“[Be] giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20; word in brackets added). Is it possible to give thanks for all things? Yes! Because God is good. (See James 1:17; 2 Samuel 22:31.) God is sovereign, and causes all things—bad or good—to work for good, for those who love Him. (See Romans 8:28.)
Here are seven good things that trouble may bring for you. They are reasons to thank God even for trials.
“For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives….No chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:6, 11a). God loves us enough to correct us. King David wrote, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word” (Psalm 119:67).
Dependence on God
The Apostle Paul was highly blessed with grace and intellect. But, he wrote, “Lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me…I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9a).
Blessings can become a curse, unless God allows us to have trouble that brings us to Him.
God is the source of comfort, God comforts us in all tribulation, and God allows us to comfort others with the same comfort we received from Him. (Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.)
Sitting in prison, Paul said, “I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel” (Philippians 1:12).
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
What is God’s plan for you? “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29a). God’s plan is to make His children like Christ Jesus. Christ-likeness is maturity.
You won’t be a mature child of God until you learn patience. (See James 1:4.) And the only way to learn patience, or endurance, is to have something to endure.
Most of us ask, Why me, Lord? Peter said:
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified” (1 Peter 4:12-14).
Do you want the Spirit of glory and of God to rest on you? It is the fiery trial that brings the Spirit upon us.
Some things, you will never know.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
God lets you know enough to obey Him. Job said, in effect, “God, you owe me answers!” (Read Job 23:3-5.) But he also said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15). We don’t have to understand all things in order to obey God and to thank Him.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
Paul is saying in this verse in Romans that the glory abundantly offsets the suffering. The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory!