Read:

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. . . .  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:18, 28 ESV 

Reflect:

I cannot count how many days there have been – and probably will be – where I’m tempted to shake my fist at God for the circumstances He has placed me in. In my mind I know there are things more important than my comfort and that some of the best experiences and opportunities for growth come from suffering. Emotionally, however, I want to up and run whenever my security and personal success is threatened by a plan higher than my own. 

I can’t honestly say that I prefer to struggle in life for the sake of God’s “agenda.” I’m self-centered like that. My flesh doesn’t like it one bit. I want Him to make things easier for me. 

But in the end I don’t get to decide. I’m not God after all, it turns out. 

I am learning the hard way that when our desire for comfort and control begins to overpower our sense of trust in the sovereignty, goodness, and love of God, we need to be willing to step back and sober up. As hard as it is in the midst of things, there is a reason why God placed us in a certain time period, in a specific country, in a dysfunctional family, or in a tough class at school. We may want to escape such circumstances because they challenge us, right? But it wasn’t an accident for God to put us there. 

Don’t let your pride keep you from believing God has a purpose in mind for your trials, because He is powerful enough to bring all the pieces together to create a masterpiece, the likes of which no one has ever seen. History really is “His story.” His level of mastery is infinitely higher than da Vinci, Monet, Beethoven, or Homer. If He can create the world and all of reality with a spoken word, He can surely bring beauty from the ashes of our toil and strife. Rejoice that He is pleased to use you as one of His instruments. 

Pray:

Father, help my unbelief. Guard me from distrust in the midst of suffering and help me believe You can work everything out for good. Help me repent of placing my plans for comfort and personal fulfillment over Your master plan. I will never be fulfilled unless I am submitting to Your will. 

Your Turn:

In what ways have you been reluctant to accept the circumstances you live in? How can you see God’s plan working through those circumstances? How can you open yourself up to be used by Him, even when you have to endure hardship through it?