Written By Eddie Vines

Eddie Vines is a former Jefferson county Judge and currently serves as President of Faith Fortress Ministries

There are times in every Christian’s life when he faces challenging circumstances. During these experiences he is often tempted to question why. When the trials are extremely severe, he may even shake his fist at God and demand to know the reason he is being made to struggle. Quite often, we allow ourselves to buy in to the popular belief that if we are not “happy” we must not be walking according to God’s will. This notion could not be further from the truth.

The fact is, there is not a single character in the Bible who was happy all the time, including Jesus. Joseph was sold into slavery, David’s children broke his heart repeatedly, Paul suffered shipwrecks, floggings, and imprisonment, and the list goes on. Scripture describes Jesus as a man of sorrows and he was so frightened in the Garden of Gethsemane that he literally sweated drops of blood. Far from constant bliss on Earth, the Christian is confronted with adversity as often as the unsaved.

The difference for the believer is that these challenging times represent growth opportunities wherein God shapes and molds us to be more like Christ. Peter is a good example of this type of growth. In the early days of Jesus’ ministry Peter is seen as an impulsive, immature, believer who seems not to “get it”. At one-point Jesus even responds “get thee behind me, Satan” after one of Peter’s emotional outbursts. The night that Jesus was arrested by the authorities, Peter denied knowing him three times and then became so wracked with guilt that he “wept bitterly”.

Later, as we read the books of the Bible that were written by Peter, we see a mature, thoughtful, Christian who has developed into a vessel who God used to achieve great things in His kingdom. The events and circumstances we as believers sometimes condemn as being unjust are often the very means that God uses to grind off our rough edges, buff us and use us for His purposes.

If you are a Christian who is experiencing adversity in your life right now you should consider that it may be God’s way of growing you and shaping you according to His vision so that you might be used by him for His purposes and His glory.