Reasons for the Storms of Life

2 Corinthians 1:3-6

3: Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4: Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
5: For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
6: And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

The Lord is never taken by surprise. He knows everything we are going through. And He is orchestrating our circumstances for both our benefit and His glory, according to His good will.

One purpose for hardship is our cleansing. Because of our own "flesh" nature, and the self-absorbed world we live in, it's easy to develop selfish attitudes, mixed-up priorities, and ungodly habits. The pressures that bear down on us from stormy situations are meant to bring these impurities to our attention and direct us to a place of repentance. Our trials are not designed to sink us but to purify us and guide us back to godliness.

A second reason we face difficulty is so that we'll bring comfort to others. God's work in our lives is not intended solely for us. It's designed to reach a world that does not recognize or acknowledge Him. The Lord uses our challenges to equip us for serving others. As we experience suffering, we will learn about God's sufficiency, His comforting presence, and His strength to help us endure. Our testimony during times of difficulty will be authentic. Those we minister to will recognize that we know and understand their pain. What credibility would we have with people in crisis if we never experienced a deep need?

Reflecting on the divine purpose in hardship can help us respond to them in a God-honoring way. Take a moment to fix your attention on the Lord. Seek to understand what He wants you to learn.

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