I might wish it wasn’t so, but God uses difficulties to refine us.
The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
But the Lord tests the hearts.
Proverbs 17:3 NKJV
21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
Acts 14:21-22 NKJV
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 34:19 NKJV
For You, O God, have tested us;
You have refined us as silver is refined.
11 You brought us into the net;
You laid affliction on our backs.
12 You have caused men to ride over our heads;
We went through fire and through water;
But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.
Psalm 66:10-12 NKJV
Jesus said we would have both problems and victory over them.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 NKJV
What is the overcoming? Our faith!
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:4-5 NKJV
Faith is important because it is how we please God.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Hebrews 11:6 NKJV
I’m not on James’ level yet, where I count problems “all joy,” but I’m meditating about it.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:2-4 NKJV
Peter wrote that fiery trials aren’t strange, but expected.
12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now
“If the righteous one is scarcely saved,
Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
1 Peter 4:12-19 NKJV
God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can stand!
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV
Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV
After all, Jesus learned though His suffering.
though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
Hebrews 5:8 NKJV
I’ll finish with what Psalms 119 has to say about affliction.
50 This is my comfort in my affliction,
For Your word has given me life.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word.
71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
That I may learn Your statutes.
75 I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right,
And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
92 Unless Your law had been my delight,
I would then have perished in my affliction.
107 I am afflicted very much;
Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.
153 Consider my affliction and deliver me,
For I do not forget Your law.
Psalm 119:50, 67, 71, 75, 92, 107, 153 NKJV
Jesus is coming very soon. Be ready!
4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 NKJV
32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Matthew 24:32-35 NKJV
34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Luke 21:34-36 NKJV