“Why is it so hard, Mom?”
His voice was weary, and though we were on the phone and separated by miles, I knew him well enough to see his expression—eyes cast down to the right, staring, disillusioned.
“I’ve prayed and believed this is the path God wants me to pursue with my life. So why is it so hard?”
My young adult son’s question was one every dream chaser eventually expresses: “If I’m doing what God wants me to, shouldn’t it be easier than this? Why isn’t He helping me?”
As followers of Christ, we know trials and hard seasons are a fact of life. Nevertheless, they take us by surprise. [clickToTweet tweet=”Our trials are consistent with our reality but so inconsistent with our expectations.” quote=”Our trials are consistent with our reality but so inconsistent with our expectations.”] And like a child who doesn’t understand, they make us cry Whyyyyyyy?
“Why, God? It isn’t fair! I did my best. I prayed. I trusted. I (fill in the blank with all your efforts), and this is what I get?!”
This is the hard reality of our trials and the confusion they cause. If we are truly God’s chosen, the ones He lovingly created and formed, then why is life so hard?
It’s true. We are chosen by Him. But often we forget what God’s choosing entails.
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tried and CHOSEN you in the furnace of affliction.
~Isaiah 48:10 (AMPC)
One Bible commentary says this:
God had chosen [the Israelite] nation to be his people when they were suffering in the furnace of affliction in Egypt; and it is also true that God chooses sinners now . . . as the result of heavy affliction. . . their affliction had prepared them . . . to seek consolation in him; . . . and to embrace [His} offers of mercy.
. . . the furnace of affliction – Refer[s] particularly to their trials [as exiles] in Babylon. Afflictions are often likened to fire – [because] fire is used to purify or try metals, and afflictions have the same object in reference to the people of God.
There are two clear purposes of the furnace of affliction:
- to prepare the hearts of sinners to receive God’s mercy
- to purify or try His chosen
Throughout the Bible, we see God use hard trials and testing to prove and strengthen the faith of His chosen both as the consequence of their sin and to purify and test their faith.
In this you greatly rejoice,
though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
that the genuineness of your faith,
being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire,
may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
whom having not seen you love.
Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
~1 Peter 1:6-9
Our trials should cause us to examine our hearts before God for sin and the possibility of His correction, but we also have to remember His higher purpose for our lives. It’s not our comfort! His purpose is to conform us to the image of Christ.
Are you in a difficult season and tempted to give up on your dream? Take heart, Dreamer! God is committed to accomplishing all of His good purposes for your life. Allow Him to work in and through you as He purifies your heart in His holy furnace of affliction.
And be certain of this . . . He is the author and perfecter of your faith, and you can trust Him to complete the good work He began in you.
Shared by: Kim Hyland