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Why is God Testing me?

I could name off dozens of women right now who are walking through extremely tough things. Seasons of unending loneliness, the heartbreak of a prodigal child, the loss of a marriage, a husband’s infidelity, a husband’s porn addiction, a child with a terminal illness . . . I could go on and probably you could, too. In fact, you may be in one of those tragic circumstances right now.

You may be enduring a winter of suffering with no hope for spring. You may be there from no choice of your own and are facing loss because of the sinful path another has chosen. But no matter how you entered this season of adversity, you did not enter it alone, and you do not walk it without purpose.

Adversity is an unwelcome friend but make no mistake, adversity is our friend.

That may sound like an oxymoron . . . a ridiculous assertion or perhaps a typo. You may be thinking I left out the word “not” or got confused and inserted the wrong phrase after my conjunction, or chose the wrong predicate noun to complete the sentence.

Make no mistake, adversity is our friend.

That’s why James tells us to rejoice when we enter the winter of suffering:

[box]“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds . . .” (James 1:2)[/box]

He goes on to describe the intended outcome of adversity: steadfastness and spiritual maturity.

James also explains the difference between temptation and testing. Temptation never comes from God and is never for our benefit. Testing however, often in the form of adversity, is for the purpose of spiritual growth and ultimately for God’s glory.

I love this promise for seasons of suffering:

[box]After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10)[/box]

When we fight against the process, when we choose to harden our hearts or rail against God’s intentions, when we proceed through adversity with a victim mentality rather than as a student of God’s ways . . . we’ll miss the benefits of adversity.

In the storm, through the winter of suffering, in the face of tragedy, that is when God desires for us to come up closer to Him, to reach a new level of trusting Him, and to allow Him to do the work of establishing and perfecting that He knows is needed.

What is your season of adversity that you are facing right now? What is God teaching you as you walk through the storm?

7 Comments

  • Debbie S

    Kimberly,
    Your post today really resonates with me as you can certainly understand.

    Yesterday I looked in the mirror and seeing my bald head for the umpteenth time I growled back, “I HATE CANCER!” It’s true; I hate cancer. And that’s OK. Cancer, death, and decay are all consequences of the Fall.

    I do NOT however rail against the Lord who has allowed this disease to ravage my body and quash my dreams. As I have said here before, I truly believe that having cancer is God’s very best will for me. He makes no mistakes. Although I hate cancer, I see by faith, the blessings the Lord is bestowing because of having cancer.

    Because of our faith in a sovereign and always loving Heavenly Father we can “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV)

  • Chris

    Oh dear Friend … such true words. When I look thru my journals, the times of adversity are really the times of sweet joy with my Father. I shared this with two friends that are going through a time of adversity right now. Praise God for your timely word from the Word! Love you!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Dear Debbie,

    I am so thankful that your perspective is one that truly glorifies God as you walk through this journey. It is right to hate the consequences of the fall, but also right to trust that God can use even those things (although extremely painful and difficult) as refining tools in our lives and also as opportunities for us to give a witness to others of His worth and value.

    We who know the Lord and have experienced His goodness, understand that His goodness at times includes suffering (the cross and the work of our redemption being the supreme example of suffering), and when we respond in faith, trusting in His sovereign plan, it is a testimony to others of His reality. What a privilege. What a reason to give thanks!

    Thank you for sharing with us friend!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Chris ~

    Thank you so much for those words of encouragement . . . sometimes I wonder if anyone is even reading my ramblings, but when I receive a note like this telling me that the post is a “timely word” and it brings praise to God . . . then it confirms again that He is at work through my scribbling out words here. I pray God used the posts in your friends’ lives.

    Much love to you ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Thank you for that affirming word of encouragement, Christine. That is my hope and desire, that He will accomplish His work here. I pray that women will be drawn to love Him more, inspired to dig into the Word and then apply it daily to their lives. I so desire to see Him raise up a host of women who will bring Him great glory!

    Blessings ~