The Purpose of Trouble

Martin Luther said,

God has given men this trouble or affliction not in order to destroy them but in order to call them back from their foolish wisdom and schemes and to teach us that our wisdom amounts to nothing….

Notes on Ecclesiastes (Luther’s Works 15:25)

This is interesting to me. I certainly do not have a trouble-free life. Luther reminds me why I have trouble in my life – it is God’s way of calling me back to His path!

Matt Papa in his book Look and Live (quoted in the devotion for January 4 in Men of Integrity) said,

God’s wrath is not some kind of counterbalance to his grace. It is the platform for it. God designed all of salvation to culminate in a rapturous awe-filled celebration of the glory of his goodness. Why does Jesus, after rising from the dead, still bear his scars? It has to be because God wanted every eternal sight of him to be filled with the memory of his love.

In times of trouble, what should I do? How do I find God when it seems like He’s hiding from me?

C.F.W. Walther reminds me,

When we no longer feel Christ in our hearts, we must still seek Him in the Word. Whoever firmly holds to [the Word’s] teaching will soon be rescued from his affliction.

God Grant It Daily Devotions from C.F.W. Walter, January 4

God never promised that a Christian would have a problem-free life. Quite the contrary, actually. But God does promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us!

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