My sister-in-law sent me this photo of Chicago from the freeze earlier in the week. The frigid temperatures has been a challenge for her, but she was still able to see the beauty in the midst of its disruption to her life.
And that’s what challenges are. An annoyance. A disruption. A thorn in our flesh.
Challenges are a part of life. We can let it cripple us, or we can see them as opportunities for growth. The old me, the one without God, was crippled by challenges. Now that God is with me, He helps me see challenges as opportunities to grow into my created design.
My young friends, life is challenging because we co-exist with imperfect people in an imperfect world. Your heart will probably get broken more than once. You may lose good friends and have to wait years for new ones. People you love may betray or abandon you. They may do both. Family members may pass away unexpectedly leaving a big hole in your heart. Uninvited things will come your way. Expect them.
During these challenges, you will wonder whether God cares about you because things often go from bad to worse to impossible before they get better. You may think God isn’t real and doesn’t have the power to change your circumstances. Your cries seem to go unheard while your sorrows multiply.
Dear young hearts, I have been where you are. Hurt, broken, hopeless. Yes, when you’re going through something it does feel like God doesn’t care. But it isn’t true. Your pain is just so overwhelming, you can’t think clearly. Your outlook is clouded by the weight of your challenge. You aren’t able to see your problems from a perspective other than your own. But God sees all, He knows all, He does care about you, and He does have a purpose for your struggles.
I know it’s hard to believe, but a loving God can and does allow challenges in your life. Yes, He is able and willing to remove hard things from your path. But most times, God will let you face challenges for the purpose of developing your character and growing your complete dependence on Him. He wants you to learn that He is the source for all your needs. God wants you to trust Him for the answers to all your problems.
My young friends, like you, I do not like hard things. But I’m so grateful God has allowed the hurts, the disappointments, and the challenges in my life. Through it all, I’ve learned God is real because I’ve received His healing, His help, and His hope that things will not always be as they are.
Don’t let challenges throw you off course. God will use it to grow in you his characteristics of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness gentleness, and self control. He will use every challenge to build you up for your life’s purpose. And my young friends, you do not want to miss the awesome plans God has waiting for you on the other side of your challenge! It is worth every bit of growing pains you are feeling right now. You can trust God’s heart towards you. His intentions for you are always good. Even when it doesn’t feel anything close to good.