Getting Our Attention Through Adversity
When facing adversity or hardship, some Christians ask, “Why is this happening to me?” Others think they are being really spiritual when they suffer in silence or say things like, “God knows what He is doing. He doesn’t have to explain anything to me.”
It is true that our heavenly Father knows what He is doing and does not owe us any explanations, but that doesn’t mean we should dismiss our hardship or avoid thinking about what He might want to accomplish through it. On the contrary, the Bible tells us to remember that God is sovereign, even over our adversities (Eccl. 7:14). This was the case in today’s reading, where Paul says God sent an affliction—which he describes as a “messenger of Satan”—to keep him from exalting himself (2 Corinthians 12:7). The apostle admits pride is a problem for him and acknowledges that God is justified in dealing with him to correct it.
Such a truthful confession does not eliminate suffering but sweetens it until we can say with Paul, “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).