Devotional

A Candy Coated Life?

There is a fun little kid’s Sunday School song that I learned many years ago called “Apple Red Happiness”. The song is joyful, upbeat, fun, and it tells me that if I give my life to Jesus, things will be all happy and sunny and sweet. Wow! Wouldn’t that be great if it were true! I could get saved and all my troubles would be over! Who wouldn’t want that? While Sunday school songs are known for being fun, they are not always known for having great theology.

The truth is that God calls us to give our lives to Him, but He never promises that all our troubles will disappear and that our lives will be wonderfully perfect thereafter. The Bible teaches us that we live in a sin-cursed world and we will continue to suffer pain and conflict and loss and persecution. We continue to suffer physical illness, pain, and disabilities. Our relationships often suffer conflict, hurt and loss. We will be mistreated and persecuted for our faith, and the temptation to sin is ever before us.

While this may paint a bleak picture of life, the positive side of this truth is that God is a holy, omnipotent God who is capable and willing to help us in our trials. He assures his disciples in John 16:33 that, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

While we may not understand why, God has a purpose for everything in our lives, even our trials and suffering. I understand from my own life that when things are going well, I tend to become comfortable, self-sufficient, and complacent toward the things of God. I tend to push aside Bible reading, prayer, and true worship of Him. However, when the trials come, no matter how big or small, the first place I run is to the Lord. I suddenly remember Him and His power in my life. I begin to remind myself of His character and His promises. I begin to turn my focus back to Him, because He is my only true source of help.

Romans 5:3-4 tells us how that God can accomplish many things in and through our trials that he couldn’t accomplish otherwise. This passage states, “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (ESV)

Our God is a kind, loving, compassionate Father who comforts us in our trials, which in turn, allows us to comfort others. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (ESV) In modern terms we say we can “pay it forward”. Just like someone might pay for our meal in the drive-thru and we in turn pay for the meal of the person behind us, God comforts us and we in turn comfort someone else who is suffering. What a blessing to be equipped to help others!

Finally, we come to the verse that summarizes it all. The verse we all know well, but either overuse or underestimate. That verse is Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (ESV) Every one of us goes through trials, we all suffer in some form throughout our lives, but one thing we can be assured of is that God can and will work it all together for our good and His glory. Trials are not fun, they don’t feel good, but God will use them to produce good in our lives if we will only let Him.

So while life is not like the kid’s song that tells me life will be as sweet and tasty as my favorite snacks if I only give my life to Jesus, there is one thing I can be sure of, and that is God will not waste any trial in my life. He will use it to make me more like Him and to be a help to others if I will only be willing. Now to go find that bowl of candy . . .

Wife, mom, grandma, and country girl. I am living by faith and encouraging others to do the same. I integrate faith, family and country living.

5 Comments

  • JoAnne Johnston

    I seem to always learn more in the “valleys” than on the mountain tops. He has my full attention when I allow myself to depend on Him completely.

  • Sonya

    This is a perfectly timed devotion. I know there are trials in this life, and I’m so thankful that I have God to help me through them. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have Christ to get me through them. Thankfully, I do have Christ, and through him, I am able to have peace, faith, and confidence that God will get me through this trial no matter the outcome. I also have peace knowing that God will see me through no matter what I have to go through during this trial.

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