The Bible makes an amazing connection between miracles and troubles. To really receive a miracle you must first have an impossibility facing you. Miracles come out of messes. The bigness of your problem only means a greater miracle ahead. Yes, God’s greatest faith lessons come out of calamities. God will deliver you from trouble over and over again—until you understand that no matter what you go through, he will rescue you and make sure that no evil will touch you! (Job 5:19)
Notice this verse teaches us that God doesn’t always steer us away from trouble, but he majors in delivering us from our troubles. Trouble is a pretty good sign that God is with you! The three Hebrew children Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego discovered that the king’s order to heat the furnace seven times hotter was the perfect recipe for their miracle deliverance, and their fiery furnace was transformed into a four-man dance hall! Daniel found his greatest deliverance took place inside a lions’ den. A greater Lion, Jesus, gave Daniel the courage that replaced his fear of lions!
Are you in any kind of trouble right now? If so, then you qualify for deliverance in the midst of your suffering as you set your love upon him. If you measure your troubles against your own strength, you are in trouble. But if you measure your troubles against God, your troubles are in trouble—they will have to bow before the King of all kings! We are committed “Christian triumphalists.” We believe that God triumphs over all. He triumphs over everything around us and everything within us. He triumphs over every spiritual foe and every spiritual flaw.
God’s greatest goal for your life is not to make life comfortable for you. He wants to build character. Listen to the words of a true apostle, the apostle Paul. Look at the lessons of his life and ministry. We can learn from him the redemptive value of all that comes into our lives. In 2 Corinthians 1:3–7, he encouraged us with these words:
“All praises belong to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he is the Father of tender mercy and the God of endless comfort. He always comes alongside us to comfort us in every suffering so that we can come alongside those who are in any painful trial. We can bring them this same comfort that God has poured out upon us. And just as we experience the abundance of Christ’s own sufferings, even more of God’s comfort will cascade upon us through our union with Christ.
If troubles weigh us down, that just means that we will receive even more comfort to pass on to you for your deliverance! For the comfort pouring into us empowers us to bring comfort to you. And with this comfort upholding you, you can endure victoriously the same suffering that we experience. Now our hope for you is unshakable, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings you will also share in God’s comforting strength.”2 Corinthians 1:3–7 TPT
Can you see it? Your life is a blessing, and that blessing is released through the troubles you endure. God’s love can make us happy no matter what we face. If God is going to make you like Christ, then even enduring suffering for following him will work a greater comfort and strength into your heart.
God Turns Setbacks into Comebacks
Candice and I are not a depressed couple, nor are we given to prolonged melancholy—yet we have gone through days we wish never happened! How about you? Have you ever been overwhelmed with a sense of, Why do I have to go through this, Lord? Do I have to take this test? Do I have to walk through this valley? We have written The Wilderness, this personal story of ours, to hopefully give you some encouragement during such times. Here’s what we know to be true:
“So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day. We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison, because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen [the wilderness] is temporary, but the unseen realm [the glory] is eternal.”2 Corinthians 4:16–18 TPT
This passage gives us the four reasons we don’t get discouraged or lose heart:
1. We know our troubles are slight—the glory far outweighs any distress we may pass through. Even when your mind tells you different, begin to say, “The troubles around me are not as heavy as the glory within me!”
2. We know that all troubles are temporary—they don’t last. Say to yourself, “This trouble won’t last forever, but his love for me lasts longer than eternity!”
3. We keep our eyes on God, even when it’s not easy. Say it from your heart today: “My eyes are fixed on the reality of Christ, not the troubles that are passing away!”
4. We know that God is using our troubles for a greater eternal purpose. It’s time to say, “My glorious God has an eternal reward waiting for me. I know he will help me make it through this wilderness!”
These are the most important lessons of life. They are the anchors that keep us from drifting from God and what we know to be true. Yes, there are surprises ahead. But trusting God in the surprises of our lives makes us his true disciples. Our journey will lead us down the path the ancient Hebrew people walked when they were rescued from Egypt only to be taken through a refining process that required a wilderness. That process is the very one needed today to transform us into the royal bride that will come up out of the wilderness leaning on her Beloved.