We must go through times of trial and tribulation. Why? Why I always ask am I going through this?! If GOD loves me... I know you know what I mean... Unless you are more spiritually mature than I am. If you are you know why. You know these times are not times of punishment or abandonment, but these are times of growth. It's taking me a while to understand.
When I was a much younger Christian I thought that God was punishing me for some wrong I had done. Now looking back I can see how the sin in my life then had natural consequences and just because I was now a christian did not mean I got away with my sin... You reap what you sew no matter who you are.
I guess at some point I "grew" out of that way of thinking... Don't get me wrong I know God disciplines those he loves, but he does not punish... But, for sometime now I have been in this cycle of thinking that if I served God and followed his commands then He owed me a life of ease and freedom from frustration and pain... I know it is sounds foolish to me too, but that's where I've been. I guess I overlooked all the wonderful people in my life who had experienced hardships. I guess I also overlooked the pain that my Savior endured on the cross... I mean the bible even says He was a man of many sorrows. Or what about the martyrs who have been murdered for their faith in Christ. Or the apostles who suffered and Paul who had many troubles that he said didn't even compare to the promise of heaven...
You get the picture... Recently God had revealed in my heart why he is allowing different hardships or trials or whatever you want to call them. And the amazing thing is I actually see it working to some extent I guess now that I know the reason I should be more open to this process. This morning as I was reading God showed me this verse. I have read it a thousand times, but I didn't really GET IT until now.
Romans 5:3-5 "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation produces patience; and patience, character; and experience, hope: and hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
He loves us too much to allow us to stay the way we were. I'm so thankful that God is faithful to complete the work that He started in me so long ago. I'm thankful that He knew this was going to be a long process and that He has been so patient with me. I'm thankful that the testing of my faith is making me stronger. I'm thankful that when I feel so weak that Jesus is so strong. I'm thankful that one day there will be no more pain and no more sorrow, but for now the pain and sorrow is doing a work in my heart that would not be done otherwise. To God be the Glory for the great things He has done.
God has also shown me that for me it's only when things get bad that I look up and seek God.