The Purpose of Hardship

The Purpose of Hardship

Wouldn’t it be ironic if all of our hardships were just intended to be an invitation for us to seek Christ? What if the presence of difficulty and hardship were just the Lord’s plea for us to embrace our dependence and pursue relationship with Him? Imagine if that was hardship’s sole purpose!

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; God will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 ESV

Hardship in Our Days

Hardship in Our Days
I know in these days of chaos and confusion, when there’s an assault upon our hope continually, we can get cast on our backs. Hopelessness can overwhelm and discourage us. We can believe we are a victim of our circumstance and wonder when God is to answer. But what if there is a higher purpose to it all?

I believe our God is orchestrating events and circumstances so that we will look to Him and involve Him. Each of us have proven that our independence leads to death and destruction. So what if all hardship is just an invitation presented by God so we would seek Him and enter into loving dependence? What if this is the purpose of illnesses? Perhaps the current political upheavals are just God’s calling us to lean deeper into Him? What if His call isn’t for us to humble ourselves and pray so that we would do it right, but instead that we would press closer into His very breast?!

God doesn’t ascribe trust in our ability to perform righteousness. He has proven that none of us are good, not even the most dogmatic and pious of us. Our profession of religiosity earns us nothing but a mouth full of words. But what we do need is God and our relationship through Christ’s own Life.

Looking at Hardship in a New Light

Looking at Hardship in a New Light
This all makes me see hardship in a different light. It isn’t a testing of my merit or endurance. Hardship is a positioning of my heart where I can turn my face to my only Answer. He is continually yearning for my fellowship, and hardship gives me another opportunity to seek Him.

There’s a temptation to believe that hardship is punitive, especially in the midst of it. But could it just be the Father’s desire and invitation to come closer to Him? And if there is a chastisement in my hardship, even chastisement is a call to turn to Him.

If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 AMPC

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    • tammy

      Hardships…blessings in disguise ❤️

      “I will bless the LORD at all times;
      His praise shall continually be in my
      My soul shall make its boast in the
      The humble shall hear of it and be
      Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
      And let us exalt His name together.”
      Psalm 34: 1-3 NKJV

      • shulamite

        Truly, it is a disguised blessing, but blessing nonetheless. Love you Tammy, thank you for your prayers.

    • Rachel

      AMEN! And may I ALWAYS remember this truth!

      • shulamite

        Especially in these days, I feel like this is the difference between Life and death. Bless you Rachael!

    • Winnie Starnes

      “Hardship is a positioning of my heart where I can turn my face to my only Answer.”
      John I love this true to life statement
      thank you for sharing.

      I learned this to be True the very beginning of my journey, the day He apprehend me and removed me from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of His dear Son.
      His word to me was “Winnie I’ve chosen difficult (hardship)paths for you to walk on in your life journey and you will not understand them.
      My promise to you is I walk everyone with you. “
      I believed Him and aligned my heart with His?. 55 years later I am great full for His kindness to tell me the truth in the beginning and by His grace and strength it was not an endurance marathon but has been a❤️ journey.I can truly say I would not ever exchange it for the easy life.
      I was young then and now I’m old and if I had only one attribute to describe our wonderful Jesus it is FAITHFUL.
      His Presence overshadows all hardships.

      Thank you John for speaking His truth into this chaotic world.

      If we are Truth seekers He requires us to be Truth speakers.

      Much love to our Shulamite family.

      • shulamite

        AMEN! I agree totally. I fear many Christians get a watered down reality of the actual Reality. This does us no favors and tempts us to be the seed thrown on the rocky ground or in the thorns. He never promised us pain-free living did He Winnie? But when you see what is at stake and what is gained, it is but nothing! I think it is more of a service to lay it out from the beginning as you have experienced. He set you up for the long haul didn’t He? Love you muches!

    • Ulrike

      John, thank you, all your?s I would like to answer with a yes, indeed, exactly my experiences. All my tears, He, Jesus tells me, are His own and He wants to be my Comforter. Oftentimes I’m reminded of Jesus’ tears when he came into this confusion after Lazarus’ death. His cosest friends could not understand Him, so it is with us many times. We know, He has the power to remove certain things in our life, but He does not, or only later and we wonder, why…?
      These last years I have to learn to hand over many situations into His hands, and then, later on, He surprises me with unexpected answers!
      Thank you John for your honesty and your good humour! Much growing in your relationship with the Lord and much comfort, from all of my heart for you, Ulrike

      • shulamite

        Thank you Ulrike, I receive that. Yes, what the Lord allows to remain, and for how long is a struggle. This topic always reminds me of Nee’s Worship the Ways of God. His ways are not ours but with our trust of Him and His character, I have learned they are so much better, not painless, but better. Bless you and thank you for commenting! So pleased these posts are touching you.

    • Bree

      I have also pondered this myself fades ago when i went through the hardest thing in my life at that point. Waking after over a month in a coma finding myself in a halo from a broken neck, and realizing I may never walk again, i turned to God to get through the internal and physical battle. I drew closer to him than id ever been.

      • That has been my experience to Bree! While I didn’t have a coma or a halo, I have had health crises and in them I was give the opportunity to draw in and know more of the Lord. It seems these dark days were pregnant with Light and Life. I would have to say, during these crises, what I found was the greatest opportunity to know Him. So in hindsight, I can thank Him for they ended up being a gift. Thank you for your comment!

    • Lynn Jensen

      Romans 5:3-5

    • Sandy

      Pray! Seek! Crave!
      Require of necessity My face!

      That is relationship…

      When my niece was very little and wanted to say something, she’d grab your face with her little hands and would say, “Look at me! I want to tell you something!”

      I think that the belief that hardship is punitive is because we desperately want to prove that God doesn’t really want a relationship with us……especially not a personal one.

      Nothing could farther from the truth…

    • David denlinger

      This is so much what I’m experiencing.
      God bless you John for being a master of heart to heart relationships ❤️

    • Molly

      Thank you! Blessings

    • Vicki

      Martha wrote yesterday :
      “ And God gives rich discoveries through the pains and joys of living. Revelation is given in the practical places. Every life experience is buried treasure for a revelation of God, of yourself, and of what Jesus has given.”

      Thank you both for this revelation. How wonderful to embrace all of life knowing it is a loving Father’s call to fellowship with Him.!

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