What We Cannot Escape

We are too weak and this world is too broken to escape all difficulties. But with God’s help we can escape their futility, we can escape their power to defeat and destroy us. With His help we can receive those difficulties as falling within the bounds of his sovereignty, we can receive them as his will for us, and we can receive them as an opportunity to grow in godly character and persevere in godly hope.

We all long for lives that are easy. We pray for roads that are smooth, seas that are calm, flights that are untroubled by turbulence. Yet our experience of life is so very different. The road is often narrow and winding, the seas often stormy, the skies often bumpy. And we wonder why—why doesn’t God decree an easier life, a less difficult journey to glory?

He is not silent in the face of such questions. Rather, he assures us that he makes use of difficulties and that they are good and even necessary for our sanctification. He uses them to shape us, to mold us, and to equip us for greater service. He assures us that his purposes do not end at the point that our trials begin, but rather pass through those trials and make the highest use of them.

We cannot escape temptation. If the devil tempted Christ, he will most certainly tempt those who follow Christ. But by God’s grace, we can meet temptations and pass through them in such a way that we remain unmarred and unbroken. We can pass through them in such a way that we emerge with renewed strength, restored faith, and increased confidence in the preserving power of the Holy Spirit. God uses temptation for good!

We cannot escape chastisement, for our Father loves us too much to allow us to remain immature and undisciplined. But with confidence that he is our kind Father, we can receive even these rebukes as proof of our adoption and proof of his love.

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