate. Everyone you come in contact with says, “Wow, that’s awful; I’ve never been there. Good luck with that.” What a hopeless situation!
The good news is that God DOES know and understand our pain, the challenges, and those feelings of isolation that come with them.
The scriptures tell us that Jesus was a man of many sorrows. He went through temptations yet never sinned. He felt pain, loneliness, hunger, misunderstood, betrayed, heartbroken–and He overcame it all. Now He reaches out to us and says, “Take my hand, I won’t leave you…and I will transform you through it.” That transformation comes through the workout we get in the middle of our troubles. It’s like bootcamp.
Picture a young, enthusiastic but inexperienced kid going to a military recruiting office to enlist, and the very next day, he is put out on the battlefield without a lick of training. Disastrous!
Bootcamp may seem super harsh, but it’s actually an incredible kindness. There, all lazy, selfish–deadly–habits are broken; and through a lot of pain, tears and difficulty, they gain strength and the realization that they are a part of something much bigger than themselves.
You are a part of something much bigger than yourself, and yet you are so individually loved and unique!
If we see the challenges in our lives as a gift of training, trust in God and take hold of His hand through them, He will use them to accelerate our development. In turn, we will see beyond ourselves to the bigger picture and stop longing to be rescued from them.
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17
Peace be with you, my friends.
Michael S. Tyrrell
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