When troubled by circumstances, people tend to use the phrase, “I’ve given it to God,” or some variation of it. If that’s you, please, read this:
That is the most unhelpful attitude to have. It may “feel” good and even give you some peace, but it is harmful and denies that there is purpose in your pain. You cannot give God something that is already His. No, He has given the trouble to you! Put the Joel Osteen book in the trash where it belongs and look at what God says about the true purpose in your suffering.
First, recognize who it is that has sent this trouble to you:
“I form the light and create darkness; I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.” – Isaiah 45:7
“Who has made man’s mouth? Or who made the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?” – Exodus 4:11
It is God Himself who has caused any hardship that you are facing. Contrary to popular opinion, it isn’t the devil that sends every bad thing your way. The strong Christian must be firmly rooted in this truth.
Second, recognize the true purpose in your pain, namely, the glory of God. John 9 contains a story that you should read. It’s about Jesus healing a blind man. He is asked by his disciples the reason for the man’s blindness (you can see above that the Lord created the man blind). Jesus’ response is this:
“Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned. But it happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.'” – John 9:3
So, we see that this man’s blindness had nothing whatsoever to do with him; it was a set-up that God might be glorified. In the same way, our “problems” in life are no problems at all; instead, they are divinely appointed in order that God may be shown to be great.
God doesn’t heal every blind or lame person. He doesn’t restore every relationship. He isn’t as interested in our comfort as we’d like to think. Rather, His purpose is to change our attitudes so that we will bless His name whether He heals, restores, comforts or not.
God’s goodness is never in question. There is nothing that He needs to change. It is our attitudes and focus that need transformation more than any circumstance. If we are preoccupied with comfort in the midst of trial, we will not see the glory of the Lord. Do we know the God in whom we claim to believe? Will we bless Him when it gets tough? That’s the true purpose in trying times.