Problems Are Inevitable For God’s People
“. . And we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith, so that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this.” 1 Thessalonians 3:2-3 (NASB)
God has not promised that Christians will be exempt from persecution. If, when one became a Believer, he became exempt from sorrows and trials of life, then he could become a Christian for selfish reasons, without the spirit and truth which God desires (John 4:24). The Lord does promise His strength that the Christian may stand firm and not turn back. In his personal life Paul discovered this secret of growth. When he pleaded for his thorn in the flesh to be removed, God did not grant his desire but He did say, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). Paul lived to see that God used the infirmity to give him an experience of grace which extended the usefulness and reach of his life immeasurably. Through the same grace we are able to stand and “not be disturbed by these afflictions.”
Anything which touches the life of the individual Believer may become in God’s hands an instrument to produce growth. A world without sorrow, pain, danger, and death, it might seem would be like Utopia; in reality would be far from it. Without sorrow and pain we would know nothing of sympathy. Without danger we would know nothing of courage. Without afflictions to battle and difficulties to conquer we would not experience growth and achievement in our Christian walk.
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” James 1:2-3 (NASB)