Is there anything hard that you are facing today?
One of the greatest promises of God is that in the end everything will work out for our good and his glory. That everything bad will be turned into good. That everything sad will become something happy. And that everything hard will have proven the grace of God to the world.
Listen to how the Apostle Paul explains it here in 2 Corinthians:
2 Corinthians 4:17-18. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Paul had been beaten, and put in prison, and shipwrecked all while trying to serve Jesus. And on top of that the Christians in Corinth were mad at him and didn’t trust him. People lied about him and called him names. Paul’s life was really hard.
But he calls the hard things we go through in life “light and momentary afflictions.” That means that our problems are small and short compared to living with God forever in heaven. Right now our problems seem enormous and eternal. “How long will this bad thing last?” is a very common question in the Bible.
Do you have an “affliction” that you are going through today? A sadness? A difficulty? A sickness? A heartbreak? Are you wondering how long it will last?
God promises that it won’t last forever.
But he also promises something else too. Not only will the hard things in our life not last forever, but while they do last, they will “prepare a weight of glory for us.”
What does that mean? It means that God uses all of the hard things in our life to make us better. To help us trust him more and rely on his goodness and grace more and more. Like Jesus did.
Here’s one of the most important lessons you can learn as you grow up: God’s glory is his grace. And God’s grace doesn’t remove our suffering, it carries us through our suffering.
There’s a whole lot of Christians who think that God doesn’t ever want us to suffer. They think they can use God like a genie to just take away all their problems. Or they think that the only reason we suffer is because we are sinning against God. But that can’t be true because Jesus himself suffered – a lot!
Hard things happen to us because we live in a world full of sin. That’s why we get sick. That’s why there are things like tornadoes and floods. And that’s why there are arguments, and fights, and wars.
But the cross of Jesus shows us that all suffering (the cross) leads to glory (the resurrection). God allows the bad things in life because they teach us to trust God more and more and love others more and more. Our “afflictions” become “glory” when we trust God to be with us IN the hard times instead of trusting God to take away the hard times. Afflictions become glory when they make us more like Jesus.
Because of Jesus we know our hardships are not forever, but they are getting us ready to trust God forever.
With Jesus we can trust God through any hardship.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Make a list of some of the hard things we have to do in order to get better (practice a sport, practice the piano, math homework). Talk about how the hard things in our lives are used by God to help us trust his promise of heaven more and more.
And here’s a good dancing song about trusting God.
Your life was full of sad things too, just like mine is sometimes. Thank you for trusting God through it all and going to the cross for me so that all my suffering can be turned into glory and goodness.
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