Does God Have a Purpose in Our Struggles?

“Why would God let my marriage fall apart?”

“I lost my house in a fire, why would God let this happen?”

“Why would God let me lose my job?”

“Why did my father die from cancer?”

“Why?”

Somewhere along the way in our journey called life, we will face difficulties: struggles in our marriage, a death of a loved one, financial hardship, job loss, etc. One of the most difficult questions all Christians will struggle with is: Why would God let this happen?

Sin and evil entered this world the day Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s commands and ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3: 6-7). We live in a fallen world where sin, evil, pain, and suffering do exist. When we go through pain and suffering, it will test the faith we have in God.

A Purpose in Our Struggles?

Last year, my wife and I were struggling badly in our marriage. We reached a point were we separated and lived in two different places. There was a lot of uncertainty as to whether our marriage was going to survive. Many times, I thought to myself, why would God let my marriage struggle to the point of divorce? I thought He was pro-marriage? Unknown to me, my faith in Him was being tested. Ultimately, my wife and I reconciled our marriage months later, and the painful struggle we went through made our marriage BETTER! Yes, it made us better. During this time, God revealed to me in my heart how I was being a selfish husband, putting my needs first, rather than hers. I was not being the servant-leader God has called me to be as her husband. And our struggle made me a better husband.

Tony Evans observes: “When God allows troubles and trials in your life, He has a purpose to bring you to the fulfillment of your destiny.” Pastor Paul David Tripp concurs: “God will not protect you from what He will perfect you through”. The struggles we go through are purposeful and are made to perfect us to fulfill why God created us. It is meant to strengthen so we can grow in our faith.  As God’s children, nothing passes through His sovereign hand without His permission. Even Satan had to ask for God’s permission to test the faith of both Peter (Luke 22:31) and Job (Job 1:12). God’s ultimate goal for you is the same as His goal for Peter—that you become a mature Christian and reflect His glory to those around you.”

It may not seem like it, but God is there even though you are going through pain and suffering. He has not left you, and He never will. But remember we humans have rebelled against God. Despite our rebellion, God never stopped loving us, so much so  “he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). Once you understand that the troubles and trials you are facing in your life have a purpose, you will begin to grow in your faith and mature as a Christian. It will not be easy, but we must trust in His plan for us. 

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