“...that I may gain Christ and be found in him...”—Philippians 3:8-9, NIV1984

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Purpose of Trials, Hardship, and Affliction


2 Corinthians 1:8-11 (ESV): 8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10  He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11  You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
God wants us to know the purpose of trials and hardship are to bring us closer to Himself and cause us to rely on Him rather than ourselves. This results in the salvation and comfort of ourselves, and through our work and reliance on God, it also results in the salvation and comfort of many. Relying on ourselves, at it’s worst extreme of completely denying God’s existence, ends in death and destruction. When a man is at the end of his rope, he either finds self-destruction, or he finds God. It seems the difference between the two outcomes is God working through the prayers of many (v. 11). Do you know someone who is at the end of his or her rope? Pray for the person throughout the day. Maybe I can pray for you. Send me a private message.