I wish someone would have told me how much life would hurt. I would have been able to prepare myself for how hard, disappointing, troublesome, and testing situations could become.

There is a stark difference in how I perceive my life now versus “then” when I became a Christian 11 years ago. “Then” was a roller coaster ride of emotions that would tug and pull me at any given time. I wanted what I wanted, and when things didn't manifest within a specific timeframe, it was not uncommon for me to fall to pieces. Peace was hard to come by, and the difficulties I faced seemed excruciating. I shed a lot of tears as a young, heartbroken Christian who still wanted things her way.

Now it's different. It took many fleshly-fighting matches before coming to the end of my selfish, arrogant, and self-absorbed existence, even after I accepted Christ. Getting through the mess as I focused on God took everything I had, but what resulted from that pain is very good.

The Lord helped me uncover the reality behind the torment in my life. While there was no motivation on God's part to cause the heartache, He did want me to mature through it so I could exhibit character, compassion, and perseverance through the suffering in order to give hope to others in distress.

Have you been able to see a greater purpose behind the pain and hurt in your life? Do you know that God desires to use it for good?

Father God, you have been so good to me. In your loving care, you took me as a wretched sinner and put me through some places that I may not have appreciated years ago, but certainly do today. I know that the sadness and heartbreak in my life was serving a purpose and that it has brought me closer to the person you fashioned me to be for your kingdom. Please don't let me lose sight of the goodness that pain can bring to a life dedicated to you, just as Jesus demonstrated in going to the Cross. Thank you Father, and it's in Jesus' precious name I pray, amen.

Go Deeper — Take today's verse and consider how God has been shaping you to be a significant force within His kingdom as a result of the hardships you have met, endured, and overcome.

Tags: Romans Romans 5
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