I suspect that every reader has gone through a period where they have asked the questions: Why is this happening to me? How could a God of love allow this pain and suffering I am undergoing?
In hindsight, we can sometimes see the reason but often we cannot find a definite answer and this can leave us frustrated, to say the least.
However, I believe we can learn as much about life though adversity as we can through success.
A young man was fascinated by a moth and performed a little experiment to find out what would happen when it was released from its cocoon without a struggle.
Using his pocketknife, he slit the enclosure, allowing the insect to emerge freely.
However, it had none of its expected colour, it could not fly, and it soon died.
As he thought about this, he realised the pressure exerted on an emerging moth is essential to its proper development.
He later learned that through the moth’s struggle to free itself, its body fluids are stimulated, and the lustre is developed on its wings.
Likewise, the pressures we face in life can produce positive results.
J.C. Gregory wrote: ‘‘The testing we go through demonstrates the genuineness of our faith. When the Bible speaks of the testing of your faith, the word testing is an almost untranslatable word. It is sometimes explained as showing what is genuine in your faith.’’
The idea refers to iron ore that has gone though the refining fire and comes out the other side clean and pure and genuine.
Job said: ‘‘When God has tried me in the fire, I will come out like gold.’’
Actually, there may be something suspect about a faith that has never been tested.
An army going through basic training is not ready for battle. Not until soldiers have faced the battle under fire do they consider themselves proven, hardened and worthy.
A ship cannot prove itself seaworthy as long as it stays in dry dock. Its hull must get wet; it must face a storm to demonstrate genuine seaworthiness.
When we hold fast to our belief in God in spite of life’s storms and crushing criticism, that’s when we demonstrate the genuineness of our faith.
I am totally convinced that God is interested in our wellbeing, even if at times it may not feel like it; and if we maintain our faith through the difficult times, the Bible assures us, we will experience an inexpressible and glorious joy.
I cannot explain it or describe it but from time to time I experience it.
And it’s worth it.