Why Does God Allow Troubles in Our Lives?

Why Does God Allow Troubles in Our Lives?

   Jesus made a lot of promises. Some are yet to be fulfilled – like when He said He will come back and take us to be with Him one day. As believers, we look forward to that day!

   Then there are a few statements of Jesus which leave us with some concern. It is like the fine print of a contract. Just when you thought everything was too good to be true, then come the disclaimers. 

   For example, Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). Jesus, have you noticed? We already have trouble in our world. We are coming to you to help us get out of our troubles.

But Jesus is letting us know that the troubles we will face as His followers are to be expected.

And it does seem much easier trying to deal with common problems of this life with Him alongside us.

So why does God allow Troubles in our lives?

   Troubles Mature our Faith. They help us grow. Soldiers and athletes have to go through strict training to become stronger. God allows us adversity so we can lean upon His strength and become stronger through His Spirit. In Hebrews 12:11, we read that we face adversity and discipline because it is a benefit “for those who have been trained by it.” 

   Our troubles are part of our spiritual training. How is God stretching you through the bootcamp of challenges in this life?

   Troubles are Proof of Spiritual Warfare. Whenever a follower of Jesus steps up in his/her level of commitment, he/she can count on a spiritual attack. Are you ready to get out of the bleachers and in the game? Be careful, there is an enemy who will try to injure you to take you out of the game (1 Peter 5:8). If he can’t do that, he will try to suppress you into a passive role so you are less of a target for him to attack.

   Have you noticed spiritual attacks when you have tried to intensify your walk of faith? I certainly have.

   Troubles Intensify our Prayer Life. I know many people who are strong in faith and prayer. Yet when they face a major challenge like illness, a sick family member, loss of a family member, financial problems, or loss of a job, it seems their prayer life has even greater fervor and raw honesty.

   How is your prayer life? Have you noticed how you turn to prayer with greater passion when you face extreme challenges?

   Troubles Teach us to Wait. All great people of faith have times of testing and waiting. Look at the great people in the Bible – not one was perfect – but all had long seasons of waiting: on God, for deliverance, for a son, for a flood, for the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, they waited decades! The encouragement we find for waiting is that God will show up in a great way in His time. 

“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

   Troubles Keep us Humble. The Apostle Paul had a thorn in his flesh. There is debate as to what this thorn was specifically (possibly he suffered from headaches or vision problems) but whatever the physical ailment was, Paul asked God to take it away three times. This is the same Paul who had done miracles casting out demons and raising people from the dead. And yet, he had no personal power over his “thorn.”

   The Lord’s answer to him was,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

   How is God using your current situation to keep you dependent upon Him?

   Troubles Make us Strong.  This is more than just maturing spiritually through the training of tough times. This takes us to a place where we actually anticipate and enjoy opportunities to overcome troubles. Again, Paul said he actually celebrated challenges.  In 2 Corinthians 12:10 he says, “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

   Are you at a place where you can actually say that you delight in troubles? If so, that is a whole other level of spiritual growth.

   Troubles Reveal our True Friends. When one of our friends goes through a tough time of loss or pain it is hard to know just how to help. Sometimes, we don’t even know what to say. We can allow the awkwardness of trying to help a hurting friend be an excuse to just keep our distance, when in reality, just being there with them is what matters.

   Jesus understands our troubles. He knew what it was like when all of his disciples abandoned him when He was on trial. Thankfully, Jesus will not abandon us in our lowest times. He becomes a friend who is closer to us than a brother. “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).

   Do you look for Jesus as he walks with you in your troubles?

   Troubles Prepare us to Help Others. Elisabeth Elliot, the widow of the martyred missionary Jim Elliot, reminds us in her book entitled Suffering is Never for Nothing that God never wastes pain. We find this also in God’s Word:

"Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain"(1 Corinthians 15:58).

   How has God allowed you to be challenged? What are some of your most painful days in your life’s journey? God wants to use your endurance through them, and your victory over them, to encourage others.

   The good news is Jesus just didn’t leave us with only a promise of trouble. He also promised victory for our lives over the trouble through Him:

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

One Comment

Leave a Reply