Someone asks you, “Do you want God’s will for your life?”
You say, “Of course I do!”
He continues, “Okay, God’s will for your life includes struggle and suffering. Do you still want God’s will for your life?”
We sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that obeying God’s will for our lives will be easy.
Have you ever struggled with this idea? Recently, I found myself second guessing a decision I had made, although I had fully believed it was something God wanted me to pursue.
Wow, God, this is hard right now, but I thought this was what you wanted me to do.
I retraced my steps to remind myself that yes, I am where God wants me, and yes, some days, life is hard.
Those two realities shouldn’t surprise me, and they shouldn’t surprise you.
Look at any one of God’s children in the Bible.
- Abraham: God called Him to leave the comforts of home for a land he had never seen. God promised that his descendants would one day possess it (but Abraham’s wife was barren).
- Joseph: God allowed him to be sold into slavery so that he could one day save his family and all of Egypt from famine.
- Daniel: God allowed him to be taken captive so he could become a powerful witness for Him in the pagan land of Babylon.
- Mary: God called her to bear the Son of God, but everyone else thought she was unfaithful to her fiancé, and she had to live with the stigma of public shame.
- Paul: After his conversion, he suffered a list of physical abuses and harrowing escapes (2 Corinthians 11:23-30) before his eventual martyrdom.
Is there any doubt that these believers were walking in God’s will? Absolutely not. In fact, they are some of the greatest heroes of the faith. Some of them and many like them are listed in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11).
Yet their stories are full of sacrifice and suffering.
God allows pain and struggles into our lives for many reasons. Maybe He wants us to depend more on Him. Maybe He wants us to let go of something we’ve been clinging to instead of Him. Maybe He wants to show His strength through our weakness and glorify Himself through our lives (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). Maybe He’s refining us through trials to further our sanctification and conform us more to the image of His Son.
Some reasons, we may never understand, but we must come back to the realization that His reasons have our best interests at heart (Romans 8:28-29).
The lyrics to a song called “Chosen as His Children (Born Again)” describe this truth beautifully:
Led by wisdom into suf’ring, grieved by many trials below,
Yet rejoicing in His purpose, that my faith as gold may glow.
Granted faith for overcoming, filled with love for Christ unseen;
Even angels cannot fathom what salvation God will bring.
So the question remains: Do we still want God’s will?
God, I long to do Your will, but I am not brave. Give me the courage to do whatever you ask of me, to go wherever you call me, and to be faithful to the end.