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Seeing Purpose in the Struggle


Many times I think we shy away from the topics of pain and adversity. It’s uncomfortable. It’s difficult, but it certainly has a place in the life of every believer. Why? Because it’s inescapable.

I remember years ago in a quiet time I had with God, I heard these words, “Don’t waste a minute of your suffering.” I understood that those moments are precious to God. As Psalm 58 details the oppression and hurt caused by men, the psalmist declares that God has “Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?”

There was a similar thought from Jerry Bridges in The Discipline of Grace,

There is no such thing as pain without a purpose in the life of a believer.

Here is Hebrews 12:7, first in New American Standard and then in the Message,

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children.

Personally I don’t believe God designs horrific scenarios in order to teach me discipline or character. What happens in those desperate moments of heartache and struggle is I have the opportunity to grow closer to my Father and seek His discipline in how to view the situation.

As a father, I am concerned with not simply good or right behavior but how my children think. When hard things hit them in life, I want them to be able to come to me and my wife. We’ve had a lot more experience and we can encourage, advise, or just listen.

Looking to our heavenly Father, He’s interested in the renewing of our minds, the thought processes that guide us. You can be thankful that His discipline—His instruction—is there in the middle of suffering and pain. You don’t have to waste that time or to look at it as a roadblock before you get a breakthrough. He’s giving you a glimpse into His heart, His love, and His hope.

Your endurance as You trust Him is changing you. He reveals the purpose in the pains of life. Maybe you sinned and are reaping consequences. Maybe someone sinned against you. Maybe there was an accident or a disease or a financial collapse.

He’s willing and able to treat you as a son, to elevate your thinking and vision above the current and into the eternal. What the enemy meant for evil, God has meant for good. Don’t treat that time as wasted. Don’t despise it. He will meet you every time.

What are your thoughts on this? How have you seen God’s discipline in the hard times of your life? Are you able to see hard times as precious?


tdog_jbWelcome to week 13 (1 week late as I was gone last week) of our book club discussion of The Discipline of Grace by Jerry BridgesWe are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. If you have a response on your blog, add your link to the widget (if you haven’t already) at my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, feel free to dive into the conversation!

2 Comments

  1. If anything, the hard times have made me lean in to God all that much more. So yes, though I wouldn’t care to repeat any of them, my faith definitely grew by leaps and bounds; got to love that!
    Blessings, Jason!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..The Earth is the Lord’sMy Profile

    • Yes, no repeats! Let’s learn and grow and move on. Although sometimes moving on may make us yearn for the “good ‘ol days” of those past tests. We are funny creatures. 🙂 Thanks Martha.

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