This last Sunday night I sat in the “hot seat” with our church’s youth group and answered their questions about God and the faith journey. One big topic of discussion was why we are bombarded with trials if God loves us like He says He does. Great question!
We read James 1:2-4 and Romans 5:1-5 together to get a different perspective on struggles that come at us. Rather than seeing in them a lack of God’s love we explored viewing them as the means God uses to grow our faith and stretch our trust in Him.
I emphasized that God uses such experiences of life to develop our character and to use us as an example to the world in how we respond. One of the girls asked…
“What if we blow it and don’t respond in the right way? Does this lessen our faith?”
I reassured her that we all blow it from time-to-time; and that blowing it didn’t affect our standing with God. Since we are saved by grace we don’t earn or lose anything by getting it right or blowing it. God can work through any situation, even our blowing it, to bring about good.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~ Romans 8:28 (NIV)
When life is about us then we tend to view God as our cosmic resource for solving the troubles of life. But when life is about God and His kingdom agenda then we are more likely to view those same troubles as tools in the hands of God used to shape our character.
It’s a new day and a new week. How will we respond to the troubles that come our way?