Everybody on this earth faces challenges or difficulties at some point of their lives. No one is immune from trauma or suffering. But as Christians, how do we cope when things go wrong? And what does God teach us during those struggles?
The Bible mentions plenty of examples of people who suffer or who experience tragedies.
Paul was stoned, beaten, shipwrecked and ridiculed during his time as an apostle. But still he said: "we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed." (2 Corinthians chapter 4, verse 8)
Even Jesus wasn't exempt from pain when He experienced unimaginable suffering through His death on the cross. But in the midst of our troubles in life, what do we learn from God?
Learning lessons the hard way
When we're going through a hard time it's so difficult to see that there could be anything positive that could come out of our situation. Be it job loss, death, abuse or illness. We're not always looking for what God could be trying to teach us or help us with while we're suffering.
Sometimes it's not until the trauma is over that we can understand what God has taught us through our hard times. "Jesus replied. You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." (John chapter 13, verse 7).
It may be years before you can look at that time in your life and realize what God has shown you through that experience that you might not have learned if you didn't have those struggles.
There are plenty of people in society today who have suffered great traumas or tragedies in their lives and have been able to use those experiences to help others in a positive way, or who have become great Christian leaders in spite of their struggles.
One such example is well renowned author and ministry leader Joyce Meyers. She suffered horrific abuse at the hands of her father as a child and had every reason to doubt there was a God out there who loved her.
But she has been quoted as saying: "you may be wondering where God was in all of this? He was there. He didn't get me out of the situation I was in, but He did give me the strength to get through it."
Sometimes it does feel like God isn't helping you because He didn't stop the trauma from happening. But in those times, we don't always realize that what he has given us, is simply the strength to overcome our situations.
In the midst of the storm
When things go wrong in life, as Christians we usually cry out to God for help and ask him to fix the situation or help us through it in some way. But what is God actually doing for us in during these times if he doesn't fix the problem?
Christian author Max Lucado is quoted in saying: "God never promises to remove us from our struggle. He does promise, however to change the way we look at them."
Sometimes God helps change our perspective on a problem and gives us a chance to see it through new eyes. Sometimes He sends us friends and family to help us through our troubles. Sometimes God just becomes that listening ear for us to vent to until our time of hardship is over.
Hebrew chapter 13, verse 5 states: "Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you." This verse is a constant reminder to us that no matter what troubles we face in life, God will always be right there with us.
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