Tim Keller | October 22, 1995
The book of James teaches us that wealth doesn’t last forever and that being humble is honourable. It also talks about the good things that come from going through hard times. It promises that those who love God will receive the gift of eternal life, even if they have to suffer. This makes us wonder: why does suffering play a part in God’s plan for us?
1. Hard times are unavoidable
Being a Christian doesn’t mean you won’t experience suffering. Just look at Jesus Christ’s own life, filled with betrayal, loneliness, and physical pain. The idea that being a follower of Jesus keeps us from suffering is a misunderstanding. Actually, going through hard times can help us grow spiritually, shaping us to be more like Christ.
2. Hard times can give us wisdom
When we go through hard times, we can learn a lot. These experiences show us where we need to grow and encourage us to seek understanding. We all react differently to problems. Some of us get nervous, some get angry, and some start thinking deeply. But none of these reactions automatically make us wise. That’s where parents come in. They can help their children navigate through these difficulties, showing them how to be strong and gentle like Jesus. It’s possible to be joyful even when things are tough and to stay spiritually healthy even when we’re doing well, which can sometimes make us feel too safe or define who we are by what we have. Holding on to material things too tightly can be harmful, but going through hard times can shape us to be more like Jesus. Learning to be “Real” by showing love and changing might be painful and take time, but in the end, it helps us understand what’s really important.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
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