Even if social media suggests otherwise, we all experience problems. A common reaction to struggles could include searching the internet, asking friends for advice, and complaining. If we are really feeling faithful, we might even take to prayer. But how often do we think to praise God in the midst of our troubles? Yet, that reaction is more appropriate.
James 1:2 tells us to consider it pure joy when we face trials of all kinds. Scripture goes on to tell us tests produce perseverance, character, and hope (see James 1:3, Romans 5:3-4). While you may not consider present troubles worthwhile enough to render perseverance, character, and hope, know that God does. These qualities are highly valued in the spiritual realm. When you have earned them, you can consider yourself wealthy and commendable in the eyes of God because these qualities increase our compassion for others and trust in. It keeps us from becoming lukewarm believers.
The next time you encounter a problem, say to yourself, “It is only a test. God, I thank You for this test. I know that through this circumstance You will make me stronger in my faith. That is important to You so it is important to me. Help me to overcome this trial and make You proud of me.”
God is sovereign. He can always prevent the Enemy from attacking or tempting, but even His Son was tempted and attacked by Satan. He could have rearranged circumstances so that you could have avoided the adverse side effects of sin from someone else, but even Jesus suffered from the Judas’ greedy decision. In the end, would we have wanted the Father to have prevented all of Jesus’ suffering? No, because He worked it together for our good. He used Jesus’ death on the cross for our salvation. Likewise, there is purpose to your suffering. You may not see it, but it is truly valuable to God. In fact, you are truly loved and valuable to God.