Links Daily Devotional

Meeting Trials with God’s Goodness

…but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4, NIV)

If we embrace the things that come against us as part of the process of becoming whole and more resilient, we will go a long way toward understanding God’s purpose in allowing it in our life.It’s been an unusual summer here in Oklahoma. We had incredible rainfall in May, extreme heat in June and July, and are on tap to have record-breaking rainfall in August. All of that has proved to be very trying to the course superintendents who are trying to keep the greens alive and healthy through such extreme conditions. They have lots of tricks, but one that seems to work well is to aerate the greens. This process of apparent destruction results in new growth and renewal and helps the greens survive the extremes of weather.

I see a parallel to this same process in our life. Our verse today describes something that none of us like to think about. We are all buffeted by the circumstances that surround us; unless we are strong, we could easily be overcome and defeated by the trials that come our way.

Now here is a big question: How does what we believe about God’s goodness affect our reaction to things that come against us?

We first must believe that God is good and that his overarching purpose for us is one of hope and redemption. That being said, trouble comes to everyone. No one escapes sadness and heartache, disappointment and failure. Christians are not promised an easy life, but God does promise that we can be overcomers in all things. How do we reconcile God’s love for us and the trials and tribulations he allows in our life?

We start by accepting the fact that God sees purpose in what he allows to happen to us. He does not cause us to have trouble, but he does allow us to experience those things that will make us stronger—not because he does not care for us, but precisely because he does. The apostle Paul in our scripture for today clearly sees a role in our suffering. He saw it as a process that would ultimately result in hope and renewal.

God uses the hard things that come against us to help us grow stronger, to learn to be patient, to develop our character, and to give us hope for the future. If we embrace the things that come against us as part of the process of becoming whole and more resilient, we will go a long way toward understanding God’s purpose in allowing it in our life.

Just as the greenskeeper punctures the green to preserve its life, suffering works out in us the things that no blessing ever could. Each of these processes causes temporary suffering. Both are designed to produce new life and restoration. None of us seek after trials and tribulations, but they find all of us. How we react to them will determine the benefit they produce in our life. Will we trust God in them or will we blame him for them?

Linda Ballard
September 7, 2017
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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.