Some people have the wrong idea about the Christian life. Once they become believers, they expect smooth sailing. However, Jesus made it clear that we’ll all face troubles. His own life was no exception—He endured false accusation, rejection, betrayal, and separation from His Father.

As His followers, we too can expect difficulty. Some problems arise from the fallen nature of the world, while others result from spiritual warfare. And we can cause our own heartache from ignorance or sin. There’s also another possibility—sometimes God Himself brings trials. While it’s difficult to accept this, the Lord never allows hardship unless He has a beautiful purpose. And He always gives us strength to endure.

Remember, God permits struggles for our benefit. Perhaps they are to purify and grow us for greater service. Maybe He’s testing our endurance and devotion, or He might be revealing His sustaining power. This side of heaven, we may never know the cause or purpose of each challenge. But we can trust God’s ability to deliver and mature us.

What trials are you facing? Jesus understands your pain and longs to be the One you cling to through good times and bad. You can choose to look elsewhere for comfort, or you can use your hardship as an opportunity to connect with God. (In Touch Ministries)

1 Peter 1:3-9