God’s purpose is often found in places we don’t want to look for it. We want to find God’s purpose in the pages of Scripture, in our comfortable pew at church or in the lessons of being generous to others. But God’s purposes are usually not revealed that way.
So often, God’s purpose is found in the uncomfortable things we experience in life. God’s purpose will always need faith and faith must always be tested.
I. God’s Purpose Is Found In Suffering
We see throughout Scripture that God used suffering to draw people closer to Him. He used suffering to reveal Himself and His power. Through suffering God has changed both hearts and nations.
Because we live in a fallen word, suffering is something we will all experience. Through our suffering, we may find an opportunity to build a bridge for others to cross over. Our experience in suffering will become a part of our testimony. Our testimony gives us opportunity to encourage or strengthen others through their suffering.
While God does concern Himself with our suffering, what He is most interested in is our response to suffering. Suffering is rarely our choice, but our response to suffering is! Our suffering will accomplish one of two things; it will draw us closer to, or drive us further from Him.
Can you think of someone whose relationship with God grew deeper through the pain of cancer, chronic illness or other types of suffering? Strangely, in the end, they seemed almost thankful for it.
II. God’s Purpose Is Found In Trials
Though it is similar to suffering, trials are more emotional than physical. A trial can be a financial crisis, loss of a loved one, divorce, employment struggles or you fill in the blank.
While many of the trials we struggle through are self-inflicted, at times God allows trials to enter our lives. See the book of Job for a worst-case scenario.
As His children, God will never leave us where we, especially spiritually. He wants us to grow because it’s unacceptable for us to be stagnant in our walk with Him. One way He will move us to the next level spiritually is through trials.
King David spent time hiding in a cave. The disciples found themselves in a big storm in a small boat. Paul was shipwrecked not once but three times!
Trials will eventually put us in the place where we must depend on Him.
III. God’s Purpose Is Found In Waiting
Waiting is probably the most difficult way to find God’s purpose. The worst part of waiting is the silence from Heaven. The greatest suffering Jesus endured was God turning His back on Him while He was on the cross.
When we are waiting, the silence makes us feel like God has abandoned us. But we have God’s promise that He will NEVER abandon us or forsake us.
Hebrews 13:5 …I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
We have been told that God’s purpose in having us wait is that He is preparing something better. God has a purpose, even in waiting.
Is it possible that God’s purpose is nothing more than to grow you closer to Him?
I wish there was a one size fits all answer to finding God’s purpose in these three events. But there is not. All three events require greater faith and greater trust. God desires no other response from us, because that is His purpose!
What has God taught you through suffering, trials or waiting? Use your testimony as a bridge for others and share a comment with us. If you know someone this blog might be helpful to, please share it with them.