Let’s face it, we all want things to go according to plan, and none of us enjoy adversity. We have been discovering, though, that there are many ways in which we profit from adversity. One of the most valuable ways we benefit from trials is when they push us deeper into a relationship with God.
Job was a man of who God said was “blameless and upright.” He feared God, he was sensitive to not allow sin to be part of his life. Job would offer sacrifices for his children just in case they had sinned in their hearts toward God. Deep affliction came into Job’s life unexpectedly and with no explanation. At the end of it, Job was able to say to God, “My ear had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5).
There is a sweet fellowship that we share with Jesus when we face times of suffering.
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.
This must be the longing cry of every Christian! I want to know Christ in an increasing, intimate way. One of the ways we come to know him intimately is to fellowship with Him in his sufferings. This includes all adversity that has the ultimate purpose of revealing Christ more clearly and conforming us to His image. Paul described this as “becoming like him in His death.”
Obviously, we do not seek adversity so that we can develop a deeper relationship with God, but rather God, through adversity, seeks us out! It is God who desires a deeper relationship with you. He comes seeking you, and because He seeks you, within your heart is a growing desire to seek Him!
So the next time you find yourself in a difficult or painful circumstance, don’t complain. Turn your heart back to God and seek to discover what He is trying to teach you, how in love He is shaping you into His image. As you cooperate with God, you will discover that you have entered into a deeper relationship with Him.