God Can Use Dark Times for Good
By Rick Warren
“We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8b-9 NLT, second edition).
Did Jesus suffer? Was he sometimes lonely? Was he tempted to be discouraged? Was he misunderstood, maligned, and criticized unjustly?
Of course! None of us are exempt from suffering, loneliness, discouragement, or unjust criticism, because God is developing within us the character of Christ, and, in order to do this, he must take us through all of the circumstances in life which he took Christ through.
Does this mean God causes tragedies? No. God is good, and he will not cause evil or do evil. But God can use dark and stressful times for good. He’ll use them to teach us to trust him, to show us how to help others, and to draw us closer to other believers.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1:8b-9, “We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead” (NLT, second edition).
So, what should you do when you’re going through difficult times?
First, refuse to be discouraged. Then, remember God is with you. Finally, rely on God’s protection and guidance.
We all go through difficult times. The difference for those who believe in Jesus is not the absence of the shadow but the presence of the Light.
Talk It Over
- What stressful or difficult experiences in your life have you seen God use for good?
- How have you learned to rely on God through the difficult times of your life?
- What have you learned about the Body of Christ through the difficult times of your life?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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