“God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” It sounds so comforting. But how do you tell that to your friend or family member who is suffering through hardship?
I was talking with a friend a couple of nights ago discussing a particular situation he was going through: a situation difficult to see the good in. It had to do with a guy/girl relationship. He told me that even if the situation didn’t work out he knew God was going to bring someone along to make it okay. My initial thought might usually be to agree and hopefully bring some comfort to this situation, but, owing to what God has been teaching me lately, I had to disagree. “What if God never brings someone along?” I asked. “In fact, what if God has designed for you to wake up at age 65 still sleeping alone in your bed?” This was not what he was expecting to hear. It is not really what anyone wants to hear at any time but especially when you are questioning your relationship status.
Proverbs 16:4 says, “God has made all things for his own purpose: even the wicked for the day of evil.”
God has even made the wicked for an appointed day, according to the writer of Proverbs. How does this work? When Jesus tells Peter to “Let down your nets,” in Luke 5:4, Peter had already been fishing all night with no fish to show for it. If Peter had let down the nets when Jesus told him to but caught nothing, would that make God a bad God or Jesus untrustworthy? Remember, he told Jeremiah that he would preach his entire ministry but never see a convert.
What’s my point? God is more interested in your holiness than he is your happiness. God has made all things for his purpose. That includes whatever you are currently going through or will go through in the future. God may plan for you to have a spouse and get a job, but what if that is not His plan. Will you serve Him joyfully? God is not in the business of giving us what we want. He is God and he will draw His children closer to Himself. As John Piper says, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”
God is not necessarily most glorified when we are happy with our current situation because we got what we wanted. Remember, Hosea was told by God to essentially go find his harlot wife and bring her back to his home. If I am Hosea my first thought is, “What?! How can God do this?”
Remember, God sees all and is not only watching but causing all things. That’s action! Don’t believe me?
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God CAUSES all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
For anyone going through hardship or for those who may be questioning what God is doing in their lives, I want you to know this. God loves you and has a divine plan for your life that includes hardship and tough times, but He is working each of these things out for your good and His glory. Even if you do not see the reasons, there will be a day when you understand. 1 Corinthians 13:12 says, “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then I shall know even as also I am known.”
Does this mean God gives His children bad gifts? Absolutely not. Just read Matthew 7:11. He loves to give good gifts. But good is often mistaken for what we want.
This side of glory we cannot know all the reasons God is doing what He is doing, but for me it is enough to trust Him and leave the outcome in his hands.