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Question

I don't understand the idea that God lets us struggle to prepare us for great things. Some people struggle all their life and are never blessed.

Answer

Thank you so much for contacting us with your sincere question. I am sorry that you are having a difficult time. The struggles of life are difficult and it is tempting to think that other people have easier lives than us. However, God disciplines all His children.

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:5-6)

Life tends to go in cycles and God gives us times of rest from our struggles. The people you are thinking of may be in a period of rest. They may have had great struggles in the past - or, indeed, they may still have them to come.

Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law, to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked. For the Lord will not forsake his people. (Psalm 94:12-14)

There is a sense in which great struggles are a sign of God's favour, believe it or not. Job was a very righteous man yet Satan was allowed to strip him of many things, his wealth, his family and even his health. Only through this could Job move on to the next stage of spiritual growth. Job was heartbroken and confused, wondering why God had allowed this when he, Job, had always sought to obey God. It seemed very unfair, but God did not apologise or explain. Instead, He revealed more of Himself to Job. He did greatly bless Job in the end, but that did not change the fact that Job had lost family members whom he loved and would never see again in this life. Job was not merely learning lessons for this life but for Heaven. 

The fact is that God is preparing us for great things but they may not be things on earth. He is interested in building character that will last for eternity.

If we endure, we will also reign with him. (2 Timothy 2:12)

Do you not know that we are to judge angels? (1 Corinthians 6:3)

He is building in to his children the holy character to sustain such great honour and blessing.

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11)

Some of us are being prepared for great honour here on earth, but as individuals we simply do not know whether that will happen or not. We just trust God for the future. The most important thing is not honour in the eyes of other people but honour in the eyes of God; what God honours is faith. Faith is not a means of manipulating God into giving us what we want. It is the determination and commitment to trust Him and believe His word, whatever happens. This is what creates enduring, godly character in us.

Of course, faith has to know what God promises and that means that we need to read and know the Bible. We also need to talk to God constantly, coming to Him for the strength and wisdom to deal with our problems and committing ourselves to trust Him, as well as praying for others. We need to get our eyes off other people and onto God. Then we will be people that God can both use and bless.

Please remember that not every thought that comes into our heads is true, and not every thought even comes from ourselves. We have an enemy, the devil, who loves to suggest ideas to us such as that other people get a better life than us and God does not care for us. The Bible is the place to find out what God's thoughts and purposes for us really are. It would be a good idea to pray the words of the following Psalm:

Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! (Psalm 110:33-36)

The apostle Paul spent much of his ministry in prison and from there he wrote a letter to the church at Philippi.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-6)

In all your difficulties, God is with you and He is working out His purpose in your life. You can rest in His purpose if you put everything in His hands and trust Him.

I do hope this general answer to your question goes some way to help you. I hope, too, that you will find peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you are not sure whether you have yet become a Christian and you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you, please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com

In closing, I want to encourage you to get more involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to further answer you as well as offer prayer and support as you continue your spiritual journey: www.lookingforgod.com/churchfinder

Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world. www.lookingforgod.com/your-questions

Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:

  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
  • Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
  • Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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