“Even though you are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials . . . This is no accident—it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold” (1 Peter 1:6-7 PHILLIPS).
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that everything that happens to you in life is God’s perfect will. That’s just not true. There are a lot of things that are not God’s will. If you go out and sin, that’s not God’s will. If somebody sins against you, that’s not God’s perfect will.
But God does have a permissive will. If I go out and overeat, I pay the consequences. If I go out and wreck my body, I pay the consequences. God does not cause evil, and God does not cause suffering. But he does allow those things because they have a purpose. God permits them, and then he uses them.
God is an expert at bringing good out of bad. He could have kept Paul out of prison in Philippi, but instead he let Paul go to prison, and the jailer became a believer as a result. God could have kept Jesus from the cross, but he let him go. He let his own Son suffer and die. Did God bring any good out of that? I’d say he did!
God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections. The things you most wish were removed from your life are often the very things that God uses to shape you and make you into the believer he wants you to be. He wants to use that problem for good in your life. There’s something more important than your pain: what you’re learning from that pain. God is in control.
So how can we respond to painful or difficulty situations? The apostle Paul says, “Never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17 NLT).