DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Our pastor said the other day that we ought to be glad when problems come, because well become better persons as a result. Im not sure I agree with him. Why would God put us into hard situations? D.P.
By BILLY GRAHAM
Tribune Media Services
DEAR D.P.: Your pastor was only echoing what the Bible tells us about troubles, namely, that God can use them to make our faith stronger and draw us closer to himself. The Bible says, Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds so that you may be mature and complete (James 1:2, 4).
Think of it this way: Suppose you never got any physical exercise; all you did was sit in your chair or lie in bed all day. What would happen to your muscles? You know the answer: Theyd grow weaker and weaker, and eventually you might not even be able to get out of bed. Our muscles only become strong if we exercise them and challenge them to do more. The more resistance they face, the stronger theyll get.
The same is true spiritually. If our faith is never challenged, if we never have to put it to work, then our spiritual muscles will grow weaker and weaker. But when hardships and trials come into our lives, well be forced to exercise those spiritual muscles and when we do, our faith will grow stronger. Well discover that God still loves us and is with us, and he can be trusted to lead us through lifes storms. The Bible says, We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4).
Thank God that he will never abandon you, no matter what comes your way. And when hard times do come, turn to him and ask him to use them to help you grow in your faith.
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