‘This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training.’Hebrews 12:8
When we walk through a tough time, our automatic reaction can often be to ask God to take us out of it. And when He doesn’t, we assume He doesn’t care or that we’ve been abandoned. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. God cares about everything we go through, and always knows what’s happening in our lives. In fact, He walks alongside us through everything. The psalmist wrote: ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me’ (Psalm 23:4 NIV). He is with us, even in the toughest of times. So why doesn’t God take us out of the situation? We don’t know all the reasons why, but one of them could be because He wants us to learn something. Hebrews 12:8 in The Message says: ‘This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training.’ God’s training us to be stronger and more like Him. In every situation we go through, there are things we can learn. But we’ll only learn them if we open our hearts. If we’re too busy begging God to take the situation away, we won’t be open to the opportunity of growing. All tests and valleys we experience are temporary. They’ll end. But it’s up to us whether we’ll just about make it through or if we’ll come out looking more like Jesus. In the Bible we’re encouraged to go as far as rejoicing in the troubles that we face. ‘In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials’ (1 Peter 1:6 NIV). This might seem impossible, but when we think about the training God’s doing, we can be joyful while we’re walking through the valley. What Now? Ask God to open your eyes to what He’s trying to teach you through whatever you’re facing today.