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  • Writer's pictureJohan Smith

God uses the hard times in your life

God is angry and enjoys punishing you, many people still think nowadays. Similarly, many people still believe that God brings trials their way to punish them for their wrongdoings. How many times haven’t I heard the words from someone when the going gets tough: "Yes, this is probably my deserved reward because I'm such a sinner." Or, "It must be the Lord's punishment." Perhaps it’s necessary to spell it out again: Jesus bore the punishment for your sin on the cross! Jesus was punished in your stead. 2 Corinthians 5: 19 and Romans 8: 1 describe it so lovely:


That God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation – NIV


Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ – NIV


We all go through tough times. Yes, all of us sometimes experience the sore of painful wounds inflicted on us. Nobody is immune to it. The world in which you and I live is tough and full of sin, imperfections, misery, distress, destruction, and pain. No big house or swanky car or expensive clothing with the right labels will absolve you from that. No, you can hide as much as you want – you’re in the world and this is where God wants you to make a difference.


The Bible says in several places that we should be happy about hardships in our lives. It sometimes sounds ridiculous, especially during times when you’re not doing well. Of course, you don't feel that way in a challenging time – all you stare at is your pain and misery. However, know that God is drawing you closer to Him. Your character is growing and that is the most important thing for God. Sometimes it is necessary to pass through heat to be purified. James 1:2-4 describes it very well:


Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything – NIV


The Lord wants you to develop and use your full potential. It's not possible if everything is just going well with you. It is necessary to let you go through crises and grim times so that you can learn to persevere and thereby grow in spiritual maturity. However, you can always hold on to the most beautiful promise in Isaiah 43 verse 2:


When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze – NIV

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