Saturday, September 10, 2016

It was good for me to be afflicted

Life is Hard

"We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in the faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials.  You know quite well that we were destined for them.”
1 Thessalonians 3:2-3

Sometimes life seems to be one long, unending string of trials.  What words of encouragement does the apostle have for us?  

“You know quite well that we were destined for them.”  

But he doesn’t stop on that morbid note.  He adds: 

 Be strengthened. 

Be encouraged in your faith.  

And don’t let trials unsettle you.

We are destined for trials.  In other words, life is supposed to be difficult.  Yet is’s amazing how many people believe that life should be easy.  They bemoan the enormity of their problems, feeling as though their difficulties are a unique kind of affliction that should not be.  They feel that affliction has somehow been especially visited upon them, or else upon their families and not upon others.

Life is a series of problems to be solved.  Yes, solving problems is a painful process, but it is this whole process that gives our life meaning.  

Benjamin Franklin said, “Those things that hurt, instruct.”  

And the psalmist said long before him, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees.” 
Psalm 119:71

So be strengthened and encouraged in your faith.  Don’t be unsettled by your trials.  You know quite well you are destined for them.  And for good reasons.

Trials are not for pleasure;  they are for our profit. Once you accept this truth, you transcend it.  Once you truly know that life is difficult, then life is difficult no longer.

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