If you had to ask a world-renowned sports athlete how he became so prosperous he would say that he suffered. If you had to ask a famous writer how he has become so crafty with words and sold many books he would tell you he suffered.
I heard this today in an interview with Jon Foreman, the lead singer and guitarist from the band Switchfoot, great band by the way, and he overheard it from someone else at the store funnily enough. Long story short the message he wanted to bring was that there is light in the chaos, a reason for adversity. if we never struggle in life we may struggle!
My favourite passage in the bible comes from a story in 2 Corinthians 12:10. It’s when Paul gets a thorn in his flesh and at first he is angry that it has happened to him but then comes a moment where he has come to terms with it. A moment of euphoria.
He then says: “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions and difficulties for when I am weak; then I am strong.”
Through the pain and suffering he finds his strength in God and grows from the experience. I’m sure there was an experience you had in your life that was seemingly impossible at the time but now would seem rather doable, perhaps easy.
I had that moment just recently, I do find it hard to say that it will be easier and less stressful next time around but even so I will at least know how to deal with the situation a lot more efficient.
I was challenged with an amount to pay that was just too much. Although I have some savings in case of an emergency I would still not be able to cover it. I would have to take out a loan that would possibly take me at least a year to pay off while I change my lifestyle to extreme minimalism. Practically never eating out. Not buying miscellaneous items I might need. Not putting money aside for my future. Nothing.
I had that plan but it was stupid. Flawed. I only started to get a better way to sort out the problem by seeking counsel from my mom. Aren’t they always the best advisors?
So I would have to plead to the other party and request that there is anything they can do, but I was nervous, worried what they would say. So I gave it a day. That evening my life group worshiped and sang the song Good Father. It reminded me how good He is, crazy isn’t it? The coincidence. Even though things are not going the way you want them to, even though you walk through the valley of suffering, fear and even though it seems impossible God is good. Maybe I do take out a loan, maybe not. Regardless He is good.
I started to declare it. When I was ready to confront the other party I was filled with peace and it turns out I couldn’t have gotten a better deal. I saved myself from a large loan. I was thrilled.
You may look at adversity and shake but I look at a time of suffering to produce growth(sometimes). What God also said in that passage is this:
” My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”